British National Formulary[1] defines them as: A sterile solution of insulin (i.e. bovine or porcine) or of human insulin; pH 6.6-8.0

Short acting insulins have been around a long time. The first insulin produced for treatment of diabetes was short-acting; there was no such thing as longer acting insulins until the mid 1930's when PZI came on the market. Until then, most diabetics had to rely on a series of shots to get them through each day.

Today short-acting insulin is used as bolus for meals, for blood glucose "corrections" or Boosters when bg's are running too high, and for diabetic emergencies. When a pet or person is hospitalized for a diabetic emergency, some type of short or rapid-acting insulin is given intravenously to bring blood glucose levels down quickly.

These short-acting insulins are used either by themselves as bolus or booster insulin or as Mixed Insulins, combined with NPH/isophane insulin.

With the exception of semilente, they can be injected or given intravenously. Semilente can't be used intravenously because it is a suspended, "cloudy" insulin. Semilente by itself has almost disappeared from the market.

Trade names:

Short Acting Insulins


Hypurin Bovine Neutral
Hypurin Vet Neutral


Insuvet Neutral


Iletin I R
(No longer produced.)


Hypurin Porcine Neutral
Hypurin Pork Regular


Pork Actrapid
(No longer produced.)


Iletin II R
(No longer produced.)


Novo Semilente MC
Note: Semilente insulin is not soluble.
It cannot be used intravenously.
(No longer produced.)


Humulin R, Humulin S
The "S" in the name stands for soluble,
not semilente.


Insuman Rapid


Novolin R, ActrapidReliOn/Novolin R

Insulin analogs can be found under the Category:Fast-acting.


  1. British National Formulary-Definition of Short-Acting Insulins

Case studiesEdit


Wiki cases-Feline Short-Acting Insulin Users


Wiki cases-Canine GE R/Neutral Users

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