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February 21, 2000


Question from Ohio, USA:

My 12 year old son has had type 1 diabetes for about 1 1/2 years now. He has some ups and downs, but is basically doing well. On a recent news program about diabetes, a doctor said something about a new insulin coming out that would stay in your system all day and maybe even for 2 days. This would seem ideal. That is all he mentioned about it. Do you know anything more?


The doctor was probably referring to a new substituted insulin called glargine. By ‘substituted’ I mean that both the A and B chains of the insulin molecule have a slightly different amino acid sequence from human insulin. The effect is to produce a more evenly released insulin that lasts for 24 hours. Clinical trials suggest that one daily dose of glargine can substitute for two of NPH. Glargine does not replace the need for short-acting Regular or Humalog insulin, nor can it be depended on for 48 hour coverage.