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Pharmacokinetics (abbreviated as PK in medical reading material) is basically the study of how a drug travels through the body. It's a "road map", if you will, of the "trip" drugs take through one's system[1].

By measuring things like the plasma concentration of the drug over a given time period, measuring them in both the same and in different subjects, many "maps" are created. Studying them provides a picture of how a given drug behaves in most who use or take it. Things like the life or halflife of a drug in the system, onset, peak, absorption, and duration all come from pharmacokinetic measurements[2]. It's pharmacokinetics which allows a doctor to know how Drug X at Y mg dosage will work in a patient--when the drug begins working, when it works hardest, or peaks, and when the drug wanes and is leaving the system[3][4]. This knowledge is why you are sometimes told to take medications more than once a day.

We tend to focus more on the pharmacokinetics of insulins[5][6][7], dealing with diabetes, but all drugs have pharmacokinetic profiles.

Insulin pharmacokineticsEdit

Pharmacokinetics of Insulin Preparations[8]
Insulin Preparations
Onset (hr)
Peak (hr)
Duration (hr)
Rapid-Acting
R/Neutral
0.5 to 1
2.5 to 5
8 to 12
Lispro
0.25 to 0.5
0.5 to 1.5
2 to 5
Aspart
0.17 to 0.33
1 to 3
3 to 5
Glulisine
0.17 to 0.33
1 to 3
3 to 5
Intermediate-Acting
NPH
Isophane
1 to 1.5
6 to 14
16 to 24
Lente[9]
1 to 3
6 to 14
20+
70/30-30/70
0.5 to 1
2 to 12
24
50/50
0.5 to 1
2 to 12
24
Novolog 70/30 Mix
0.25
1 to 3
24
Humalog 75/25 Mix
0.25
0.5 to 1.5
24
Long-Acting
Ultralente[10]
6
14 to 18
18 to 24
PZI[11]
4 to 6
14 to 18
24 to 36
Glargine
1.1
N/A
24
Detemir
0.8 to 2
N/A
up to 24
These are human activity profiles.

Further ReadingEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Merck Veterinary Manual-Disposition & Fate of Drugs
  2. Merck Veterinary Manual-Drug Concentration in Blood
  3. Merck Veterinary Manual-Pharmacokinetics-Overview
  4. Merck Veterinary Manual-Drug Clearance-Elimination
  5. Essentials of Insulin Pharmacokinetics-Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift--English Translation--1988
  6. Insulin Pharmacokinetics-Diabetes Care-1984
  7. Type I Diabetes and Insulin Therapy-Nursing Clinics of North America-Hirsch-Farkas-Hirsch 1993
  8. Pharmacy Times-Guide to Insulin Preparations
  9. Endotext.com-Insulin Pharmacology
  10. Endotext.com-Insulin Pharmacology
  11. NetDoctor-UK Hypurin Protamine Zinc

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