Insulin use and abuse

An effect profile of various preparations of insulin, or insulin analogues after subcutaneous injection.  In insulin therapy, different insulin preparations are used. The most important and longest-used method of administration is injection More recently, a drug that can be inhaled has been tested and is now on the market.

Oral insulin has been ineffective, because the protein chains are degraded in the gastrointestinal tract of the body’s own enzymes before they can be effective, but there are developments that include changing insulin molecules into nanoparticles and then the undigested insulin is injected into the bloodstream.

In the past there have been attempts to use insulin in the context of so-called insulin shock treatments for people with mental illnesses. This procedure is no longer practiced today, however.

Insulin is on the list of banned doping substances because it is abused in several areas.  Since insulin counteracts the decreased glucose uptake of somatotropin in the muscle cells, it is often used to compensate for this unwanted side effect, see also anabolic.  Other applications are to promote the filling of glycogen stores in endurance athletes and support the building of muscle mass.

In March 2008, the nurse Colin Norris in Newcastle was sentenced to a prison term of 30 years because he killed four of his patients by injecting them with high doses of insulin.