How Do Antidiabetic Insulin Combos Work?


Antidiabetics insulin combos are a soluble fixed-dose combination of two individual insulin analogs (insulin degludec and insulin aspart) in one product used with a proper diet and exercise to control high blood sugar in people with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). T1DM or insulin-dependent diabetes is a condition in which the body does not produce insulin and therefore cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood, whereas T2DM is a long-term medical condition in which the body does not use insulin normally and, therefore, cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood. Controlling high blood sugar helps in preventing kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems and may also reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Insulin combo is typically prescribed for the management of diabetes to mimic the activity of endogenously produced human insulin, a peptide hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreas, which promotes glucose metabolism. Insulin is released from the pancreas following a meal to promote the uptake of glucose from the blood into internal organs and tissues such as the liver, fat cells, and skeletal muscles. The absorption of glucose into cells transforms it into glycogen or fat for storage. Insulin also inhibits hepatic glucose production (production of glucose by the liver), enhances protein synthesis, and inhibits lipolysis (breakdown of fats and other lipids by hydrolysis to release fatty acids) and proteolysis (breakdown of proteins or peptides into amino acids by the action of enzymes).

Insulin combo is a prescription medicine and is available as a prefilled dosing pen to be injected subcutaneously (under the skin) once a day. 

  • Insulin combos work in the following ways:
  • Insulin degludec:
    • It is a long-acting (absorbed slowly by the body), man-made version of human insulin.
    • It works by replacing the insulin that is normally produced by the body and helps in the movement of sugar from the blood into other body tissues to be used as energy.
    • In addition, it inhibits the liver from producing more sugar.
  • Insulin aspart:
    • It is absorbed faster by the body than human insulin and therefore works immediately after it is injected and has a short duration of action.
    • It works by helping blood sugar (glucose) get into cells so that the body can use it for energy. 


Antidiabetics insulin combo is used to improve glycemic control in adults with T2DM and T2DM.


Some of the common side effects include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Injection site reaction (pain, redness, and irritation)

Other rare side effects include:

  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level)
    • Sudden sweating
    • Fast heartbeat
    • Blurred vision
    • Tingling in hands/feet
  • Nasopharyngitis (an inflammatory attack of the pharynx and nasal cavities)
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Peripheral edema (swelling of lower legs or hands) 
  • Lipodystrophy (a syndrome wherein body fat tissue is lost or abnormally accumulated in the whole body or just areas of it)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Weight gain in a short period of time
  • Dizziness (feeling faint, weak, or unsteady)
  • Hypokalemia (low blood potassium level)

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.


Generic and brand names of antidiabetic insulin combos include:

  • Insulin degludec/insulin aspart
  • Ryzodeg

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