CVC Highlight: Insulin therapy for diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats: Ensuring your chances of success
UPDATE ON AVAILABLE INSULIN PRODUCTS
Following is a practical list (FDA-approved manufacturer's labels may be different) of options for insulin therapy. Veterinary-formulated insulin products (ProZinc—Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica; Vetsulin—Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health; Vetsulin is not currently available) are 40 U. Human-formulated insulin products are 100 U. It is imperative to match the product concentration to the appropriate syringe.Short acting
Regular insulin—only used in sick diabetic patients
PZI—protamine zinc insulin
The use of compounded insulin products is highly controversial. The perceived advantages of compounded insulin are lower cost, greater availability, a wide range of concentrations, and great customer service. That being said, there has been strong resistance to their use from veterinary specialists, who recommend against their use. (Anecdotally, these specialists have had problems with these products.)
An extensive study involving evaluation on a monthly basis of 12 compounded PZI insulin products and one from a manufacturer was conducted to help put an end to the speculation about these insulin products.1 Two vials from each batch were sent for testing every two months for four months (one blinded, one original). Many of the compounded products were found to have low potency, extremely high interlot variability, incorrect pH, free insulin in the supernatant, and incorrect zinc content. These findings support those specialists that recommend that compounded insulin should not be used.