Canine Diabetes Wiki
Intermediate acting

Time activity profile for intermediate-length insulins. This is pharmcokinetics at work, with the gathered data able to produce this profile of the onset, peak and duration of intermediate-acting insulins.

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][3] 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. [4][5] This knowledge is why you are sometimes told to take medications more than once a day.

We tend to focus more on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of insulins [6][7][8], dealing with diabetes, but all drugs have pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles.

Kinetics & dynamics-part of pharmacokinetics[]

When reading various medical literature about insulin and its actions, one often sees the terms kinetics and dynamics used. Knowing what each means in terms of blood glucose can help you understand where it applies to you or your pet.

Insulin Kinetics refers to the time when an insulin can be measured in the bloodstream. It's important to understand that even though it's "officially" made its way there, the insulin has not yet done so in sufficient quantity to effectively begin to lower blood glucose.

Insulin Dynamics is the point where it has an effect on blood glucose levels. [9][10][11]

The dotted line shows insulin entering the bloodstream (kinetics).
The bold line (dynamics) illustrates the insulin at the point where
blood glucose is lowered by it.

A good illustration of kinetics and dynamics is having a headache and taking an aspirin for it. You will get relief after the aspirin's level in your system has reached the dynamic stage. While it is in the kinetic one, you are still waiting for headache relief.

Insulin pharmacokinetics[]

These are human activity profiles.


  1. Disposition & Fate of Drugs. Merck Veterinary Manual.
  2. Drug Concentration in Blood. Merck Veterinary Manual.
  3. Therapeutic Drug Monitoring. Antech Diagnostics.
  4. Pharmacokinetics-Overview. Merck Veterinary Manual.
  5. Drug Clearance-Elimination. Merck Veterinary Manual.
  6. Turnheim K, Waldhäusl WK. (1988). Essentials of Insulin Pharmacokinetics. Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift--English Translation-.
  7. Binder C, Lauritzen T, Faber O, Pramming S. (1984). Insulin Pharmacokinetics. Diabetes Care.
  8. Hirsch, I., Farkas-Hirsch, R. (1993). Type I Diabetes and Insulin Therapy. Nursing Clinics of North America.
  9. Insulin Kinetics & Dynamics.
  10. Pharmacokinetics vs Pharmacodynamics.
  11. Heinemann, Lutz (January 2008). Variability of Insulin Action:Does It Matter?. Insulin Journal.
  12. Guide to Insulin Preparations. Pharmacy Times.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Insulin Pharmacology. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Endotext" defined multiple times with different content
  14. Hypurin Protamine Zinc.

More Information[]