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Pharmacokinetics

Vetsulin® (porcine insulin zinc suspension) is a sterile, aqueous suspension of purified porcine insulin. Vetsulin contains 40 IU per mL, consisting of 35% amorphous and 65% crystalline zinc insulin. Vetsulin is a lente, or intermediate-acting, insulin.

Unlike human insulin, porcine insulin has the same amino acid sequence as canine insulin, making it less likely for dogs to develop anti-insulin antibodies.

In dogs, the amorphous fraction will reach its maximum effect approximately 4 hours following subcutaneous administration, and its effects last for about 8 hours thereafter. The effect is maintained by the crystalline fraction, which has a slower onset of action and peak effects around 11 hours following injection. The duration of activity of Vetsulin generally ranges from 14–24 hours in dogs.

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Chart showing biphasic activity in dogs

In cats, the peak activity following subcutaneous administration of Vetsulin occurs between 1.5 and 8 hours (with an average of about 4 hours1), and the duration of activity varies between 8 and 12 hours.