GLARGINE AND DETEMIR
(original graphic by marvistavet.com)
Achieving regulation in a diabetic cat can be tricky. In most cats, finding an insulin that lasts long enough is a substantial problem. Glargine insulin (Lantus® and Basaglar®) is approved only as a human product but its use has become common in diabetic cats and many consider it to be the first choice of insulin for a newly diagnosed diabetic cat. Detemir (Levemir®) insulin is another long-acting insulin for humans which is gaining popularity in veterinary use.
In human diabetes mellitus, the trend has been towards the use of ultra-short acting synthetic insulin (like Humalog®) at meal time and a once a day long-acting peakless insulin (such as glargine insulin) to provide general blood sugar control throughout the day. Glargine insulin is readily available at any drug store and is designed to be long-acting and provide a diabetic person with a "tone" of sugar control that lasts all day. In cats, glargine and detemir are not peakless; they definitely have a high point and low point but they do (in most cats) last long enough to control blood sugar levels throughout the day. In newly diagnosed diabetic cats, studies with glargine show such good control when used in combination with a low carbohydrate diet that many cats revert to a non-diabetic status in a matter of weeks. In one study, six out of seven cats were in remission after only 4 weeks of glargine therapy.
Before getting too excited, it is important to realize that diabetic remission is about good regulation early in the course of the disease rather than having a magic product. Cats that have been diabetic for some time tend not to experience remission and if your cat is well-regulated on another insulin, it is not worth changing and having to re-regulate your cat.
What you need to Know:
The high remission rates reported for diabetic cats apply to cats newly diagnosed with diabetes. Other cats who were switched to glargine or detemir for better glucose control after having been diabetic for years do not tend to revert to non-diabetic status.
For more details on how to administer insulin to your cat, click here.
Page posted: 5/15/2017