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Hypoglycaemia and human insulin


Human insulin (recombinant human insulin or enzymatically modified porcine insulin) is probably the most commonly prescribed insulin for patients with newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus. Many patients stable on the older animal, insulins will have been switched to it, more often as the result of promotional pressures than because of clinical need.1 Some patients believe this change was associated with a loss of warning symptoms of hypoglycaemia. There have also been claims that human insulin increases the risk of sudden death.2 Several hundred patients in Britain are preparing to sue for damage allegedly caused by human insulin.3 We examine the evidence.

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