PZI Info and Suppliers


Protamine Zinc Insulin (PZI) is another insulin formulation, just like regular, NPH, lente, or ultralente. 

PZI was produced by Eli Lilly, and was often the first-choice insulin for treatment of diabetes in cats. It is now produced by specialty veterinary drug manufacturers, and is also available from compounders - pharmacists who have the ability to prepare special prescriptions.

PZI is available from three species of insulin:
  • human recombinant
  • beef
  • beef/pork combination

PZI comes in different strengths

  • U-40, U-50, and U-100 are all commonly available.  
  • Other strengths can also be ordered. 

Precautions for ordering:

  • Choose a supplier that has experience making PZI.  
  • Be sure to specify which species of insulin you want.
  • Be sure you know what strength the insulin is and how to give your pet the proper dose. Some companies send special syringes that are to be used with the strength of insulin you order. You can use a U-100 syringe with a U-40 or U-50 insulin, but you must do a little math and fill the syringe correctly. Here is a conversion chart for using U-40 PZI and U-100 syringes.

Your vet will have to place the first order of PZI. Then, depending the company you are ordering from, either you or your vet can call for refills.

PZI is more expensive than other insulins. But many owners are willing to pay the extra price if PZI is the insulin that controls their pet's diabetes the most effectively. Many owners of diabetic cats who have not had success regulating their pet's diabetes with other insulins have tried PZI.  PZI is just like any other insulin - it may or may not be the best insulin for controlling your pet's diabetes. If the insulins you have tried are not adequately controlling your pet's diabetes, be sure to discuss the option of using PZI with your vet.

Visit the Professional Compounding Centers of America or contact them at (800) 331-2498 for a referral to a compounder in your area. Use caution in making sure the compounder has experience making PZI. It is probably better to choose a supplier that has experience, even if they are not in your state. Shipping is not a problem - the insulin can be boxed with a cold pack.

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Updated February 2008
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