Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, insulin injections can be an effective way to help you manage your blood glucose levels. There are many types of insulin available and it is not always easy to understand how they work and the differences between them.
You may have heard of both Humalog and Novolog. But are they the same? Here we compare the two, detailing how they work, their side effects and the most important differences between them. Humalog vs. NovoLog, this is everything you need to know.
Conditions treated by Humalog and NovoLog
Humalog and NovoLog are both types of fast-acting insulin used to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
- Humalog is prescribed to adults and children 3 years of age and older with type 1 diabetes or adults with type 2 diabetes
- NovoLog is prescribed to adults and children 2 years of age and older with type 1 diabetes or adults with type 2 diabetes
So, what is diabetes? It is a group of diseases that affect your body’s ability to use a type of sugar called glucose. When you inject insulin your cells can absorb more glucose which in turn reduces the level of the sugar you have in your blood. Both NovoLog and Humalog can help this process.
NovoLog and Humalog are sometimes also used off-label to treat gestational diabetes and diabetic ketoacidosis but are not approved by the FDA for these conditions.
Understanding insulin and rapid-acting insulin
Insulin is naturally produced in your body by your pancreas. The hormone helps your cells absorb glucose from your blood and makes sure you maintain a healthy blood glucose level. For people suffering from diabetes, synthetic (man-made) versions of insulin are used to help treat the condition. These work in the same way as the insulin made naturally by your body, but they are often designed to be faster or longer-acting versions of insulin.
You usually inject fast-acting insulins (also called rapid-acting) such as Apidra after a meal to help your body manage the glucose released as you digest the food and drink. With long-acting insulins, the medication is usually injected once per day to help your body maintain a healthy blood glucose level throughout the day and night. It is common for long-acting and rapid-acting insulins to be used together.
Humalog and NovoLog are rapid-acting synthetic insulins. They work faster than the insulin your body produces, helping your body to quickly lower your blood glucose after a meal. Both NovoLog and Humalog begin working within 15 minutes of being injected and last for between 2 to 4 hours. They reach their most effective point around 1 hour after injection.
What is the difference between Humalog and NovoLog?
Although Humalog and NovoLog are both rapid-acting insulins that are used to treat diabetes, there are some key differences between them. The biggest difference is that they contain different forms of insulin. Humalog contains a type of rapid-acting insulin called insulin lispro. NovoLog contains a type of rapid-acting insulin called insulin aspart. Although these insulins are similar, they are not identical. Different people may also respond to them differently.
The cost of Humalog and NovoLog without insurance can vary by retailer and by the amount you buy. Buying vials, cartridges or pre-filled injectable pens will also affect the price. However, based on average prices for comparable amounts, Humalog is generally marginally cheaper than NovoLog:
- A 10ml vial of Humalog cost around $274
- A 10ml vial of NovoLog cost around $312
The cost of Humalog or NovoLog, if you have insurance, will depend on the details of your healthcare plan. Contact your pharmacist or insurance provider to calculate your copay with your current insurance.
If you are approved for NovoLog or Humalog assistance through NiceRx you could get your prescription for $49 per month. We may be able to help you even if you have insurance. Fill in our online enrollment application to find out more.