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Humalog vs Novolog

Drug facts and comparison

Uses

Type 1 diabetes in adults and children 3 years and older and type 2 diabetes in adults

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Type 1 diabetes in adults and children 2 years and older and type 2 diabetes in adults

Get for only
$49 per month
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Summary

Brand name: Humalog
Brand name: NovoLog
Manufacturer: Eli Lilly
Manufacturer: Novo Nordisk
Active ingredient: Insulin lispro
Active ingredient: Insulin aspart
Indication: Type 1 diabetes in adults and children 3 years and older and type 2 diabetes in adults
Indication: Type 1 diabetes in adults and children 2 years and older and type 2 diabetes in adults
Frequency of injection: According to requirements
Frequency of injection: According to requirements
Duration of action: 2 to 4 hours
Duration of action: 2 to 4 hours
Injection method: 3ml cartridges for use with a range of self-injecting pens
Injection method: 3ml PenFill cartridges for use with a range of self-injecting pens, including NovoLog Echo
Average cost per 10ml, 100 unit vial: $274
Average cost per 10ml, 100unit vial: $312

Side Effects

Most common

  • Reactions at the site of injection, like itching, rashes and swelling
  • Changes in fat tissue under the skin at the site of injection
  • Allergic reactions
  • Swelling in your hands and feet
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Weight gain

More serious

  • Heart failure (more likely if used alongside a thiazolidinedione diabetes medication)
  • Severe allergic reactions to the medication that can cause anaphylaxis
  • Your blood sugar falling too low to dangerous levels (hypoglycemia)
  • Your blood potassium level falling too low to dangerous levels (hypokalemia)

Most common

  • Reactions at the site of injection, like itching, rashes and swelling
  • Skin thickening or pits forming in your skin (lipodystrophy) at the site of injection
  • Allergic reactions
  • Swelling in your hands and feet
  • Low levels of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia)
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Weight gain

Most serious

  • Heart failure (more likely if used alongside a thiazolidinedione diabetes medication)
  • Severe allergic reactions to the medication that can cause anaphylaxis
  • Your blood sugar falling too low to dangerous levels (hypoglycemia)

Drug Interactions

1 Severe interaction
  • Antibiotics for bacterial infections such as ciprofloxacin, enoxacin, norfloxacin, and ofloxacin
13 Serious interactions
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, taken to treat high blood pressure and certain heart conditions
  • Antidepressants, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • Beta-blockers, taken for high blood pressure
  • Danazol, a medicine that acts on ovulation
  • Estrogen containing drugs, including birth control and hormone replacements
  • Growth hormones, taken to stimulate growth
  • Salicylates, like aspirin, for relief of pain and to lower fever
  • Steroids or glucocorticoids, taken to treat inflammation
  • Thiazides, taken to treat high blood pressure or excessive fluid retention
  • Thyroid hormones, taken for thyroid gland disorders
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers, taken to treat high blood pressure, diabetic kidney damage and heart failure
  • Beta 2-stimulants, for the treatment of asthma
  • Octreotide, taken to reduce human growth hormone levels
2 Moderate interactions
  • Steroids used topically (on the skin) such as betamethasone, clobetasol, hydrocortisone, and mometasone
  • Diltiazem, used for the treatment of high blood pressure
1 Severe interaction
  • Antibiotics for bacterial infections such as ciprofloxacin, enoxacin, norfloxacin, and ofloxacin
11 Serious interactions
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, taken to treat high blood pressure and certain heart conditions
  • Antidepressants, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • Beta-blockers, taken for high blood pressure
  • Danazol, a medicine that acts on ovulation
  • Estrogen containing drugs including birth control and hormone replacements
  • Growth hormones, taken to stimulate growth
  • Salicylates, like aspirin, for relief of pain and to lower fever
  • Steroids or glucocorticoids, taken to treat inflammation
  • Thiazides, taken to treat high blood pressure or excessive fluid retention
  • Thyroid hormones, taken for thyroid gland disorders
  • Sympathomimetics such as epinephrine or salbutamol, taken to treat asthma
2 Moderate interactions
  • Steroids used topically (on the skin) such as betamethasone, clobetasol, hydrocortisone, and mometasone
  • Diltiazem, used for the treatment of high blood pressure

Warnings

You should not use Humalog if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient insulin lispro
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients found in Humalog
  • Think an episode of hypoglycemia is starting (a fall in blood sugar to low levels)

You should talk to your doctor before using Humalog if you:

  • Are taking any of the medications that could interact with Humalog
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed
  • Often have hypoglycemia or have problems recognizing it is happening
  • Have problems with your kidneys or liver
  • Have recently become ill
  • Are exercising more than usual
  • Are planning to travel or go on vacation (time differences can change when you eat and when you take your Humalog)
  • Have heart failure or other heart problems

You should not use Novolog if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient insulin aspart
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in NovoLog
  • Think an episode of hypoglycemia is starting (a fall in blood sugar to low levels)

You should talk to your doctor before using Novolog if you:

  • Are taking any of the medications that could interact with NovoLog
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed
  • Often have hypoglycemia or have problems recognizing it is happening

Dosage

According to requirements

According to requirements

Cost

A 10ml, 100 unit vial of Humalog costs approximately $274

  • A 10ml, 100 unit vial of NovoLog cost approximately $312

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 with 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.

Humalog vs Novolog FAQs

FAQs

Are NovoLog and Humalog the same?

Novolog and Humalog are both rapid-acting forms of insulin used to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes. However, they contain different types of rapid-acting insulin and are not the same medication.

Can Humalog be substituted for NovoLog?

Humalog and Novolog are both rapid-acting insulins that work in similar ways, but they are different forms of insulin and are not interchangeable. If your doctor has prescribed either NovoLog or Humalog to you, you should take the one prescribed and not substitute one for the other.

Is Humalog better than NovoLog?

NovoLog and Humalog have similar efficacy, drug interactions and side effects. Everyone responds differently to medications though, so you may respond better to one of these insulins than the other.

What is the difference between insulin lispro and insulin aspart?

Insulin lispro (the insulin in Humalog) and insulin aspart (the insulin in NovoLog) are both similar fast-acting insulins. They both take around 15 minutes to begin working after they are injected and last for between 2 to 4 hours. However, there are slight chemical differences between insulin lispro and insulin aspart. Although they have a similar effectiveness and side effects, you may find one suits you better than the other.

Can you take NovoLog and Humalog together?

You should not take NovoLog and Humalog together. Some insulins can be used together, such as a rapid-acting insulin, like NovoLog or Humalog, with a long-lasting insulin, like Lantus or Basaglar. However, because NovoLog and Humalog are both similar rapid-acting insulins they should not be used together, as this increases the risk of an overdose and side effects.

Is Humalog cheaper than NovoLog?

Prices for Humalog and NovoLog will vary depending on the amount you buy and if you buy vials, cartridges or pre-filled injectable pens. Prices will also vary by retailer. Humalog is generally slightly cheaper than NovoLog for equivalent amounts. With NiceRx, you could obtain Humalog and Novolog for $49 a month.
 

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