Novolog Dosage, forms & strengths
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Novolog (insulin aspart) is a rapid-acting insulin that is manufactured by Novo Nordisk. It is FDA-approved to help reduce mealtime blood sugar spikes and improve glycemic control in adults and pediatric patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
What is Novolog’s mechanism of action?
NovoLog is a rapid-acting insulin analog of the insulin you naturally make. It works in your body in the same way as naturally made insulin does. Novolog helps transport glucose out of your bloodstream and into your cells to use as energy. It also inhibits glucose production in your liver.
Novolog dosage forms and strengths
Novolog is available in 100 units/ml (U-100) as:
- 10ml multiple-dose vial
- 3ml PenFill cartridges
- 3ml Novolog FlexPen
- 3ml Novolog FlexTouch prefilled pen
The dosage of Novolog should be individualized and adjusted based on the route it’s given, your metabolic needs, blood glucose monitoring results, and blood sugar goals.
For type 1 diabetes, the total daily recommended dose of insulin is 0.4 to 1 unit per kilogram of body weight per day. Your dose of NovoLog will depend on your weight and any other insulins you are using.
For adult patients with type 2 diabetes, the manufacturer suggests using the FullSTEP approach. Once your doctor determines your individualized dose, you will start taking it once a day with your largest meal of the day. It should be taken 5 to 10 minutes before eating.
You will then adjust your dose based on your blood glucose reading:
- If your blood glucose is ≤70 mg/dl, you will adjust your dose by -1 unit.
- If your blood glucose is 71-130 mg/dl, you will adjust your dose by 0 units.
- If your blood glucose is >130 mg/dl, you will adjust your dose by +1 unit.
If your HbA1C is ≥7% at week 11, you will add a second dose of Novolog and if it’s still ≥7% at week 22, you will add a third dose.
Novolog dosage restrictions
- Patients with renal impairment or hepatic impairment may have an increased risk of hypoglycemia and require more frequent dose adjustments and blood sugar monitoring.
How to take Novolog
- Read the Full Prescribing Information, Instructions for Use, and Medication Guide that comes with Novolog.
- Use Novolog exactly as your healthcare provider prescribes it. Your healthcare provider will make adjustments to your insulin dose based on changes in your food intake, physical activity, or other insulin regimens. Any changes to your insulin therapy should be done under close medical supervision.
- You should eat a meal within 5 to 10 minutes after you take Novolog as it begins working quickly.
- You can inject Novolog under the skin in your stomach, buttocks, thighs, or upper arms. Do not mix the subcutaneous injection of Novolog with other insulin products other than NPH insulin. You can also administer Novolog under the skin via an insulin pump.
- Rotate your injection sites with each injection to lower your risk of developing pits in your skin, lumps, or thickened skin. Do not inject Novolog in places where these pits, lumps, or thickened skin occur. You should also not inject into skin that is bruised, tender, scaly, scarred, or damaged.
- Closely monitor your blood glucose levels and give Novolog by subcutaneous injection if you have an insulin infusion set or insulin pump failure to avoid hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and diabetic ketoacidosis.
- Unused Novolog can be stored in the refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (2°C and 8°C) until its expiration date. Once in use, you can keep Novolog at room temperature up to 86°F (30°C) for 28 days.
Novolog dosage FAQs
What are some side effects of Novolog?
Some common adverse events of Novolog seen in clinical trials include:
- Severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Injection site reactions
- Weight gain
- Edema (fluid retention)
- Pits in the skin or thickened skin (lipodystrophy)
- Back pain
Novolog can sometimes cause more serious side effects, including:
- Severe, life-threatening allergic reactions (hives, swelling of your face or throat, and shortness of breath)
- Hypokalemia (low potassium levels)
- Heart failure if taken along with a thiazolidinedione such as rosiglitazone.
Contact your healthcare professional for medical advice about any adverse reactions you experience while taking Novolog. You can report your adverse effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
What are some drug interactions with Novolog?
The concomitant use of Novolog with other drugs can change how they work or increase the frequency and severity of side effects. You should ask your healthcare professional if any of the prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you take may interact with this medication, including:
- Medications that increase the hypoglycemic effect of Novolog such as other antidiabetic medications, MAOIs, ACE inhibitors, ARBs, and sulfonamide antibiotics
- Medications that decrease Novolog’s blood glucose-lowering effect such as atypical antipsychotics, glucagon, corticosteroids, diuretics, hormone therapies, and niacin
- Other medications such as beta-blockers, clonidine, pentamidine, and reserpine
Are there any contraindications for Novolog?
Novolog is contraindicated if you have a known hypersensitivity to insulin aspart or any of the excipients in this product. You also shouldn’t take this medication if you are having an episode of hypoglycemia.
Is it safe to use Novolog while pregnant or breastfeeding?
The use of Novolog during the second trimester of pregnancy did not cause any significant birth defects or other adverse outcomes. Poorly controlled blood sugar during pregnancy is known to increase the risk of major birth defects. It is not known if Novolog is found in breast milk during lactation or the effects it may have on breastfed infants or milk production. You should always discuss the risks and benefits of any medication with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What is the maximum dose of Novolog?
For patients with type 1 diabetes, the total daily dose of insulin is 0.4 units to 1 unit of insulin for each kilogram of body weight per day. The dose of Novolog will depend on what dose of intermediate-acting or long-acting insulins you are taking. For patients with type 2 diabetes, the recommended dose is 4 units given with the biggest meal of the day.
What is the sliding scale for Novolog?
A sliding scale varies the dose of insulin based on your blood sugar level. The higher your blood sugar, the more insulin you take. There isn’t a standard sliding scale for insulins and prolonged therapy with sliding-scale insulin (SSI) is ineffective for most people. It can increase the risk of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia and a clinical trial showed can cause adverse events in general surgery patients with type 2 diabetes.
How much does 1 unit of Novolog decrease blood sugar?
One unit of Novolog can cause your blood sugar level to drop 30mg/dl to 50mg/dl.
How often is Novolog dosed?
Novolog is typically given as a subcutaneous injection (under the skin) 2 to 4 times a day before meals.
What is the average price of Novolog?
There is no generic for Novolog and the average cost of 1 vial of Novolog 100U/ml is around $200.
Related resources for Novolog dosage
The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.