What is Novolog Uses, warnings & interactions
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Novolog (insulin aspart) is a fast or rapid-acting insulin that is manufactured by Novo Nordisk. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000 to control hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
If your doctor has prescribed Novolog to you, you may want to know more about what it is and how it works. Here we’ll explain what Novolog is used for, how it works, its side effects, and more.
What is Novolog used for?
Novolog is indicated to improve glycemic control in adults and pediatric patients with diabetes mellitus. It has been proven to help control high blood sugar in people with diabetes when taken with a long-acting insulin.
How does Novolog work?
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.
What are the most commonly prescribed doses of Novolog?
Novolog is available in 100 units/ml (U-100) of insulin aspart as:
- 10ml multi-dose vial
- 3ml PenFill cartridges for the 3ml PenFill cartridge device
- 3ml Novolog FlexPen
- 3ml Novolog FlexTouch prefilled pen
Before taking Novolog
Before taking Novolog, tell your healthcare provider about your medical conditions, including if you:
- Are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding
- Are taking new medications, vitamins, or supplements
How to take Novolog
- Read the Full Prescribing Information, Instructions for Use, and Medication Guide that comes with Novolog.
- Use Novolog exactly as your doctor prescribes it. Your doctor may frequently adjust the amount of insulin you need. Do not change your insulin dose or stop taking this medication without discussing it with them first.
- Novolog starts working very quickly. Make sure to eat a meal within 5 to 10 minutes after you take this medication.
- You can inject this medication subcutaneously (under your skin) in your abdomen, buttocks, thighs, or upper arms. You can also administer Novolog under the skin via an insulin pump.
- Rotate your injection sites with each dose of Novolog to reduce the 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.
- Monitor your blood glucose levels. Your doctor will let you know what your blood glucose should be and how often you should check it.
- 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.
You should not use Novolog if you have a known allergy to insulin aspart or any inactive ingredients in its formulation. You should also avoid this medication if you are having an episode of hypoglycemia.
- Do not share your Novolog FlexPen, FlexTouch, or PenFill cartridge with anyone else, even if the needle is changed.
- You should increase the frequency of blood glucose monitoring with any changes in your insulin regimen as it may cause hypoglycemia (fast heartbeat, shaking, irritability, sweating, dizziness, hunger) or hyperglycemia (increased thirst or urination, blurred vision, headache, and tiredness).
- Be sure to check insulin labels before each injection to reduce the risk of medication errors.
- Severe hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, have occurred with the use of Novolog. Discontinue this medication and find immediate medical help if you develop symptoms such as hives, swelling in your face or throat, and trouble breathing.
- Serious, life-threatening low potassium levels have occurred with this medication. You should have your potassium levels monitored if you are at risk of hypokalemia.
- You are at an increased risk of fluid retention and heart failure if you take Novolog along with thiazolidinediones such as rosiglitazone.
- You should monitor your blood glucose and administer Novolog by subcutaneous injection if your insulin pump or infusion set malfunctions to avoid hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis.
What drugs should not be taken with Novolog?
When Novolog is taken with other medications, it may change how they work or increase the frequency and severity of side effects. You should ask your doctor if any of the prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you take may cause drug interactions with Novolog, including:
- Drugs that increase the risk of low blood sugar such as other antidiabetic medications, MAOIs, ACE inhibitors, ARBs, and sulfonamide antibiotics
- Drugs that decrease Novolog’s blood sugar-lowering effect such as atypical antipsychotics, glucagon, corticosteroids, diuretics, hormone therapies, and niacin
- Other medications such as beta-blockers, clonidine, lithium, and reserpine
What are some possible side effects of Novolog?
The most common side effects of Novolog seen in clinical trials include:
- Weight gain
- Injection site reactions
- Urinary tract infection
- Lipodystrophy (pits or thickened skin)
- 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)
Contact your healthcare professional for medical advice about any possible adverse effects you experience while taking Novolog. You can report your adverse effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Your doctor can prescribe other medications if Novolog is not right for you. Some alternative FDA-approved options include:
Can you take Novolog while you are pregnant or breastfeeding?
Information from clinical trials during the second trimester of pregnancy did not report any association with Novolog and major birth defects or other adverse outcomes. Poorly controlled diabetes during pregnancy is known to increase the risk of major birth defects. There is no data on whether Novolog is found in human milk or the effects it may have on breastfed infants, or on 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 type of insulin is Novolog?
Novolog is a fast-acting insulin that helps lower mealtime blood sugar spikes in adults and children with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Is there a difference between Humalog and Novolog?
They are both fast-acting insulins that are analogs of human insulin. They both are used to control blood sugar levels after meals. They are equally effective and share many of the same side effects and drug interactions. The major difference is that Humalog can be used in adults and children over the age of 3 while Novolog is approved for use in children as young as 2.
How long does it take Novolog to work?
Novolog will begin to work within 15 minutes after injection, peak in 1 hour, and last for 2 to 4 hours.
How much does Novolog cost?
Currently, there is no generic Novolog available on the market. The average cost of 1 vial of Novolog 100U/ml is around $200. However, you can save on brand-name drugs like Novolog through NiceRx if eligible for assistance.
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.