NovoLog® (insulin aspart): a fast-acting insulin
NovoLog® is the brand name for the insulin aspart, an analog of natural human insulin. Insulin aspart which quickly lowers blood glucose in people with diabetes. While the molecular structure between insulin aspart and natural human insulin is very similar, it is not identical. Novo Nordisk is the the maker of NovoLog insulin.
The FDA has approved it for use in individuals with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
How NovoLog works
NovoLog insulin lowers blood glucose levels by regulating how the body uses and produces insulin. Insulin aspart stimulates the skeletal and fat tissue in the body to absorb glucose from the blood. It also communicates to the liver to stop producing glucose. The insulin works very quickly, which means that minutes after the medicine is injected, blood glucose levels start to fall.
It comes in forms that can be administered subcutaneously (underneath the skin) or intravenously (directly into the blood stream). Either an insulin pump, a syringe, or a pre-filled injection device can be used to administer Novolog. Importantly, no diluted or mixed insulin should be used when an insulin pump is used. NovoLog is generally administered 5 to 10 minutes before a meal.
Brand name NovoLog products
NovoLog is available in several different forms, including the following:
- Vial: A liquid solution at a concentration of 100 U/mL
- NovLog®in a Pump: This pump provides continuous administration of Novolog insulin. It is approved for adults and children over 2 years-of-age with Type I diabetes and for adults with Type II diabetes.
- NovoLog® FlexPen®: Provides Novolog in a portable pen-like injection device in 1 U increments.
- NovoPen Junior®: This is a smaller portable pen-like injection device that delivers Novolog insulin in 0.5 U increments.
- NovoLog® Mix 70/30: This is a mix of 70% insulin aspart (fast-acting) and 30% insulin aspart protamine (slower-acting).
Possible Novolog side effects
NovoLog side effects are the same as those that are possible when using other types of insulin. These side effects include:
- Hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar can occur if NovoLog clears too much blood glucose levels to fall too low. In severe cases, hypoglycemia can cause seizures, coma, and even death. If low blood glucose is suspected, be sure to consult a doctor. Eating regular healthy meals helps reduce the risk of hypoglycemia.
- Analphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is potentially severe type of severe allergic reaction that can cause swelling, fast heart beat, wheezing and difficulty breathing. Because of anaphylaxis can be life threatening, the FDA encourages those experiencing these symptoms to seek emergency medical attention.
Other possible side effects of NovoLog include weight gains, swelling in the arms and legs and pitting of the skin at the injection site.
Novo Nordisk, "NovoLog: Full Prescribing Information"
Novo Nordisk, "Other Delivery Systems"
Novo Nordisk, "NovoLog"
National Library of Medicine, "Insulin Aspart"