Novolog: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects , Price, Composition, Precautions & More

What is Novolog?

  • Novolog is rapidly acting insulin used to lower blood glucose levels in type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients.
  • Active ingredient of Novolog is insulin Aspart which is a man made insulin produced by recombinant DNA technology that provides artificial insulin to body cells.
  • Novolog is usually used along with a medium or long acting insulin product or other oral diabetic drugs like sulfonylureas.
  • Novolog contains 100 units of insulin per ml (U-100) and is available as:
  • 10ml vial
  • 3ml prefilled pen
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  • Use to lower blood glucose levels in adult and children with diabetes mellitus.
Read more: Mefloquine Uses

Novolog Composition

Insulin aspart 100 Units/mL, glycerin 16 mg/mL, phenol 1.50 mg/mL, metacresol 1.72 mg/mL, zinc 19.6 mcg/mL, disodium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate 1.25 mg/mL, sodium chloride 0.58 mg/mL and water for injection

Know more: Nasacort Composition

How does Novolog work?

  • Insulin Aspart is rapidly acting insulin which functions similar to human insulin and decreases the blood glucose levels by stimulating glucose uptake by muscles and by inhibiting the production of glucose by liver.
  • By controlling the blood glucose levels, it decreases the incidence of kidney damage, heart problems, blindness, nerve problems etc.

How to Take Novolog?

  • Novolog insulin can be administered by three different methods:
  • Subcutaneously – subcutaneous injection into abdominal wall, thigh, upper arm, buttock. Never administer subcutaneous injection at the same site daily to reduce the risk of lipodystrophy (abnormal fat distribution).
  • Insulin pump – administered by continuous subcutaneous infusion. Change Novolog in the reservoir every 7 days.
  • Intravenous – Novolog can be administered IV under medical supervision with close monitoring of blood glucose and potassium levels.
  • Do not inject Novolog if the solution has become discoloured or has clumps in the container. Discard the container in such cases.
  • Inject Novolog either 15 minutes before meal or immediately after meal as it is fast acting insulin and may lead to hypoglycaemia if meal is skipped.
  • Non pharmacologic therapy (dietary modification, weight control and exercise) is equally essential to reduce blood glucose levels along with Novolog therapy.
Also check out: Kenalog Price

Common Dosage for Novolog?

  • The dosage of Novolog is individualised for each patient.
  • There is no fixed dose regimen of Novolog for the treatment of diabetes. Constant monitoring of blood glucose levels and dose variation accordingly is must.
  • Measure the dose carefully as the smallest change in insulin dose may have a large effect on blood sugar levels.
  • Dose adjustment of Novolog insulin is needed with change in physical activity, time and amount of food intake, change in kidney and liver functions.

When to Avoid Novolog?

Novolog should be avoided or used with caution in:

  • Patients with allergy to any of its components
  • Do not use Novolog during hypoglycaemia episodes.
  • Severe kidney or liver function disorders
Read more: Onglyza Precaution

Side-effects of Novolog?

  • In addition to its intended uses, Novolog may cause few undesirable side effects which may include:
  • Hypoglycaemia – most commonly observed if patients take this medicine before meals or when patients skip their meals. Symptoms of hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose) include:
  • Restlessness
  • Headache
  • Sleepiness
  • Impaired concentration
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Tremor
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Tachycardia (increased heart beat)
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating

Other less commonly observed side effects include:

  • Rash
  • Pain at injection site
  • Pruritus (severe itching of skin)
  • In addition it may cause some other allergic or unwanted effects. In such cases, seek medical attention immediately.
Read more: Spiriva Side Effects

Effect on organs?

  • Liver & Kidney – Patients with pre-existing liver and kidney disease should use Novolog with caution as it can cause severe hepatic and renal impairment.

Reported Allergic Reactions?

  • Allergic reactions with Novolog have been reported. Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
  • Signs of allergic reaction include:
  • Rashes/itching of skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Angioedema (painless swelling under the skin)

Drug interactions to be careful about

  • It is always advisable that the patient must inform the doctor about all the drugs/over the counter products/vitamin supplements used while using Novolog.
  • All the possible drug interactions might not be listed here. Few important drugs which interact with Novolog are listed below:
  • Alcohol
  • Glucagon
  • Beta blockers
  • Clonidine
  • Sulfonamides
  • Diuretics
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Oral anti-diabetic drugs
  • Reserpine
  • Lithium
  • Using all these products along with Novolog can influence the therapeutic effect of these medicines and also can increase the chances of side effects.

Shows Effects / Results In:

  • Novolog starts showing its effect immediately following its administration and reaches its peak in 1 hour and keeps working for 2-4 hours.

Storage of Novolog

  • Store at cool and dry place away from direct heat and moisture.
  • Do not freeze the medicine.
  • Keep medicines away from children and pets.

Pro Tips When Taking Novolog

  • Novolog should be administered along with non-pharmacologic therapy (proper dietary modification, weight control and exercise) to achieve best results. In early type 2 diabetes, only non-pharmacologic therapy may well provide ideal results.

Frequently asked questions

Is Novolog addictive?

  • No habit forming tendency has been reported. However over dependence to these medicines should be avoided.

Can I have Novolog with alcohol?

  • Consumption of alcohol is not recommended when on Novolog therapy as it may interfere with controlling blood glucose levels.

Any particular food item to be avoided?

  • Avoid foods which have high glucose content and follow a strict diet to control blood glucose level along with Novolog therapy.

Can I have Novolog when pregnant?

  • It is recommended to maintain normal blood glucose levels during pregnancy as abnormal blood glucose levels are associated with higher incidence of congenital abnormalities.
  • Novolog should only be used during pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the risks involved.

Can I have Novolog when feeding a baby?

  • Novolog is not recommended for use while you are breast feeding as the drug may pass into breast milk and may harm the foetus by decreasing blood sugar levels.

Can I drive after taking Novolog?

  • Novolog intake doesn’t affect your ability to drive. However hypoglycaemia caused due to over dosage or skipping meals and hyperglycaemia due to improper dosage may cause drowsiness, fatigue, impaired concentration, sleepiness etc which may hinder with driving and operating heavy machinery.

What happens if I overdose on Novolog?

  • Novolog should never be administered in more than prescribed dose.
  • Taking more medication or with increased frequency may cause serious Hypoglycaemia (symptoms of which have been mentioned above)

What happens if I take expired Novolog?

  • A single dose of expired Novolog may not cause any major adverse effect. However, the potency of the medicine may well have decreased overtime and it may cause hyperglycaemia (increased blood glucose levels).

What happens if I miss a dose of Novolog?

  • The medicine may not work well if you miss a dose as it may lead to hyperglycaemia and poor glucose control.

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