What is NovoLog Vial?
NovoLog, known as NovoRapid in Canada, contains insulin aspart, which is a fast-acting mealtime insulin. Insulin aspart is a man-made insulin that is similar to naturally occurring human insulin. Only a single amino acid has been modified, compared to the structure of human insulin (which consists of 51 amino acids in total). This small change allows this medication to be absorbed quickly. It starts to work in minutes, which lets you eat soon after its administration.
What is it used for?
NovoLog is used for the control of blood sugar levels in adults and children with diabetes. It has a relatively low likelihood of causing hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar, the most common side effect of insulin therapy.
How does it work?
NovoLog is a type of mealtime or bolus insulin, which works quickly to regulate blood sugar levels during and after eating. You can start to eat within 5 to 10 minutes after taking it, with its peak action taking effect between 45 to 90 minutes, while lasting approximately 3 to 5 hours. These times are based on averages and can vary due to which injection site you use, the temperature of the medication, your blood flow and exercise.
NovoLog is similar in structure to naturally occurring insulin and works similarly, too. Naturally occurring insulin is a hormone produced in a large organ near the stomach called the pancreas. Insulin is mainly involved in the breakdown of food and the regulation of blood sugar levels. It promotes the absorption of sugar from the blood into liver, fat and muscle cells, and it also blocks sugar production in the liver. Sugar is the main energy source for your body, so when your body does not properly absorb sugar from your blood, there is a deficiency of the energy your body needs to function. When this deficiency occurs, the cells in your tissues do not have the necessary energy to perform all the basic functions your body needs.
Common side effects may include:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
- Local allergic reaction
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar levels is the most common side effect of all insulin products. It can cause sweating, convulsions, fatigue, heart palpitations, hunger, disturbed behavior, loss of consciousness, temporary or permanent impairment of brain function, or even death in extreme cases.
Not taking enough insulin, or stopping you insulin treatment, especially if you have type 1 diabetes, may lead to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). The first symptoms of high blood sugar come on slowly over a period of hours or days. They may include thirst, vomiting, increased frequency of urination, drowsiness, flushed and dry skin, nausea, dry mouth, loss of appetite as well as an acetone odor of breath. In type 1 diabetes, untreated high blood sugar eventually leads to DKA, which is potentially lethal.
All insulin products cause a shift in potassium (K+) levels, which can lead to hypokalemia, or abnormally high levels of potassium in the blood. If left untreated it may cause respiratory paralysis, ventricular arrhythmia, and death.
As with all insulin therapies, injection site reactions may occur, which may include pain, redness, itching, hives, swelling, bruising and inflammation. Constant rotation of your injection site within a given area reduces your risk of developing these reactions. These reactions usually resolve themselves in a few days to a few weeks. Changing your injection technique may help reduce the risk of getting these reactions.
How to take this medication
The NovoLog 10 mL vial is for injection under the skin (subcutaneously) using a syringe, and it can also be used for continuous infusion with an insulin pump system. It starts to lower your blood sugar about 10 to 20 minutes after you take it, and should be given immediately before a meal because of its fast onset of action.
Your NovoLog dose schedule has been created for you specifically by your doctor, based on your type of diabetes, personal metabolic needs, blood sugar level monitoring, and your history of treatment and use of insulin. Many factors can affect your dose, including your diet, illness, activity level, work schedule, other medications, pregnancy and travel. You should always closely monitor your blood sugar levels, especially if you are switching to NovoLog from another insulin. A longer-acting insulin is often used together with NovoLog to cover the periods of time between doses.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not use if:
- You are allergic (hypersensitive) to insulin aspart, metacresol or any of the other ingredients in the NovoLog vial
- You have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- The insulin does not appear water-clear and colorless
- The vial is dropped, damaged or crushed
- The protective cap is loose or missing
Talk to your doctor if you:
- Become sick
- Have any problems with your kidneys or liver
- Have problems with your pituitary, adrenal or thyroid glands
- Drink alcohol
- Drive, or use tools or machines
- Suffer from diarrhea, vomiting or eat less than usual
- Are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant
- Are breastfeeding
- Are planning to travel into a different time
- Have a fever, infection or have had surgery recently
- Are exercising more than usual or are planning to change your diet
Thiazolidinediones (TZDs), alone or in combination with NovoLog, can cause heart failure and edema. The combination of insulin with a TZD is not recommended for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
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