What is Novolin?

Novolin is a man made insulin that is used to control high blood sugar in people with diabetes. Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone that is produced by the hormone to help glucose get absorbed by the body cells for energy. Without insulin, there will be a build up of glucose in the blood, which can lead to high blood sugar. If high blood sugar is left untreated, it can lead to severe health complications including nerve damage, kidney damage, blindness and loss of limbs.

Novolin is usually a combination of insulin isophane and insulin regular, that uses proper diet and exercise to improve blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Whereas insulin isophane is an intermediate acting insulin, insulin regular is a short acting insulin. When you take this combination of insulin it starts to work within 10 to 20 minutes after injecting it under your skin. The medication usually peaks after 2 hours and can last up to 24 hours.

What is Novolog?

Novolog refers to a fast acting insulin, which helps to control blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. This insulin begins to work within 15 minutes after injection. Novolog usually peaks after one hour and the effects can last between 2 to 4 hours. Since Novolog is a very fast acting insulin, it is recommended you eat within 5 to 10 minutes after taking an injection.

Similarities and differences between Novolog and Novolin


Both Novolin and Novolog refer to man made insulin that is taken by diabetic patients to help them control their blood sugar levels. Both medications are injectable insulins that are taken by injecting them subcutaneously. To avoid the risk of transferring infections from one person to another, you should not share an injection pen with anyone. Another similarity is that both medicines have a clear appearance. You should not use these insulin in case they have changed colors or have particles in them.

A common side effect between these insulin drugs is hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is a medical condition that happens when the blood sugar is below the normal range. You can quickly treat this condition by taking a fast acting sugar, such as hard candy, non diet soda and fruit juice.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include the following:

  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fast heart rate
  • Hunger

Allergic reactions are another common side effect between Novolog and Novolin. Symptoms including swelling at the injection spot, wheezing, difficulty breathing, sweating, rapid heartbeat, swelling of throat and tongue.

Novolin Vs. Novolog differences

There are some differences between Novolin and Novolog that they cannot be used interchangeably. This is because both medications are prescribed to patients under different situations. Both drugs refers to insulin that are used to lower high blood sugar in people with diabetes. However, they differ in terms of peak time and how long they start to work in the body after injecting them under the skin. Novolin is a short to intermediate acting insulin. While Novolog refers to a fast acting insulin. Novolin 70/30 usually takes a little bit longer before it begins to work. On the other hand, Novolog 70/30 has a rapid onset time. However, they can last up to 24 hours in the body. Novolin 70/30 is usually a combination of intermediate acting and short acting insulin in that ratio. On the other hand, Novolog 70/30 refers to a combination of intermediate acting insulin and fast acting insulin. When it comes to cost, Novolog is usually more expensive compared to Novolin.

Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.

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