Apidra Vs. NovoLog

Publish On Type 1 Diabetes By Sandra Wilson

Apidra Vs. NovoLog

Both Apidra and NovoLog are injectable insulins that are taken subcutaneously to reduce high blood sugar in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a condition where the pancreas makes little to no insulin. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition where your body cannot produce enough insulin or use it properly. Without insulin, glucose cannot be converted into energy, which leads to high blood sugar levels. When the blood sugar level is too high, it could lead to life threatening conditions. Both drugs are fast acting insulins that can reduce spikes in blood sugar levels.

What is Apidra?

Apidra is an injectable diabetes medication that is used to control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. The medication is also known as insulin glulisine. Insulin glulisine is a man-made insulin that works the same as the natural hormone produced in our bodies. When injected, it will start to work faster and last for a shorter time compared to regular insulin, which allows for greater flexibility with meal times. As well, it works best with regular exercise and a healthy diet. You may need to use another type of insulin between meals, as the effects of Apidra are short, but it is not intended to be used simultaneously with other insulins.

What is NovoLog?

This medication works by helping glucose enter the cells, so it can be converted to energy. NovoLog is the brand name of insulin aspart, and can be injected in the fat tissue of the thighs, stomach, buttocks or upper arm. It can be taken before or after a meal, which allows for flexibility in meal times. As well, you may need to take a long-acting insulin to retain optimal blood sugar levels throughout the day.

Similarities and differences between novolog vs. apidra


Apidra and NovoLog are both fast-acting insulins, meaning that they start to work as soon as 15 minutes after being injected. They usually peak after 1 hour and will keep working in your body for 2 to 4 hours. Both medications are injected under the skin using an injection pen or into a vein using an insulin pump. Your doctor will show you the best places to inject these medications. Do not inject the same spot twice in a row. When you take these insulin drugs, there is a risk you may develop low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include

  • sweating
  • headache
  • hunger
  • dizziness
  • fast heart rate
  • nausea

If you are at risk of low blood sugar, you can discuss options to combat these symptoms with your doctor.


Apidra refers to the brand name of insulin glulisine, while NovoLog is the brand name of insulin aspart. Apidra is meant to be taken within 15 minutes before or 20 minutes after you eat. Whereas after using NovoLog, you should eat within 5 to 10 minutes. The cost of Apidra is slightly higher than NovoLog, and it lasts up to 4 hours. In comparison, Novolog can last between 3 to 5 hours. Apidra is used to treat adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and type 1 diabetes in children above the age of 6. On the other hand, NovoLog is used to treat adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and children over the age of 2 with type 1 diabetes.

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.