When it comes to Humulin and Novolog, there are some key differences that the average consumer should know.

What are Humulin and Novolog insulins?

The first is that Humulin is a biosynthetic insulin that is structurally and chemically similar to pancreatic human insulin. This means that it functions almost identically to our naturally produced insulin. Novolog, on the other hand, is a rapid-acting human insulin analog that is slightly structurally different. Because of this, Novolog functions faster but lasts for less time than human regular insulin.

Humulin vs Novolog formulations

Diabetics using Novolog may need a higher pre-meal insulin dose to prevent the onset of high blood sugar levels before the meals. There are three forms of preparation of Humulin: Humulin-R, Humulin-N, and Humulin 30/70, all of which are indicated for patients suffering from diabetic mellitus. However, only Humulin-R is made for diabetic emergencies, such as a diabetic coma and pre-coma. Humulin-R is designated as a short-acting insulin, while Humulin-N and Humulin 30/70 are intermediate-acting insulin agents. In contrast, Novolog only has one form of preparation and is only indicated for patients with diabetic mellitus.

Difference between administration

Humulin-R can be administered subcutaneously, intramuscularly, and intravenously, while Novolog can only be used subcutaneously and intravenously. Other forms of Humulin can only be used subcutaneously.

Side effects

The most common side effect from these insulin products is a low blood sugar level, which is also known as hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can be a serious condition where the blood sugar level in the body is unable to sustain bodily functions.

Symptoms include:

  • tremors,
  • hunger pangs,
  • excessive sweating,
  • blurred vision,
  • dizziness,
  • loss of consciousness,
  • convulsions.

Hypoglycemia can occur with overdosage or when diabetics do not take their meals at the appropriate time after these insulin injections. To avoid this, follow the dosage instructions given by your doctor.

Storage conditions

These insulin products must be stored in a refrigerator between 2 to 8º C. Do not put them in the freezer or expose them to direct sunlight.

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.