What is Insulin Aspart (Novolog)?

Insulin Aspart is a man made insulin that is taken subcutaneously to help reduce blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes mellitus. Diabetes is a chronic medical condition where a patient experiences high blood sugar levels as a result of the body failing to produce enough insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps to convert glucose from the food we eat into energy. There are two forms of diabetes mellitus, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a condition where the pancreas produces little or no insulin as a result of beta cells being attacked by the immune system. As a result, people with type 1 diabetes require insulin injections, such as insulin aspart, so that they can survive. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes occurs when your body cells become resistant to insulin. Type 2 diabetes can be managed through regular exercise and healthy diet program in addition to oral diabetes medication such as metformin. In some cases patients with type 2 diabetes may require insulin drugs, such as insulin aspart.

Insulin aspart, which is marketed under the brand name Novolog, is a fast-acting insulin that can be taken together with intermediate and long-acting insulin. The medication replaces the function of the natural hormone that is produced in the pancreas, which helps transport glucose from the bloodstream to the body tissue where it is stored and used for energy. Novolog also prevents the liver from producing more glucose, which helps to reduce high blood sugar levels. Controlling blood sugar levels is important because it reduces the risk of contracting long-term health problems, such as blindness, kidney and nerve damage. It is important to note that this medication does not cure diabetes mellitus. Rather, it helps to control its symptoms, such as high blood sugar levels.

How to inject

Insulin aspart comes as a solution form that is supposed to be injected under the skin. Your health-care provider will show you the best place to inject Novolog. Because this medication acts very fast to reduce blood sugar levels, it is advisable you take it 5 to 10 minutes before you eat a meal. Your health-care provider will advise you how many times per day you should inject the drug. You should not take Novolog in larger or smaller doses than what your doctor prescribed. It can also be injected into a vein under the supervision of a nurse or doctor.

Insulin aspart onset, peak time and duration of action

To understand how this medication works in the body, it is important you know the meaning of peak time, onset, and duration. Onset is the time it takes before insulin starts to lower blood glucose levels after injection. Peak time is the time when insulin is at its maximum powers to reduce blood glucose levels. Duration is the period insulin keeps working in the body to lower blood sugar levels. Insulin aspart has an onset of 10 to 20 minutes and a peak time of 40 to 50 minutes. The duration of insulin aspart is 3 to 5 hours.

Side effects

Just like any other medication, Novolog can cause side effects. In case the side effects of insulin aspart become bothersome, you should inform your doctor right away.

Insulin aspart side effects include the following:

  • Swelling of the feet, hands, and ankles due to fuild retention
  • Sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Blurred vision
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Itchiness

Doctor’s Recommendation

Insulin is crucial for managing blood sugar levels. It allows glucose to move from the bloodstream into cells, where it can be broken down into energy. While insulin plays a key role in this process, it’s important to understand that it doesn’t directly convert glucose into energy. Instead, it facilitates the entry of glucose into cells, enabling the subsequent steps that produce energy. This distinction helps avoid the misconception that glucose and insulin immediately generate energy upon contact.

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.