NovoLog is a brand-name prescription drug. It’s FDA-approved to help manage blood sugar levels in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. NovoLog is approved for use in adults and children.

NovoLog is a type of mealtime insulin, meaning it’s used to help manage blood sugar spikes that happen when you eat.

Drug details

NovoLog contains the active drug insulin aspart, which is a rapid-acting insulin.

NovoLog comes as a solution that’s given as a subcutaneous injection. A healthcare professional can also give NovoLog as an IV infusion.

NovoLog is available in several forms:

  • 10-milliliter (mL) vial for use with insulin syringes or an insulin pump (a small device that delivers insulin through a needle and tube placed under the skin)
  • 3-mL insulin pen called NovoLog FlexPen
  • 3-mL insulin cartridge called NovoLog PenFill for use in a reusable insulin pen

Each form of NovoLog comes in one strength: 100 units of insulin per mL (U-100). For more information about each form, see the “NovoLog, NovoLog FlexPen, and NovoLog PenFill” section below.

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of NovoLog, see the “NovoLog uses” section below.

NovoLog is a biologic drug that’s only available as a brand-name medication. It does not have any biosimilars at this time. NovoLog contains the active drug insulin aspart.

A biologic drug is made from parts of living cells. Nonbiologic drugs, on the other hand, are made from chemicals. Nonbiologic drugs have generic versions (exact copies of the active drug in the brand-name form). However, biologics can’t be copied exactly. So, instead of generics, biologic drugs have biosimilars. Biosimilars are considered as safe and effective as the original drug.

NovoLog is available in three forms, which are described below. Each form of NovoLog comes in one strength: 100 units of insulin per mL (U-100). Your doctor can advise you on which type of injection is best for you.

To read more about how to use each of these forms, see the “How to use NovoLog” section below.

NovoLog vial

NovoLog comes in a 10 milliliter (mL) vial for use with insulin syringes or an insulin pump. An insulin pump is a small device that delivers insulin through a needle and tube placed under the skin.

Each NovoLog vial contains multiple doses of insulin. The exact number depends on the dosage of NovoLog you’re prescribed.

Your doctor will show you how to give yourself injections of NovoLog using insulin syringes. You’ll use a new syringe for each dose of insulin from a NovoLog vial.

Your doctor can also show you how to use NovoLog vials with an insulin pump.

NovoLog FlexPen

NovoLog FlexPen is a 3-mL insulin pen, which is meant to be used with insulin pen needles.

Each NovoLog FlexPen contains multiple doses of the drug, but the exact number depends on your NovoLog dosage. You’ll use a new pen needle for each dose of insulin from a NovoLog FlexPen.

NovoLog PenFill

NovoLog PenFill is a 3-mL insulin cartridge for use in a reusable insulin pen, which is used with insulin pen needles.

Each NovoLog PenFill cartridge contains multiple doses of NovoLog. The exact number of doses depends on the NovoLog dosage you’re prescribed. You’ll use a new pen needle for each dose of insulin from the reusable insulin pen.

After you’ve used all the doses in a NovoLog PenFill cartridge, you’ll place a new cartridge into the reusable insulin pen.

You may wonder how NovoLog compares with other medications that are prescribed for similar uses.

One example is a drug called Humalog. Both Novolog and Humalog are used to manage blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Novolog contains insulin aspart, while Humalog contains insulin lispro.

To find out other ways in which NovoLog compares with Humalog, view this article.

Other drugs are available that can treat diabetes. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to NovoLog, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Insulin is the primary treatment option for people with type 1 diabetes. This is because their bodies can’t produce enough insulin on their own. People with type 2 diabetes may need insulin if other diabetes drugs aren’t working well. They also may need insulin if their bodies have stopped making insulin on their own.

Below are examples of insulins other than NovoLog that may be used to treat type 1 or type 2 diabetes:

NovoLog can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking NovoLog. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of NovoLog, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to manage any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with NovoLog, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* of NovoLog can include:

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from NovoLog. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or view NovoLog’s prescribing information.
† For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from NovoLog aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects* of NovoLog can include:

* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Side effect details

Here are some details on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Low blood sugar level

The use of NovoLog may lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level). This is the most common side effect for all insulins, including NovoLog. To find out how often this side effect occurred in clinical trials, see the drug’s prescribing information.

You may have a higher risk for low blood sugar with NovoLog if you have kidney or liver problems, such as kidney or liver failure. Tell your doctor about any kidney or liver problems you have before taking NovoLog.

Symptoms of low blood sugar

Symptoms of low blood sugar can include:

If your blood sugar is severely low, you may develop seizures or coma.

It’s important that you do not use NovoLog while you have low blood sugar. This could lower your blood sugar even more and cause serious side effects.

How to treat low blood sugar

If you have symptoms of low blood sugar while taking NovoLog, you should eat or drink fast-acting carbohydrates. This should quickly raise your blood sugar level. Examples include a glucose tablet, piece of candy, or glass of juice. A diet soda or sugar-free candy will not treat low blood sugar.

Talk with your doctor about how to manage episodes of low blood sugar. You should also talk with them if you have low blood sugar on a regular basis.

Severely low blood sugar

Severely low blood sugar is a medical emergency. It should be treated immediately. If you have severely low blood sugar, you may need someone else’s help to treat it. It’s important that a friend, family member, or coworker knows how to recognize and treat severely low blood sugar. (See the symptoms of low blood sugar mentioned above.)

Your doctor will likely prescribe a drug called glucagon with NovoLog. Glucagon can be used to quickly raise your blood sugar. Glucagon comes in several different forms, including an injection (Gvoke) and nasal spray (Baqsimi).

If you have severe low blood sugar, be sure you or someone else calls 911 or your local emergency number right away.

Talk with your doctor

For more information about ways to manage low blood sugar while taking NovoLog, talk with your doctor.

Low potassium level

The use of NovoLog can lead to a low potassium level. This side effect wasn’t reported in clinical trials of the drug. But low potassium levels are a known possible side effect of all insulins, including NovoLog.

Symptoms of low potassium levels can include:

Severely low potassium levels can cause an irregular heart rate or rhythm. In some cases, this may be life threatening.

Before starting NovoLog treatment, be sure to tell your doctor if you take drugs that lower potassium levels. Examples include diuretics such as indapamide and hydrochlorothiazide.

It’s likely that your doctor will check your potassium levels from time to time while you take NovoLog. If your potassium level is low, they may prescribe potassium supplements for you.

Injection site reactions

Injection site reactions may occur with NovoLog. These were common side effects in clinical trials of the drug.

Injection site reactions occur around the area of the skin where you inject NovoLog. Examples include:

It’s important that you do not inject NovoLog in an area of skin that’s damaged, hard, bruised, tender, or scaly. The drug may not work as well as usual if you inject it into these areas.

When injecting NovoLog, rotate injection sites each time you use the drug. This means using a different spot for each injection. It helps lower your risk for injection site reactions. You can inject Novolog under the skin of your abdomen, buttocks, thigh, or upper arm.

If you’re concerned about having injection site reactions while using NovoLog, talk with your doctor. They can suggest other ways to help ease your symptoms.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking NovoLog. This side effect wasn’t reported in clinical trials of NovoLog. But allergic reaction has been reported in people who’ve taken the drug after it became available for use.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to NovoLog, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

As with all medications, the cost of NovoLog can vary. To find current prices for NovoLog vials in your area, check out GoodRx.com. You can also find prices for NovoLog FlexPens and NovoLog PenFill cartridges.


The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Keep in mind that you may be able to get a 90-day supply of NovoLog. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance company.

Before approving coverage for NovoLog, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for NovoLog, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for NovoLog or help to understand your insurance coverage, help is available.

Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of NovoLog, offers a savings card and a cost-lowering program for the drug. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, visit the manufacturer’s site.

To learn more about saving money on prescriptions, check out this article.

Mail-order pharmacies

NovoLog may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to get your medication without leaving home.

If recommended by your doctor, you may be able to receive a 90-day supply of NovoLog, so there’s less concern about running out of the medication. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance company. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications.

If you don’t have insurance, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist about online pharmacy options.

Generic or biosimilar version

NovoLog is a biologic drug that’s only available as a brand-name medication. It does not have any biosimilars at this time. NovoLog contains the active drug insulin aspart.

A biologic drug is made from parts of living cells. Nonbiologic drugs, on the other hand, are made from chemicals. Nonbiologic drugs have generic versions (exact copies of the active drug in the brand-name form). However, biologics can’t be copied exactly. So, instead of generics, biologic drugs have biosimilars. Biosimilars are considered as safe and effective as the original drug.

Novolog does not have a biosimilar at this time.

The NovoLog dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of your diabetes
  • your age and weight
  • the form of NovoLog you take
  • your blood sugar levels
  • your eating and exercise habits
  • other medical conditions you may have
  • other medications you take, including other types of insulin

Typically, your doctor will start you on the recommended dosage for treating your condition. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

In most cases, you won’t need to use a dosage calculator to determine your NovoLog dosage. This is because your doctor will determine the best dosage that fits your needs.

Additionally, your NovoLog dosage will likely be the same regardless of the form of NovoLog you use. But if you have questions about how a NovoLog FlexPen dosage may differ from that of other forms of NovoLog, talk with your doctor.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will advise you on what your NovoLog dosage should be.

Drug forms and strengths

NovoLog comes as a solution. It’s given as two types of injections:

NovoLog is available in one strength: U-100 (100 units of insulin per milliliter [mL]).

NovoLog is available in several forms:

  • 10-mL vial for use with insulin syringes or an insulin pump (a small device that delivers insulin through a tube placed under the skin)
  • 3-mL insulin pen called NovoLog FlexPen
  • 3-mL insulin cartridge called NovoLog PenFill for use in a reusable insulin pen

Dosage for type 1 diabetes

The manufacturer of NovoLog hasn’t provided specific dosing recommendations for type 1 diabetes. This is because the recommended dosage varies depending on many factors, including those mentioned in the beginning of the “NovoLog dosage” section.

Typically, the starting dosage of NovoLog for type 1 diabetes is based on your weight. NovoLog is a type of insulin. The American Diabetes Association suggests between 0.4 and 1 unit of insulin per day for each kilogram (kg)* of your body weight. For example, a doctor may prescribe 1 unit/kg/day for a person weighing 80 kg, which is equal to about 176 pounds (lb). In this case, their total daily insulin dosage would be 80 units.

This daily dosage will then be divided throughout the day and at mealtimes. Most people with type 1 diabetes will use an intermediate- or long-acting insulin for half of their daily dose. (See the “NovoLog use with other drugs” section below for examples.) The rest of their daily dose is taken as a rapid-acting insulin (such as NovoLog) with meals.

In the example above, this person would use 40 units (one-half of their total daily dose of 80 units) as an intermediate- or long-acting insulin. The remaining 40 units would be divided and given as NovoLog at mealtimes.

You’ll usually take NovoLog about 5 to 10 minutes before a meal. The amount of NovoLog you’ll take with each meal will vary. Your exact dose will likely be based on your blood sugar level before eating as well as the amount of carbohydrates you plan to eat.

Your healthcare professional will show you how to calculate and adjust your NovoLog dosage.

* 1 kg is about 2.2 lb.

Dosage for type 2 diabetes

The manufacturer of NovoLog hasn’t provided specific dosing recommendations for type 2 diabetes. This is because the recommended dosage varies depending on many factors, including those mentioned in the beginning of the “NovoLog dosage” section.

The usual starting dosage of NovoLog for type 2 diabetes is four units per day. You’ll usually take this dose 5 to 10 minutes before the biggest meal of the day. Eventually, you may use NovoLog with other meals as well.

Children’s dosage

NovoLog is approved to treat type 1 or type 2 diabetes in children. The drug is used to help manage blood sugar levels.

The manufacturer of NovoLog hasn’t provided specific dosing recommendations for children. Your child’s doctor will follow the same dosing guidelines as for adults. These guidelines are in the “Dosage for type 1 diabetes” and “Dosage for type 2 diabetes” sections right above.

If you have questions about the best NovoLog dosage for your child, talk with their doctor.

What if I miss a dose?

You’ll typically inject NovoLog up to 10 minutes before a meal. If you forget, you can check your blood sugar levels to decide if you need a dose of NovoLog. Then, you can either take your missed dose or wait until you would normally take your next dose.

If you aren’t sure whether to take a dose of NovoLog or skip it, talk with your doctor. They can tell you what your blood sugar level should be after eating.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

NovoLog is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that NovoLog is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about NovoLog.

Is NovoLog a fast-acting insulin?

Yes, NovoLog is a rapid-acting insulin (sometimes called a “fast-acting insulin”).

NovoLog contains the active drug insulin aspart. It’s a mealtime insulin, meaning it’s used to help manage blood sugar spikes that happen when you eat.

For details about how the drug works, see the “How NovoLog works” section below.

Is there a dosage conversion between NovoLog and Humalog?

Yes, there is a dosage conversion for switching between NovoLog and Humalog (insulin lispro).

Both drugs are rapid-acting insulins. And like NovoLog, Humalog is used at mealtimes to help manage blood sugar spikes that happen when you eat.

If you’re interested in switching from NovoLog to Humalog, or vice versa, talk with your doctor. If they approve a change from one insulin to the other, they’ll tell you how to adjust your dosage.

Keep in mind that you should not change your treatment plan unless your doctor advises you to do so. This is because adjusting your insulin regimen can affect how well your blood sugar levels are managed. If your levels aren’t well managed, your risk for low blood sugar level may increase. For details on this side effect, see “Side effect details” in the “NovoLog side effects” section above.

What is the difference between taking NovoLog as an injection and through an insulin pump?

If you use insulin syringes or pen needles to administer NovoLog, you have to inject yourself with each dose and use a new needle. With an insulin pump, you’ll need to inject yourself with a new needle every few doses.

To draw up a dose of NovoLog from the NovoLog vial, you’ll use an insulin syringe, then inject the medication. Another option is to use a pen needle with the NovoLog FlexPen. You can also use a reusable insulin pen that contains NovoLog PenFill cartridges. When using syringes or pen needles, you’ll use a new needle to inject yourself for each NovoLog dose.

Injections with an insulin pump work differently. An insulin pump is a small device that delivers insulin through a needle and tube placed under the skin. The pump holds a measured amount of NovoLog.

Using the pump controller, you can give yourself a dose of NovoLog when needed. The needle and tube stay in place under your skin for several days. Some pumps can automatically deliver the Novolog dose.

A healthcare professional will show you how to give yourself injections of NovoLog using insulin syringes, pen needles, or an insulin pump. You can also refer to the “How to use NovoLog” section below.

You may have other questions about the differences between taking NovoLog as an injection and through an insulin pump. If so, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

When you get NovoLog from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the packaging. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk with your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good to use can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

You can store unopened NovoLog vials, injection pens, and cartridges at a temperature below 86°F (30°C) for up to 28 days. You can store them until their expiration date if you keep them in refrigeration at a temperature between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C).

NovoLog vials, injection pens and cartridges have a 28-day expiration after opening. Once opened, you can store NovoLog vials for up to 28 days at room temperature or in a refrigerator. However, you should store opened NovoLog injection pens and cartridges at room temperature.

Be sure to store NovoLog vials, injection pens, and cartridges away from heat and light. Safely discard any of these items that have been opened for more than 28 days.

Disposal

Right after you’ve used a syringe or needle, dispose of it in an FDA-approved sharps disposal container. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident or harming themselves with the needle. You can buy a sharps container online, or ask your doctor, pharmacist, or health insurance company where to get one.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information about how to dispose of your medication.

NovoLog is used to help manage blood sugar levels in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

About diabetes

With type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t produce enough of a hormone called insulin. This hormone normally helps your body process glucose (sugar). Insulin does this by moving sugar from your blood into your body’s cells, where the sugar acts as an energy source.

With type 2 diabetes, your pancreas still makes insulin. However, your body has become resistant to insulin’s effects. This means insulin doesn’t help your body process sugar as it should.

With both types of diabetes, the level of sugar in your blood continues to increase. Over time, high blood sugar levels can cause serious health problems. This includes damage to your heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves.

About NovoLog

NovoLog is a type of mealtime insulin. This means it’s used to help manage blood sugar spikes that happen when you eat.

NovoLog is a rapid-acting insulin analog (human-made version) of the insulin made naturally in your body. NovoLog works in your body in the same way as natural insulin. Novolog and natural insulin both help glucose (sugar) move out of your bloodstream and into your cells to use as energy.

How long does it take to work?

NovoLog starts to manage your blood sugar level within 5 to 10 minutes of being injected.

How long does it stay in your system?

NovoLog’s half-life can be used to figure out how long the drug stays in your system. A drug’s half-life is the amount of time it takes for half of a dose to leave your body.

NovoLog’s half-life is about 81 minutes. This means it takes about 81 minutes for your body to get rid of half of a dose of NovoLog.

It usually takes about five half-lives for a drug to completely leave your system. For NovoLog, this means the drug will stay in your system for about 6 to 7 hours after your last dose.

You should use NovoLog according to the instructions your doctor gives you.

NovoLog is available in several forms:

  • vial for use with insulin syringes or an insulin pump (a small device that delivers insulin through a needle and tube placed under the skin)
  • insulin pen called NovoLog FlexPen
  • insulin cartridge called NovoLog PenFill for use in a reusable insulin pen

You can give yourself NovoLog as a subcutaneous injection. This type of injection is given just under your skin. A healthcare professional can also give you the medication as an IV infusion. This type of injection is given into your vein over a period of time. Your doctor can advise you on which type of injection is best for you.

If using insulin syringes or pens, you or a caregiver will inject NovoLog into your thigh, buttocks, abdomen, or upper arm. A healthcare professional will show you how to give yourself these injections. You can also view step-by-step instructions for each form of NovoLog in the drug’s prescribing information:

It’s important that you do not share your used insulin syringes or pen needles with another person. And you should not share your NovoLog FlexPen with another person, even if you’ve changed the pen needle. Sharing these items can increase your risk of getting or transmitting infections.

It’s also important that you do not reuse your pen needles or insulin syringes. These are meant to be single use. Using them more than once increases the risk of bacteria in your injection.

When to take

You’ll typically take NovoLog 5 to 10 minutes before the start of a meal.

To help make sure you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.

Accessible labels and containers

If your prescription label is hard to read, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies offer labels that have large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to direct you to one that does.

Taking NovoLog with food

You should take NovoLog with food. You’ll take NovoLog 5 to 10 minutes before the start of a meal.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as NovoLog to treat certain conditions. NovoLog may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

NovoLog is FDA-approved to help manage blood sugar levels in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It is approved for use in adults and children.

NovoLog for type 1 diabetes

With type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t produce enough of a hormone called insulin. This hormone normally helps your body process glucose (sugar). Insulin does this by moving sugar from your blood into your body’s cells, where the sugar acts as an energy source.

The level of sugar in your blood can continue to increase. Over time, high blood sugar levels can cause serious health problems. This includes damage to your heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:

Insulins, such as NovoLog, are the primary treatment option for people with type 1 diabetes. NovoLog is a type of mealtime insulin, meaning it’s used to help manage blood sugar spikes that happen when you eat.

You can learn more about type 1 diabetes by visiting our diabetes hub.

Effectiveness for type 1 diabetes

NovoLog has been found effective for use in type 1 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends rapid-acting insulins such as NovoLog to help manage blood sugar levels around mealtimes.

For more information on how the drug performed in clinical trials, see NovoLog’s prescribing information.

NovoLog for type 2 diabetes

With type 2 diabetes, your pancreas still makes insulin. But your body has become resistant to insulin’s effects. This means insulin doesn’t help your body process sugar as it should.

As with type 1 diabetes, high blood sugar levels over time can cause serious health problems such as heart and kidney damage.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are generally the same as those for type 1 diabetes. For details, see “NovoLog for type 1 diabetes” right above.

People with type 2 diabetes may need insulins, such as NovoLog, if other diabetes drugs aren’t working well for them. They may also need insulin if their bodies have stopped making insulin on their own. NovoLog is used at mealtimes to help manage blood sugar spikes that happen when you eat.

You can learn more about type 2 diabetes by visiting our diabetes hub.

Effectiveness for type 2 diabetes

NovoLog has been found effective for use in type 2 diabetes. Rapid-acting insulins such as NovoLog are recommended by the American Diabetes Association for management of blood sugar levels around mealtimes.

For more information on how the drug performed in clinical trials, see NovoLog’s prescribing information.

NovoLog and children

NovoLog is FDA-approved to treat type 1 or type 2 diabetes in children. The drug helps manage blood sugar levels.

To learn more about these conditions and how NovoLog treats them, see “NovoLog for type 1 diabetes” and “NovoLog for type 2 diabetes” above.

NovoLog is typically used along with other diabetes medications to help manage your blood sugar levels.

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you’ll likely use NovoLog with other types of insulin. This should help manage your blood sugar levels between meals as well as overnight. Examples of other insulins include:

For type 2 diabetes, you’ll probably use non-insulin treatments in combination with Novolog. These medications work to lower high blood sugar by increasing the amount of natural insulin your body produces. A few examples include:

If you have questions about the drug combination that’s right for treating your diabetes, talk with your doctor.

It may be best to avoid alcohol during NovoLog treatment. This is because, depending on the amount you drink, alcohol can change your blood sugar levels. And this can affect how well NovoLog works to manage your blood sugar.

Keep in mind that certain liquid medications, such as some forms of NyQuil, contain small amounts of alcohol. It may be best to also avoid taking medications that contain alcohol while using NovoLog.

Before starting NovoLog treatment, talk with your doctor about all medications you take. They can tell you if those drugs contain alcohol. If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about how much is safe for you to consumer while using NovoLog.

NovoLog can interact with several other medications.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

NovoLog and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with NovoLog. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with NovoLog.

Before taking NovoLog, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Types of drugs that can interact with NovoLog include:

Drugs that can affect how well NovoLog works to manage blood sugar levels. Examples include:

Drugs that can make NovoLog less effective for lowering your blood sugar. Examples include:

Drugs that can increase your risk for low blood sugar while using NovoLog. Examples include:

Drugs that can hide the symptoms of low blood sugar. Examples include:

  • Reserpine, which is used to treat high blood pressure.
  • Clonidine (Kapvay).
  • Beta-blockers, such as:
    • metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
    • propranolol (Inderal)
    • bisoprolol

Drugs that can increase your risk for side effects from NovoLog. Examples include:

  • Thiazolidinediones (TZDs), which are used to treat diabetes. Examples of these include:
  • Drugs that lower potassium, such as diuretics. Examples of these include:
    • indapamide
    • hydrochlorothiazide
    • chlorthalidone

NovoLog and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with NovoLog. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking NovoLog.

NovoLog and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with NovoLog. But keep in mind that skipping meals or not eating enough food with NovoLog could raise your risk for low blood sugar.

If you have any questions about eating certain foods with NovoLog, talk with your doctor.

It’s not known for sure if NovoLog is safe to use while pregnant. Clinical trials haven’t shown the medication to be harmful when used during pregnancy. But NovoLog hasn’t been specifically studied in pregnant people.

Animal trials haven’t shown harmful effects of NovoLog in pregnancy. But animal trials don’t always predict what will happen in humans.

It’s important to manage diabetes well during pregnancy. Otherwise, the condition can lead to serious problems during and after pregnancy. These can include preeclampsia (sudden increase in blood pressure during pregnancy). Other risks include problems with fetal development (commonly known as birth defects) and pregnancy loss.

In general, the American Diabetes Association considers insulin (such as NovoLog) to be safe and effective for use during pregnancy.

If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy while using NovoLog, talk with your doctor. They can advise you on the risks and benefits of using NovoLog while pregnant.

It’s not known if NovoLog is safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using NovoLog.

For more information about taking NovoLog during pregnancy, see the “NovoLog and pregnancy” section above.

Note: Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the terms “male” and “female” below refers to sex assigned at birth.

For females using NovoLog

It’s important to note that hormonal birth control (such as the birth control pill) can make NovoLog less effective for lowering blood sugar levels.

If you can become pregnant, be sure your doctor knows if you start or stop taking hormonal birth control while using NovoLog. They may need to adjust your NovoLog dosage. Your doctor may also have you check your blood sugar levels more often than usual. They’ll do this to make sure NovoLog is working for you.

If you have questions about using birth control with NovoLog, talk with your doctor.

For males using NovoLog

The manufacturer of NovoLog hasn’t given birth control recommendations for males using the medication. If you’re a male who’s sexually active with someone who can become pregnant, talk with your doctor. They can advise you on your birth control needs during NovoLog treatment.

It’s not known for sure if NovoLog is safe to use while breastfeeding. Clinical trials have shown that insulins (such as NovoLog) can pass into breast milk during breastfeeding. But the effects of NovoLog on breastfeeding or breastfed children hasn’t specifically been studied in trials.

If you’re breastfeeding or planning to do so while using NovoLog, talk with your doctor. They can review the risks and benefits of using the drug during this time.

Before taking NovoLog, talk with your doctor about your health history. NovoLog may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Low potassium level. Before taking NovoLog, tell your doctor if you have any health conditions, such as kidney disease, that can cause a low potassium level. Also tell them if you use medications* that can lower your potassium level. NovoLog can lower your potassium level even more, which may cause serious problems such as an irregular heart rate or rhythm. Your doctor will likely monitor your potassium levels closely while you use NovoLog.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to NovoLog or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe NovoLog. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
  • Heart failure. Before starting NovoLog treatment, tell your doctor if you have heart failure. Taking NovoLog with diabetes medications called thiazolidinediones (TZDs)* can worsen heart failure. While using NovoLog, talk with your doctor if you have symptoms of worsening heart failure. These can include shortness of breath and swelling of your feet or ankles. Your doctor may have you stop taking your TZD while you use NovoLog. They’ll also review other diabetes medications that you take.
  • Kidney or liver problems. Tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver problems, such as kidney or liver failure. These problems can increase your risk of low blood sugar with NovoLog. Your doctor can suggest ways to lower your risk for this side effect while taking NovoLog.
  • Pregnancy. It isn’t known for sure if NovoLog is safe to take during pregnancy. For more information, see the “NovoLog and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It isn’t known if NovoLog passes into breast milk during breastfeeding. For more information, see the “NovoLog and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of NovoLog, see the “NovoLog side effects” section above.

* For examples of these medications, see the “NovoLog interactions” section above.

Using more than the recommended dosage of NovoLog can lead to serious side effects.

Do not use more NovoLog than your doctor recommends.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of an overdose can include:

For more information about these side effects, see “Side effect details” in the “NovoLog side effects” section above.

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.