Diabetes is one of the most common diseases that people face all over the world. Type 1 diabetes or insulin deficiency is commonly diagnosed in children but can develop in adults as well. This disease can only be treated with the help of injectable insulin. There are many kinds of insulin available over-the-counter and two of the most common ones are Humalog and Novolog. In this article, we will discuss these medicines and their comparison.
Humalog and Novolog in a nutshell
Humalog and Novolog are both diabetes medications that are given to the people with type 1 diabetes and in some cases to the type 2 diabetes patients. Humalog is insulin Lispro and Novolog is insulin Aspart. The basic function of both these insulin types is to control blood sugar levels.
Both Humalog and Novolog fall under the category of rapid-acting insulins. This means that these will work much faster than other insulins that are available on the market. So, both of them last for 2-4 hours and will reach their peak efficiency in about one hour. Both these drugs are similar in their functions. However, you will find some significant differences between them. They also have a few side effects that can be really harmful to the patient if taken lightly. These side effects include:
- Lowered blood sugar is one of the biggest side effects of these drugs. This can be fatal to the patient.
- Weight gain, headache, diarrhea, nausea. These are some easily treatable adverse effects.
- Some serious adverse reactions include low level of potassium in the blood, fluid retention, and severe allergic reactions.
Difference between Humalog and Novolog
- Recommended age: Although both of these drugs are given to the type 1 diabetes patient, they are not suitable for people of all ages. Humalog can only be given to the patients that are three years or older. However, it can also be used to treat type 2 diabetes in some cases. Novolog, on the other hand, is suitable for the patients who are two years old and hence it attracts a greater number of users. Just like Humalog, it can be used to treat type 2 diabetes in some cases.
- Dilution: Another difference between Novolog and Humalog is their dilution. There are times when the patient does not need the entire dosage and wants to inject it in a diluted form. Sometimes, a higher level of insulin can also cause severe side effects. In this case, Novolog is a better option because it can be diluted. You can easily use Novolog diluting medium and create a lesser dosage that is suitable for your current needs. Consult your doctor to get the instructions on how to do if the right way.
- Dosage: The dosage is different in both cases. For Humalog, the patient has to take it 15 minutes before a meal. If that time has been missed, the patient is advised to take Humalog just after they finish eating. At the same time, Novolog acts much faster, so the patient can take it at any time before or right after a meal. However, the best time is to take it 5-10 minutes before eating.
- Pricing: The pricing is one of the major concerns of the diabetes patients because they cannot survive without a daily dose of insulin and higher price can make a hole in the budget. If we compare these two medicines, Novolog is generally more expensive than Humalog. The difference between them reaches $6-10.
- Allergies: When it comes to allergies caused by these drugs, they both can cause one or the other kind of allergic reactions. Each of these can react differently in different people. So, to check for possible allergic reactions, you have no option than to try them out yourself or just consult the doctor.
- Structural differences: There is a big difference in the structure of these two drugs. In the structure of Homolog, amino acids lysine and proline are swapped. So, lysine is substituted by proline in position 28 of the B-chain and vice versa in the 29th position. This is not the case for Novolog. In its structure only one substitution happens. Proline is removed from the 28th position of the B-chain and is replaced with aspartic acid.
Important things to consider
There are a few things that the diabetes patients should consider while taking these medications.
- Do not swap formulas without consulting your doctor
If you are using one of these insulins and want to change to a different one, remember that your body might react to it adversely. Different people have different reactions to drugs. There is a possibility that you might be allergic to a particular insulin and might develop insulin allergies. Just talk to your doctor and let him run some tests on you before making a choice.
- Dispose of the syringes after use
Do not use syringes more than one time, and make sure you dispose of the syringes after use. Also, always sterilize syringes before injecting insulin into your body, as otherwise it is possible to get an infection.
- Stick to the recommended dose
It is always advisable to stay within the recommended dosage range. The patients should always monitor the amount of insulin they are injecting into their body, as higher levels of insulin can lead to heart stroke and death.
As we all know, insulin is a necessity for the people who have type 1 diabetes. This means that these people can suffer from really severe side effects if they do not take the recommended amount of insulin on a daily basis. Hence, it is really important for you to know the exact type of insulin that you should take and the type that you should not. Both Novolog and Humalog are equally effective in dealing with the type 1 diabetes. The major difference is how your body reacts to them, so always remember to consult your doctor to choose the best option for you.