What is NovoLog FlexPen?
It is a disposable insulin pen that comes pre-filled with insulin aspart. Insulin aspart is the chemical or generic name of NovoLog in the US. In Canada, it is known as NovoRapid (which is the product name you may receive when ordering NovoLog from CanadianInsulin.com). Insulin aspart is a man-made, fast-acting mealtime insulin that is nearly identical in structure to naturally occurring human insulin. This insulin medication comes in a package of five FlexPens that have 3 mL of insulin aspart each.
What is it used for?
NovoLog is a man-made insulin that is used to regulate high blood sugar levels in adults and children with diabetes mellitus. The drug is an easy-to-use and convenient dial-a-dose insulin pen that allows you to take your mealtime dose at home or on the go.
How does it work?
NovoLog (insulin aspart) is a fast-acting mealtime or “bolus” insulin, which begins to work within 5 to 10 minutes. Its peak effect is reached in about 45 to 90 minutes and it lasts about three to five hours. NovoRapid is taken for the control of your blood sugar during your meals. Insulin therapy that regulates your blood sugar levels between meals and during sleep is called long-acting or “basal” insulin. A regimen of a fast-acting insulin for meals, like Novolog, and a longer-acting basal insulin between meals is called Basal-Bolus Insulin Therapy. This provides you protection against the blood sugar spikes that happen when you eat, and it also offers you a steady amount of insulin for blood sugar protection the entire day.
It is a pre-filled, disposable insulin pen used for the convenient subcutaneous (under the skin) injection of NovoRapid. It has a low injection force, adjustable dial-a-dose setting, a large clear scale and an enhanced color branding that allows you to easily identify what insulin you are using. The FlexPen is easy to learn how to use, with a proven accuracy of dosing, and with its compact size it fits neatly in your purse, bag or pocket.
Common negative effects may include:
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Less common negative effects may include:
- Injection site reactions
- Weight gain
Low blood sugar, called hypoglycemia, is the most common side effect of insulin therapy.
Some signs and symptoms of low blood sugar include
- mood changes
Hypokalemia is the presence of abnormally low potassium in your blood. All insulin therapies cause a shift in potassium levels that can lead to hypokalemia. If it is left untreated it may cause ventricular arrhythmia, respiratory paralysis, or even death.
With all injectable therapies, there is the potential for injection site reactions, which may include swelling, pain, redness, bruising, itching, inflammation and hives. Consistent rotation of your injection sites reduces your risk of developing these reactions. These reactions tend to resolve themselves within a few days to weeks. The subcutaneous injection of NovoRapid can also result in localized skin reactions called lipodystrophy. This can present itself as thickening skin or pits of skin at the injection site. Changing your injection technique may help reduce the risk of getting these reactions.
Edema is the swelling caused by fluid retention and may occur with insulin therapy. It can happen in any part of the body; however, its most noticeable in the arms and legs, including the hands, ankles, and feet.
If you take NovoRapid together with other diabetes medications called thiazolidinediones (TZDs), there is the possibility of heart failure, even if you never have had heart issues before. Let your doctor know if you have any symptoms of heart failure which may include:
- Sudden weight gain
- Swelling in your feet or ankles
- Shortness of breath
How to use this medication
Before using this diabetes medication, be sure to read the full “Instructions for Use” and use your NovoLog FlexPen exactly as directed by your doctor. NovoRapid is fast-acting, so you should eat a meal within 5 to 10 minutes after taking it. The drug is taken subcutaneously in the abdomen, thigh or upper arm. As with all insulin, its absorption, onset and duration of action can be affected by exercise, stress, sickness, or changes in medications or meal patterns.
Your FlexPen should be rotated 180 degrees at least ten times or until it is uniform and cloudy before injection.
As with all injections, your subcutaneous injection sites should be consistently changed within the same region from one injection to the next to help reduce your risk for lipodystrophy.
If you are visually impaired, the medication should not be used without the help of a person who has good eyesight and is trained to use it the proper way.
Your unique NovoRapid dosing schedule has been created for you specifically by your doctor. Most prescriptions for this medication are made based on your type of diabetes, metabolic needs, blood sugar level monitoring, and history of treatment and use of insulin. Your insulin dose may need to be changed because of changes in weight, increased stress, illness, or change in diet or level of physical activity. You should always carefully monitor your blood sugar levels, particularly if you are switching to NovoLog from another insulin. A long-acting insulin is often used together with NovoLog to help control blood sugar levels between meals and at night time.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not take it if:
- You have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- You are allergic to any of its ingredients
Tell your doctor if you are:
- Pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding
- Taking a new prescription or an over-the-counter medication, including supplements
Until you know how this medication affects you, do not drive or operate machinery. Do not drink alcohol or use any medications that contain alcohol.
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