NovoLog (Page 3 of 8)


A number of substances affect glucose metabolism and may require insulin dose adjustment and particularly close monitoring.

The following are examples of substances that may increase the blood-glucose-lowering effect and susceptibility to hypoglycemia: oral antidiabetic products, pramlintide, ACE inhibitors, disopyramide, fibrates, fluoxetine, monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, propoxyphene, salicylates, somatostatin analog (e.g., octreotide), sulfonamide antibiotics.
The following are examples of substances that may reduce the blood-glucose-lowering effect: corticosteroids, niacin, danazol, diuretics, sympathomimetic agents (e.g., epinephrine, salbutamol, terbutaline), isoniazid, phenothiazine derivatives, somatropin, thyroid hormones, estrogens, progestogens (e.g., in oral contraceptives), atypical antipsychotics.
Beta-blockers, clonidine, lithium salts, and alcohol may either potentiate or weaken the blood-glucose-lowering effect of insulin.
Pentamidine may cause hypoglycemia, which may sometimes be followed by hyperglycemia.
The signs of hypoglycemia may be reduced or absent in patients taking sympatholytic products such as beta-blockers, clonidine, guanethidine, and reserpine.


8.1 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category B. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defects, loss, or other adverse outcome regardless of drug exposure. This background risk is increased in pregnancies complicated by hyperglycemia and may be decreased with good metabolic control. It is essential for patients with diabetes or history of gestational diabetes to maintain good metabolic control before conception and throughout pregnancy. Insulin requirements may decrease during the first trimester, generally increase during the second and third trimesters, and rapidly decline after delivery. Careful monitoring of glucose control is essential in these patients. Therefore, female patients should be advised to tell their physician if they intend to become, or if they become pregnant while taking NovoLog.

An open-label, randomized study compared the safety and efficacy of NovoLog (n=157) versus regular human insulin (n=165) in 322 pregnant women with type 1 diabetes. Two-thirds of the enrolled patients were already pregnant when they entered the study. Because only one-third of the patients enrolled before conception, the study was not large enough to evaluate the risk of congenital malformations. Both groups achieved a mean HbA1c of ~ 6% during pregnancy, and there was no significant difference in the incidence of maternal hypoglycemia.

Subcutaneous reproduction and teratology studies have been performed with NovoLog and regular human insulin in rats and rabbits. In these studies, NovoLog was given to female rats before mating, during mating, and throughout pregnancy, and to rabbits during organogenesis. The effects of NovoLog did not differ from those observed with subcutaneous regular human insulin. NovoLog, like human insulin, caused pre- and post-implantation losses and visceral/skeletal abnormalities in rats at a dose of 200 U/kg/day (approximately 32 times the human subcutaneous dose of 1.0 U/kg/day, based on U/body surface area) and in rabbits at a dose of 10 U/kg/day (approximately three times the human subcutaneous dose of 1.0 U/kg/day, based on U/body surface area). The effects are probably secondary to maternal hypoglycemia at high doses. No significant effects were observed in rats at a dose of 50 U/kg/day and in rabbits at a dose of 3 U/kg/day. These doses are approximately 8 times the human subcutaneous dose of 1.0 U/kg/day for rats and equal to the human subcutaneous dose of 1.0 U/kg/day for rabbits, based on U/body surface area.

8.3 Nursing Mothers

It is unknown whether insulin aspart is excreted in human milk. Use of NovoLog is compatible with breastfeeding, but women with diabetes who are lactating may require adjustments of their insulin doses.

8.4 Pediatric Use

NovoLog is approved for use in children for subcutaneous daily injections and for subcutaneous continuous infusion by external insulin pump. NovoLog has not been studied in pediatric patients younger than 2 years of age. NovoLog has not been studied in pediatric patients with type 2 diabetes. Please see Section 14 CLINICAL STUDIES for summaries of clinical studies.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Of the total number of patients (n= 1,375) treated with NovoLog in 3 controlled clinical studies, 2.6% (n=36) were 65 years of age or over. One-half of these patients had type 1 diabetes (18/1285) and the other half had type 2 diabetes (18/90). The HbA1c response to NovoLog, as compared to human insulin, did not differ by age, particularly in patients with type 2 diabetes. Additional studies in larger populations of patients 65 years of age or over are needed to permit conclusions regarding the safety of NovoLog in elderly compared to younger patients. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic studies to assess the effect of age on the onset of NovoLog action have not been performed.


Excess insulin administration may cause hypoglycemia and, particularly when given intravenously, hypokalemia. Mild episodes of hypoglycemia usually can be treated with oral glucose. Adjustments in drug dosage, meal patterns, or exercise, may be needed. More severe episodes with coma, seizure, or neurologic impairment may be treated with intramuscular/subcutaneous glucagon or concentrated intravenous glucose. Sustained carbohydrate intake and observation may be necessary because hypoglycemia may recur after apparent clinical recovery. Hypokalemia must be corrected appropriately.


NovoLog (insulin aspart [rDNA origin] injection) is a rapid-acting human insulin analog used to lower blood glucose. NovoLog is homologous with regular human insulin with the exception of a single substitution of the amino acid proline by aspartic acid in position B28, and is produced by recombinant DNA technology utilizing Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker’s yeast). Insulin aspart has the empirical formula C256 H381 N65 079 S6 and a molecular weight of 5825.8.

Fig. 1 -- Structural Formula of Insulin Aspart
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Figure 1. Structural formula of insulin aspart.

NovoLog is a sterile, aqueous, clear, and colorless solution, that contains insulin aspart 100 Units/mL, glycerin 16 mg/mL, phenol 1.50 mg/mL, metacresol 1.72 mg/mL, zinc 19.6 mcg/mL, disodium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate 1.25 mg/mL, sodium chloride 0.58 mg/mL and water for injection. NovoLog has a pH of 7.2-7.6. Hydrochloric acid 10% and/or sodium hydroxide 10% may be added to adjust pH.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

The primary activity of NovoLog is the regulation of glucose metabolism. Insulins, including NovoLog, bind to the insulin receptors on muscle and fat cells and lower blood glucose by facilitating the cellular uptake of glucose and simultaneously inhibiting the output of glucose from the liver.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Studies in normal volunteers and patients with diabetes demonstrated that subcutaneous administration of NovoLog has a more rapid onset of action than regular human insulin.

In a study in patients with type 1 diabetes (n=22), the maximum glucose-lowering effect of NovoLog occurred between 1 and 3 hours after subcutaneous injection (see Figure 2). The duration of action for NovoLog is 3 to 5 hours. The time course of action of insulin and insulin analogs such as NovoLog may vary considerably in different individuals or within the same individual. The parameters of NovoLog activity (time of onset, peak time and duration) as designated in Figure 2 should be considered only as general guidelines. The rate of insulin absorption and onset of activity is affected by the site of injection, exercise, and other variables [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) ].

Fig. 2 -- Pharmacodynamics Graph showing Maximum Glucose-Lowering Effect of NovoLog
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Figure 2. Serial mean serum glucose collected up to 6 hours following a single pre-meal dose of NovoLog (solid curve) or regular human insulin (hatched curve) injected immediately before a meal in 22 patients with type 1 diabetes.

A double-blind, randomized, two-way cross-over study in 16 patients with type 1 diabetes demonstrated that intravenous infusion of NovoLog resulted in a blood glucose profile that was similar to that after intravenous infusion with regular human insulin. NovoLog or human insulin was infused until the patient’s blood glucose decreased to 36 mg/dL, or until the patient demonstrated signs of hypoglycemia (rise in heart rate and onset of sweating), defined as the time of autonomic reaction (R) (see Figure 3).

Fig. 3 -- Pharmacodynamics Graph -- Time of Autonomic Reaction
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Figure 3. Mean blood glucose profiles following intravenous infusion of NovoLog (hatched curve) and regular human insulin (solid curve) in 16 patients with type 1 diabetes. R represents the time of autonomic reaction.

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