What are NovoLog PenFill Cartridges?
NovoLog PenFill Cartridges are insulin cartridges for use in your insulin injection pen to help control high blood sugar levels. Insulin aspart is the generic and chemical name for brand NovoLog. It is known as NovoRapid in Canada, which is what you will receive when you order NovoLog from CanadianInsulin.com. Insulin aspart is a fast-acting, man-made insulin that begins to work about 15 minutes after injection and keeps working for three to five hours. These Cartridges are filled with 3 mL of insulin aspart and come in a pack of five.
What are they used for?
Insulin aspart (NovoLog) is used to help improve blood sugar control in adults and children with diabetes who require insulin for the control of their blood sugar levels. It is commonly used together with a long-acting or intermediate-acting insulin for a full day of insulin protection against high blood sugar levels. These cartridges are specifically designed for use in your insulin injection pen.
How do they work?
Insulin aspart is genetically manufactured to have a structure that is nearly identical to naturally occurring insulin and, therefore, its mode of action is similar. Insulin is a hormone that is naturally produced in your pancreas, a large organ near your stomach. People who have diabetes either do not produce enough insulin, or their body cannot properly use the insulin it does produce. Insulin is one of the most important compounds in your body for the breakdown of food and the control of your metabolism. It lowers blood sugar levels by allowing for the absorption of sugar from out of the blood and into fat, muscle and liver cells. It also helps lower blood sugar by blocking the production of sugar in the liver and its release into your bloodstream.
Insulin aspart is a fast-acting, or mealtime insulin that works faster and for a shorter amount of time than naturally produced human insulin. It starts to work approximately 15 minutes after the injection, peaks after about one hour, and continues working for three to five hours more. Due to its short action, insulin aspart is normally taken in combination with an intermediate-acting or long-acting insulin to provide you with insulin protection for the entire day.
Common negative effects may include:
- Hypoglycemia (low sugar levels in your blood)
Less common negative effects may include:
- Injection site reactions
Hypoglycemia, or simply low blood sugar, is the most common side effect of all insulin therapy. Some signs of hypoglycemia include irritability anxiety, sweating, confusion, mood changes, headache and dizziness.
Hypokalemia is the medical term for having low potassium levels in your blood. Insulin therapy can cause a shift in potassium levels that, if left untreated, may cause ventricular arrhythmia, respiratory paralysis, and even death.
As with all injectable therapies there is always the potential for injection site reactions. Some common injection site reactions may include pain, swelling, bruising, redness, itching, hives and inflammation. If you consistently rotate your injection sites, this will reduce your risk of developing these reactions. Subcutaneous injection can also cause skin reactions called lipodystrophy. This can be either lipohypertrophy, which is skin thickening, or lipoatrophy, which is when pits develop at the injection site. Improving your injection technique can help reduce the risk of getting these reactions.
Edema may also occur, which is swelling caused by fluid retention. This may occur with insulin therapy. It can occur in any part of your body, but it is most noticeable in your arms and legs, including your hands, ankles, and feet.
If you are taking other diabetes medications called thiazolidinediones (TZDs) along with NovoRapid, there is a possibility of developing heart failure, even if you never have had heart problems previously. If you have any of the following symptoms of heart failure, let your doctor know immediately:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in your feet or ankles (edema)
- Sudden weight gain
How to take this medication
NovoLog insulin aspart is fast-acting, so you should eat your meals within 5 to 10 minutes after taking it. It is taken through an injection under the skin, which should be administered either in the thigh, abdomen or upper arm. Remember to change your injection sites within the same region to help decrease the likelihood of getting any injection site reactions. As with all insulin therapies, the onset, absorption and duration of activity is affected by stress, exercise, sickness, or changes in medications and meal patterns.
Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine you need to use based on your type of diabetes, blood sugar level monitoring, personal metabolic needs, and your history of treatment and use of insulin. It is important to manage your diabetes very carefully. Too much or too little insulin can cause you serious problems. You should always closely monitor your blood sugar levels, especially if you are switching to NovoRapid from another insulin. A longer-acting insulin is recommended to be used together with NovoLog to provide you with insulin protection during the time between doses.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not use this insulin if:
- You are allergic (hypersensitive) to insulin aspart, metacresol or any of the other ingredients in the NovoLog vial
- Have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- The insulin is not clear and colorless
- The cartridge is dropped, damaged or crushed
- The insulin has not been stored properly or if it has been frozen
Let your doctor know if you:
- Have any issues with your kidneys or liver
- Are sick
- Suffer from diarrhea, vomiting or eat less than usual
- Have issues with your pituitary, adrenal or thyroid glands
- Drink alcohol
- Drive or use tools or machines
- Have a fever, infection or have had surgery recently
- Are pregnant, or planning a pregnancy, or are breastfeeding
- Are planning to travel over multiple time zones
- Are exercising more than usual
- Are planning on changing your diet
Thiazolidinediones (TZDs), in combination with the medication in these cartridges, can cause heart failure to develop. The combination of insulin with TZDs is not recommended for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Remember to never share an injection pen or cartridge with anybody else, even if you have changed the needle. Serious infections or diseases can be passed to you, or from you to others.
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