Jennifer Gold

Jennifer Gold

Most pills you need to swallow are available commercially in the dosage strengths commonly prescribed for patients. Or, if need be, a liquid or suspension might be available. But this is not always the case. Occasionally, the exact dose of medication you need is not available commercially, so part of a tablet or capsule may be needed.

People who take medicines to treat chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, asthma, or diabetes, need to fill their prescriptions regularly. Many pharmacies allow people to sign up for an automatic refill service so they don't run out of their medicines because they forget to call for refills. Once you sign up for this service, all your prescriptions for ongoing medicines are automatically refilled until there are no more refills left on the prescription. Each month, the pharmacy then notifies you when they are ready to be picked up.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011 00:00

Do not feed SimplyThick to premature infants

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned parents, caregivers, and healthcare providers to not feed SimplyThick to infants born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. SimplyThick is a thickening agent that is used to thicken liquids for adults or infants with swallowing problems.

Creams, ointments, gels, sprays, lotions and patches are medicines that will enter your body by penetrating through the skin and entering the bloodstream. They can cause side effects if you use too much of the medicine.

Liquid medicines, especially those required for small children and pets, are often measured using oral syringes. Sometimes, there is a device that comes with the syringe called an adapter. This allows the oral syringe to directly attach to the bottle, eliminating the step of pouring the liquid into a cup for withdrawal by an oral syringe.Using a syringe adapter is a convenient way to accurately measure and administer liquids. However, depending on the actual product, parents should be aware they are not always childproof.

Acetaminophen is the most commonly used medication for pain and fever in infants and children. The drug is commonly known as Tylenol, but it is also widely sold under its generic name acetaminophen. Until just recently, there have been two forms of liquid acetaminophen available, children's, which is 160 mg per 5 mL and infants, which is actually more concentrated at 80 mg per 0.8 mL.

Extra care is needed because Levemir is a high-alert medicine.

High-alert medicines have been proven to be safe and effective. But these medicines can cause serious injury if a mistake happens while taking them. This means that it is very important for you to know about this medicine and take it exactly as directed.

Top 10 List of Safety Tips for Levemir

When taking your medicine
1. Know your insulin. Levemir is a long-acting insulin that should be injected below the skin once or twice daily. (When taken in smaller doses, Levemir may be considered an intermediate-acting insulin.) When Levemir is taken once daily, inject the insulin with the evening meal or at bedtime. When taken twice daily, the evening dose should be taken with the evening meal, at bedtime, or 12 hours following the morning dose.
2. Prepare your insulin. A rapid- or short-acting insulin is often prescribed with Levemir. However, Levemir should never be mixed in the same syringe with other insulins before injection. Do not vigorously shake insulin before use.
3. Don't reuse or recycle. Discard used syringes/needles, pens, and lancets in a sealable hard plastic or metal container (e.g., empty detergent bottle, sharps container from your pharmacy). When the container is full, seal the lid before placing it in the trash. Don't reuse or recycle syringes, needles, or lancets.
4. Don't share. Even if you change the needle, sharing an insulin pen or syringe may spread diseases carried in the blood, including hepatitis and HIV.
To avoid serious side effects
5. t Avoid mix-ups. If you use more than one type of insulin, make sure each vial, pen, or cartridge looks different. If insulins look similar, put a rubber band around one type to help avoid mix-ups.
6. Check your medicine. There are dozens of different insulins on the market, many in similar looking vials, cartons, or pens. When you pick up your insulin at the pharmacy, be sure it's the right type of insulin.
7. Treat low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Carry a quick source of sugar, such as glucose tablets, candy, or juice, to treat low blood sugar. Signs of low blood sugar are listed below.
8. Test your blood sugar level. Ask your doctor how often you should test your blood sugar level. Keep a log of your blood sugar levels and how much insulin you take each day. Bring the log with you each time you visit your doctor.
9. Get a periodic lab test. You should have a hemoglobin A1c test at least twice a year to determine how well your diabetes is being controlled. The test shows an average of your blood sugar control over a 6- to 12-week period. Your goal is a hemoglobin A1c of 7% or less.
When you should call your doctor
10. Call for illness or changes in habits. Your insulin needs may change because of illness, stress, changes in eating habits or physical activity, and other medicines you take. Call your doctor if you experience these conditions. Never change your insulin dose unless advised by your doctor.

Signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

  • hunger
  • feeling shaky
  • fast heartbeat
  • lightheadedness
  • dizziness
  • sweating
  • headache
  • confusion
  • irritability

Hypoglycemia is caused by too much insulin or increased work or exercise without eating. Symptoms of hypoglycemia may be different for each person and can change from time to time. Hypoglycemia can affect your ability to think and react quickly, so driving a car could be risky. Severe hypoglycemia can lead to loss of consciousness, seizures, brain damage, or even death. Know the symptoms of hypoglycemia and treat it quickly by drinking juice or a sugar-containing beverage, or eating sugar or candy. Talk to your doctor if hypoglycemia is a problem for you.

 

 Topics Fast Facts
Generic name
  • insulin detemir (pronounced IN soo lin DE te mir) (no generic available)
Common brand names
  • Levemir, Levemir FlexPen (prefilled pen)
Type of insulin, onset, duration
  • Intermediate- to long-acting; begins working in 3 to 4 hours and lasts 6 to 23 hours
  • Duration of effects depends on the dose; higher doses last longer than lower doses
Uses
  • Treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus to improve control of blood glucose
When to take the insulin
  • Inject Levemir under the skin once or twice daily as directed by your doctor
  • When taken once daily, inject the insulin with the evening meal or at bedtime; when taken twice daily, the evening dose should be taken with the evening meal, at bedtime, or 12 hours following the morning dose
  • Inject Levemir at the same time(s) each day
Usual dose
  • The dose and frequency of administering insulin are unique to each individual
  • Daily doses of insulin are based upon body weight, diet, activity level, age, individual sensitivity to insulin, type of diabetes (1 or 2)
Injecting the insulin
  • Do not mix Levemir with other insulins
  • Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to show you how to draw your dose of insulin into a syringe and inject it, or select the dose on a pen device and inject the insulin
  • Do not use Levemir with an external insulin pump
  • Before injecting a dose, take the chill off refrigerated insulin by gently rolling the vial or pen between the palm of both hands (do not shake the insulin vigorously)
  • Inject the insulin below the skin (not in the muscle) in the upper thighs, upper arms, buttocks, or abdomen; the injection site should be changed (rotated) with each dose
  • Don't use Levemir if the insulin appears cloudy instead of clear and colorless
Special instructions and precautions
  • Follow the diet prescribed by your doctor; keep your eating habits and exercise regular
  • Tell the doctor who prescribes insulin about any new medicines you are taking
  • Do not share insulin pens or syringes/needles with others
Safety during pregnancy/breastfeeding
  • Talk to your doctor about managing your diabetes during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Storage and disposal
  • Store unopened vials and pens in the refrigerator until first use (do not freeze) or at room temperature for 42 days
  • After first use, store vials in the refrigerator or at room temperature; discard after 42 days
  • After first use, store insulin pens at room temperature (do not refrigerate); discard after 42 days
  • Safely discard used syringes, needles, pens, and lancets (safety tip #3, other side)
Most common side effects
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar); see signs and treatment of hypoglycemia above
  • Low potassium blood levels, fast heart rate, fatigue, headache, hunger, weight gain
Other conditions to report to your doctor
  • Chest pain or palpitations, persistent fatigue, confusion, numbness of mouth, lips, or tongue, muscle weakness, tremors, vision changes, swelling of feet, flu-like symptoms
  • Swelling, itching, redness, warmth, or pain at the injection site
Herbals that should not be taken with Levemir
  • These herbals can lower your blood glucose: chromium, garlic, gymnema
Prescription medicines that should not be taken with Levemir
  • Many prescription medicines can affect your blood sugar levels and insulin needs
  • Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, particularly new medicines
Special tests your doctor may prescribe
  • Patients are often asked to test their own blood glucose using home testing equipment, test their urine for sugar and acetone, and take their blood pressure regularly
  • To monitor your diabetes, your doctor may periodically test your blood levels for hemoglobin A1c, potassium, cholesterol, and substances that measure kidney function

This information does not replace the need to follow your doctor's instructions and read the drug information leaflet provided with your prescription.

This project was supported by grant number R18HS017910 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not represent the official views of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Extra care is needed because Apidra is a high-alert medicine.

High-alert medicines have been proven to be safe and effective. But these medicines can cause serious injury if a mistake happens while taking them. This means that it is very important for you to know about this medicine and take it exactly as directed.

Top 10 List of Safety Tips for Apidra

When taking your medicine
1. Know your insulin. Apidra is a rapid-acting insulin that should be injected below the skin within 15 minutes before or 20 minutes after starting a meal. Have food ready before injection. After injecting the insulin, do not delay eating or skip a meal.
2. Prepare your insulin. Apidra can be mixed with insulin NPH (intermediate-acting insulin), but always draw Apidra into the syringe first and use immediately after preparing the mixture. Do not mix Apidra with other insulins if using an insulin pen or external pump. Do not vigorously shake insulin before use.
3. Don’t reuse or recycle. Dispose of used syringes/needles, pens, and lancets in a sealable hard plastic or metal container (e.g., empty detergent bottle or sharps container from your pharmacy). When the container is full, seal the lid before placing it in the trash. Do not reuse or recycle syringes/needles or lancets.
4. Don’t share. Even if you change the needle, sharing an insulin pen or syringe may spread diseases carried in the blood, including hepatitis and HIV.
To avoid serious side effects
5. Avoid mix-ups. If you use more than one type of insulin, make sure each vial or pen looks different to avoid mix-ups. For example, Apidra and Lantus (a long-acting insulin) are both clear medicines in elongated vials or pens that can look similar. To make them look different, put a rubber band around one type of insulin.
6. Check your medicine. Handwritten prescriptions for insulin glulisine (Apidra) can be misread as insulin glargine (Lantus, another type of insulin). When you pick up your insulin at the pharmacy, be sure it's the right type of insulin.
7. Treat low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Always carry a quick source of sugar, such as glucose tablets, candy, or juice, to treat low blood sugar. Signs of low blood sugar are listed below.
8. Test your blood sugar. Ask your doctor how often you should test your blood sugar. Keep a log of your blood sugar levels and how much insulin you take each day. Bring the log each time you visit your doctor.
9. Get a periodic lab test. You should have a hemoglobin A1c test at least twice a year to determine how well your diabetes is being controlled. The test shows an average of your blood sugar control over a 6- to 12-week period. Your goal is a hemoglobin A1c of 7% or less.
When you should call your doctor
10. Call for illness or changes in habits. Your insulin needs may change because of illness, stress, changes in eating habits or physical activity, and other medicines you take. Call your doctor if you experience these conditions. Never change your insulin dose unless advised by your doctor.

 

      apidrapen

 

Signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

  • hunger
  • feeling shaky
  • fast heartbeat
  • lightheadedness
  • dizziness
  • sweating
  • headache
  • confusion
  • irritability

Hypoglycemia is caused by too much insulin or increased work or exercise without eating. Symptoms of hypoglycemia may be different for each person and can change from time to time. Hypoglycemia can affect your ability to think and react quickly, so driving a car could be risky. Severe hypoglycemia can lead to loss of consciousness, seizures, brain damage, or even death. Know the symptoms of hypoglycemia and treat it quickly by drinking juice or a sugar-containing beverage, or eating sugar or candy. Talk to your doctor if hypoglycemia is a problem for you.

 

Topics

Fast Facts

Generic name
  • insulin glulisine (pronounced IN soo lin gloo LIS een) (no generic available)
Common brand names
  • Apidra, Apidra SoloSTAR (prefilled pen)
  • Apidra cartridges are used with OptiClik pens
Type of insulin, onset, duration
  • Rapid-acting; begins working in 12 to 30 minutes and lasts 3 to 4 hours
Uses
  • Treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus to improve control of blood glucose
When to take the insulin
  • Inject Apidra under the skin within 15 minutes before or 20 minutes after starting a meal
Usual dose
  • The frequency and dose of insulin are unique to each individual
  • Daily doses of insulin are based upon body weight, diet, activity level, age, individual sensitivity to insulin, type of diabetes (1 or 2)
  • Multiple daily doses according to blood glucose levels are typical
Injecting the insulin
  • See safety tip #2 to determine if Apidra can be mixed with another insulin before injection
  • If you have questions, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to show you how to draw your dose of insulin into a syringe and inject it, select the dose on a pen device and inject the insulin, or use an insulin pump
  • If using an OptiClik pen, be sure you are not holding the pen upside down when viewing the dose in the window (see pictures)
  • Before injecting a dose, take the chill off refrigerated insulin by gently rolling the vial, pen, or cartridge between the palm of both hands (do not shake the insulin vigorously
  • Inject the insulin below the skin (not in the muscle) in the upper thighs, upper arms, buttocks, or abdomen; the injection site should be changed (rotated) with each dose
  • Don't use Apidra if the insulin appears cloudy instead of clear and colorless
Special instructions and precautions
  • Inject Apidra within 15 minutes before or 20 minutes after starting a meal
  • Follow the diet prescribed by your doctor; keep your eating habits and exercise regular
  • Tell the doctor who prescribes insulin about any new medicines you are taking
  • Do not share insulin pens, cartridges, or syringes/needles with others
Safety during pregnancy/breastfeeding
  • Talk to your doctor about managing your diabetes during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Storage and disposal
  • Store unopened vials, cartridges, and pens in the refrigerator until first use (do not freeze)
  • After first use, store vials in the refrigerator or at room temperature; discard after 28 days
  • After first use, store cartridges and insulin pens at room temperature (do not refrigerate); discard after 28 days
  • Safely dispose of used syringes/needles, pens, and lancets (safety tip #3)
Most common side effects
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar); see signs and treatment of hypoglycemia above
  • Low potassium blood levels, fast heart rate, fatigue, headache, hunger, weight gain
Other conditions to report to your doctor
  • Chest pain or palpitations, persistent fatigue, confusion, numbness of mouth, lips, or tongue, muscle weakness or tremors, vision changes, swelling of feet, flu-like symptoms
  • Swelling, itching, redness, warmth, or pain at the injection site
Herbals that should not be taken with Apidra
  • These herbals can lower your blood glucose: chromium, garlic, gymnema
Prescription medicines that should not be taken with Apidra
  • Many prescription medicines can affect your blood sugar levels and insulin needs
  • Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, particularly new medicines
Special tests your doctor may prescribe
  • Patients are often asked to test their own blood glucose using home testing equipment, test their urine for sugar and acetone, and take their blood pressure regularly
  • To monitor your diabetes, your doctor may periodically test your blood levels for hemoglobin A1c, potassium, cholesterol, and substances that measure kidney function

This information does not replace the need to follow your doctor's instructions and read the drug information leaflet provided with your prescription.

This project was supported by grant number R18HS017910 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not represent the official views of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Extra care is needed because Lantus is a high-alert medicine.

High-alert medicines have been proven to be safe and effective. But these medicines can cause serious injury if a mistake happens while taking them. This means that it is very important for you to know about this medicine and take it exactly as directed.

Top 10 List of Safety Tips for Lantus

When taking your medicine
1. Know your insulin. Lantus is a long-acting insulin that should be injected below the skin once daily as directed by your doctor. On rare occasions, your physician may direct you to take Lantus two times daily. Take Lantus the same time every day.
2. Prepare your insulin. A rapid- or short-acting insulin is often prescribed with Lantus. However, Lantus should never be mixed in the same syringe with other insulins before injection. Do not vigorously shake insulin before use.
3. Don't reuse or recycle. Dispose of used syringes/needles, pens, and lancets in a sealable hard plastic or metal container (e.g., empty detergent bottle, sharps container from your pharmacy). When the container is full, seal the lid before placing it in the trash. Do not reuse or recycle syringes/needles or lancets.
4. Don't share. Even if you change the needle, sharing an insulin pen or syringe may spread diseases carried in the blood, including hepatitis and HIV.
To avoid serious side effects
5. Avoid mix-ups. List If you use more than one type of insulin, make sure each vial or pen looks different to avoid mix-ups. Lantus is a long-acting insulin that may look like a rapid- or short-acting insulin. For example, Lantus and Apidra (a rapid-acting insulin) are both clear medicines in elongated vials (or insulin pens) that look similar. To make them look different, put a rubber band around one type of insulin.
6. Check your medicine. There are many types of insulins that come in similar looking vials, cartons, or pens. When you pick up your insulin at the pharmacy, be sure it's the right type of insulin.
7. Treat low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Always carry a quick source of sugar, such as glucose tablets, candy, or juice, to treat low blood sugar. Signs of low blood sugar are listed below.
8. Test your blood sugar. Ask your doctor how often you should test your blood sugar. Keep a log of your blood sugar levels and how much insulin you take each day. Bring the log each time you visit the doctor.
9. Get a periodic lab test. You should have a hemoglobin A1c test at least twice a year to determine how well your diabetes is being controlled. The test shows an average of your blood sugar control over a 6- to 12-week period. Your goal is a hemoglobin A1c of 7% or less.
When you should call your doctor
10. Call for illness or changes in habits. Your insulin needs may change because of illness, stress, changes in eating habits or physical activity, and other medicines you take. Call your doctor if you experience these conditions. Never change your insulin dose unless advised by your doctor.

 

      lantuspen

 

Signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

  • hunger
  • feeling shaky
  • fast heartbeat
  • lightheadedness
  • dizziness
  • sweating
  • headache
  • confusion
  • irritability

Hypoglycemia is caused by too much insulin or increased work or exercise without eating. Symptoms of hypoglycemia may be different for each person and can change from time to time. Hypoglycemia can affect your ability to think and react quickly, so driving a car could be risky. Severe hypoglycemia can lead to loss of consciousness, seizures, brain damage, or even death. Know the symptoms of hypoglycemia and treat it quickly by drinking juice or a sugar-containing beverage, or eating sugar or candy. Talk to your doctor if hypoglycemia is a problem for you.

 

 Topics Fast Facts
Generic name
  • insulin glargine (pronounced IN soo lin GLAR jeen) (no generic available)
Common brand names
  • Lantus, Lantus SoloSTAR (prefilled pen)
  • OptiClik pens are used with Lantus cartridges
Type of insulin, onset, duration
  • Long-acting; begins working in 3 to 4 hours and lasts up to 24 hours or more
Uses
  • Treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus to improve control of blood glucose
When to take the insulin
  • Lantus should be injected under the skin once daily at the same time each day
  • In rare circumstances, Lantus may be taken twice daily if prescribed by your doctor
Usual dose
  • The frequency and dose of insulin are unique to each individual
  • Daily doses of insulin are based upon body weight, diet, activity level, age, individual sensitivity to insulin, type of diabetes (1 or 2)
  • Monitor glucose levels more closely during the first few weeks of taking Lantus
Injecting the insulin
  • Do not dilute or mix Lantus with other insulins
  • Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to show you how to draw your dose of insulin into a syringe and inject it, or how to select the dose on a pen device and inject the insulin
  • Lantus should not be used with an insulin pump or injected into a vein
  • If using an OptiClik pen, be sure you are not holding the pen upside down when viewing the dose in the window (see pictures on bottom of other side of page)
  • Before injecting a dose, take the chill off refrigerated insulin by gently rolling the vial, pen, or cartridge between the palm of both hands (do not shake the insulin vigorously)
  • Inject the insulin below the skin (not in the muscle) in the upper thighs, upper arms, buttocks, or abdomen; the injection site should be changed (rotated) with each dose
  • Don't use Lantus if the insulin appears cloudy instead of clear and colorless
Special instructions and precautions
  • Inject Lantus at the same time each day
  • Follow the diet prescribed by your doctor; keep your eating habits and exercise regular
  • Tell the doctor who prescribes insulin about any new medicines you are taking
  • Do not share insulin pens, cartridges, or syringes/needles with others
Safety during pregnancy/breastfeeding
  • Talk to your doctor about managing your diabetes during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Storage and disposal
  • Store unopened vials, cartridges, and pens in the refrigerator until first use (do not freeze)
  • After first use, store vials in the refrigerator or at room temperature; discard after 28 days
  • After first use, store cartridges and insulin pens at room temperature (do not refrigerate); discard after 28 days
  • Safely dispose of used syringes/needles, pens, and lancets (safety tip #3)
Most common side effects
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar); see signs and treatment of hypoglycemia above
  • Low potassium blood levels, fast heart rate, fatigue, headache, hunger, weight gain
Other conditions to report to your doctor
  • Chest pain or palpitations, persistent fatigue, confusion, numbness of mouth, lips, or tongue, muscle weakness or tremors, vision changes, swelling of feet, flu-like symptoms
  • Swelling, itching, redness, warmth, or pain at the injection site
Herbals that should not be taken with Lantus
  • These herbals can lower your blood glucose: chromium, garlic, gymnema
Prescription medicines that should not be taken with Lantus
  • Many prescription medicines can affect your blood sugar levels and insulin needs
  • Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, particularly new medicines
Special tests your doctor may prescribe
  • Patients are often asked to test their own blood glucose using home testing equipment, test their urine for sugar and acetone, and take their blood pressure regularly
  • To monitor your diabetes, your doctor may periodically test your blood levels for hemoglobin A1c, potassium, cholesterol, and substances that measure kidney function

This information does not replace the need to follow your doctor's instructions and read the drug information leaflet provided with your prescription.

This project was supported by grant number R18HS017910 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not represent the official views of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Extra care is needed because NovoLog is a high-alert medicine.

High-alert medicines have been proven to be safe and effective. But these medicines can cause serious injury if a mistake happens while taking them. This means that it is very important for you to know about this medicine and take it exactly as directed.

Top 10 List of Safety Tips for NovoLog

When taking your medicine
1. Know your insulin. NovoLog is a rapid-acting form of insulin that should be injected below the skin 5 to 10 minutes before meals. Have food ready before injection. After injecting the insulin, do not skip a meal or delay eating.
2. Prepare your insulin. An intermediate- or long-acting insulin is often prescribed with NovoLog. NovoLog can be mixed with insulin NPH (intermediate-acting insulin), but always draw NovoLog into the syringe first. Never mix NovoLog with Lantus. Do not mix NovoLog with other insulins if using an insulin pen or external pump. Do not vigorously shake insulin before use.
3. Don't reuse or recycle. Dispose of used syringes/needles, pens, and lancets in a sealable hard plastic or metal container (e.g., empty detergent bottle, special sharps container from your pharmacy). When the container is full, seal the lid before placing it in the trash. Do not reuse or recycle syringes/needles or lancets.
4. Don't share. Even if you change the needle, sharing an insulin pen or syringe may spread diseases carried in the blood, including hepatitis and HIV.
To avoid serious side effects
5. Avoid mix-ups. If you use more than one type of insulin, make each vial or pen look different by putting a rubber band around one type of insulin.
6. Check your medicine. NovoLog can be confused with Humalog (another rapid-acting insulin). When you pick up your insulin at the pharmacy, be sure it's the right type of insulin.
7. Treat low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Carry a quick source of sugar, such as glucose tablets, candy, or juice, to treat low blood sugar. Signs of low blood sugar are listed below.
8. Test your blood sugar level. Ask your doctor how often you should test your blood sugar level. Keep a log of your blood sugar levels and how much insulin you take each day. Bring the log with you each time you visit your doctor.
9. Get a periodic lab test. You should have a hemoglobin A1c test at least twice a year to determine how well your diabetes is being controlled. The test shows an average of your blood sugar control over a 6- to 12-week period. Your goal is a hemoglobin A1c of 7% or less.
When you should call your doctor
10. Call for illness or changes in habits. Your insulin needs may change because of illness, stress, changes in eating habits or physical activity, and other medicines you take. Call your doctor if you experience these conditions. Never change your insulin dose unless advised by your doctor.

Signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

  • hunger
  • feeling shaky
  • fast heartbeat
  • lightheadedness
  • dizziness
  • sweating
  • headache
  • confusion
  • irritability

Hypoglycemia is caused by too much insulin or increased work or exercise without eating. Symptoms of hypoglycemia may be different for each person and can change from time to time. Hypoglycemia can affect your ability to think and react quickly, so driving a car could be risky. Severe hypoglycemia can lead to loss of consciousness, seizures, brain damage, or even death. Know the symptoms of hypoglycemia and treat it quickly by drinking juice or a sugar-containing beverage, or eating sugar or candy. Talk to your doctor if hypoglycemia is a problem for you.

 

 Topics Fast Facts
Generic name
  • insulin aspart (pronounced IN soo lin AS part) (no generic available)
Common brand names
  • NovoLog, NovoLog FlexPen
  • NovoPen Junior (for kids) and NovoPen 3 are used with NovoLog PenFill cartridges
Type of insulin, onset, duration
  • Rapid-acting insulin; begins working in 12 to 18 minutes and lasts for 3 to 5 hours.
Uses
  • Treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus to improve control of blood glucose
When to take the insulin
  • NovoLog should be injected under the skin 5 to 10 minutes before a meal; meal should be eaten no longer than 10 minutes after injection
Usual dose
  • The frequency and dose of insulin are unique to each individual
  • Daily doses of insulin are based upon body weight, diet, activity level, age, individual sensitivity to insulin, type of diabetes (1 or 2)
  • Multiple daily doses according to blood glucose levels are typical
Injecting the insulin
  • See safety tip #2 (other side of page) to determine if NovoLog can be mixed with another insulin before injection
  • Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to show you how to draw your dose of insulin into a syringe and inject it, select the dose on a pen device and inject the insulin, or use an insulin pump
  • Before injecting a dose, take the chill off refrigerated insulin by gently rolling the vial, pen, or cartridge between the palm of both hands (do not shake the insulin vigorously)
  • Using a syringe or insulin pen, inject the insulin below the skin (not in the muscle) in the upper thighs, upper arms, buttocks, or abdomen; the site of the injection should be changed (rotated) with each dose
  • Don't use NovoLog if the insulin appears cloudy instead of clear and colorless
Special instructions and precautions
  • Take within 10 minutes of eating a meal
  • Follow the diet prescribed by your doctor
  • Keep your eating habits and exercise regular
  • Do not share insulin pens, cartridges, or syringes/needles with others
Safety during pregnancy/breastfeeding
  • Talk to your doctor about managing your diabetes during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Storage and disposal
  • Store unopened vials, cartridges, and pens in the refrigerator until first use (do not freeze)
  • After first use, store vials in the refrigerator or at room temperature; discard after 28 days
  • After first use, store cartridges and insulin pens at room temperature (do not refrigerate); discard after 28 days
  • Safely dispose of used syringes/needles, pens, and lancets (safety tip #3, other side)
Most common side effects
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar); see signs and treatment of hypoglycemia above
  • Low potassium blood levels, fast heart rate, fatigue, headache, hunger
Other conditions to report to your doctor
  • Chest pain or palpitations, persistent fatigue, confusion, numbness of mouth, lips, or tongue, muscle weakness or tremors, vision changes, flu-like symptoms
  • Swelling, itching, redness, warmth, or pain at the injection site
Herbals that should not be taken with NovoLog
  • These herbals can lower your blood glucose: chromium, garlic, gymnema
Prescription medicines that should not be taken with NovoLog
  • Many prescription medicines can affect your blood sugar levels and insulin needs
  • Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, particularly new medicines
Special tests your doctor may prescribe
  • Patients are often asked to test their own blood glucose using home testing equipment, test their urine for sugar and acetone, and take their blood pressure regularly
  • To monitor your diabetes, your doctor may periodically test your blood levels for hemoglobin A1c, potassium, cholesterol, and substances that measure kidney function

This information does not replace the need to follow your doctor's instructions and read the drug information leaflet provided with your prescription.

This project was supported by grant number R18HS017910 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not represent the official views of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.