Thursday, October 23, 2014

Friday, October 15, 2010 George, Community Member, asks

Q: what is the difference between Novalog and Humalog?

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Answers (1)
Ann Bartlett, Health Guide
10/23/10 11:41pm

Novolog is made my Novo Nordisk and Humalog is made by Eli Lilly. They are very similar, here is some dated(2007) info I found from another site.  I've asked Health Central experts to see if they can give more updated material.  If I find some that I have missed in our archives, I'll post that too. 


"Insulin aspart (NovoLog, made by Novo Nordisk) and insulin lispro (Humalog, made by Eli Lilly) are rapid-acting insulin analogs indicated for treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Some institutions do substitute these agents for one another. Their pharmacokinetic parameters as reported in the product information are very similar.[1,2] A number of small clinical trials have been performed comparing their pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles, which suggest that few meaningful differences exist between the 2 products.

A randomized, double-blind, cross-over trial of patients with type 1 diabetes was performed to determine differences in the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles of insulin aspart and insulin lispro. Twenty-four subjects were given a single prandial dose of each agent tailored to individual dosing needs. Blood samples drawn before and after insulin administration demonstrated no statistical differences in relative blood glucose concentrations between the 2 agents over a 6-hour period. Similarly, there were no statistical differences in pharmacokinetic parameters, including peak insulin concentrations, insulin area-under-the-curve (AUC) at 4 and 6 hours, and time to peak insulin concentrations. The authors concluded that the 2 agents were equally effective.[3]

However, an earlier study also performed in subjects with type 1 diabetes found some differences in pharmacokinetic parameters between the 2 agents. Fourteen subjects were randomized to a single dose of each agent before a standardized breakfast, with the alternate agent given to each subject after a 5- to 21-day washout period. While there were no statistically significant differences in glucose levels or insulin AUC between the agents over a 4-hour period, insulin lispro demonstrated more rapid absorption and elimination.[4] These differences were statistically significant, but the clinical importance remains questionable, given the similar effects seen on glucose values.

A third study done in healthy volunteers had contrasting results, with insulin aspart demonstrating more rapid absorption and higher peak insulin concentrations. Again, absolute differences in pharmacokinetic parameters were statistically significant but small, and likely insignificant from a clinical standpoint.[5]

Any differences in pharmacokinetic parameters are unlikely to be clinically relevant, and as such, these 2 agents may be interchanged. However, it is important to keep in mind that the pharmacokinetics and clinical response to all insulin products can vary between individuals due to a variety of factors. Individual patients switched from 1 agent to the other should be especially cautious about monitoring their blood glucose initially after the change."


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By George, Community Member— Last Modified: 02/07/13, First Published: 10/15/10