Short Acting Insulin Analog
Apidra (Insulin glulisine), Novo Rapid (Insulin Aspart) and Humalog (Insulin Lispro) are rapid acting analog insulins produced by recombinant DNA technology. They are chemically identical to human insulin except that: in Novo Rapid the amino acid Proline has been substituted for aspartic acid at position B28 of the insulin molecule. In Humalog the location of the 2 amino acids lysine and proline have been changed. These structural changes give Novo Rapid and Humalog a much more rapid onset of action and a shorter duration of action than regular insulin.

Regular Insulin has an onset of action about 1 hour after injection and the effect peaks in 4 hours and lasts 6 hours.

Novo Rapid, Apidra and Humalog have similar action profiles – with an onset of action about 30 minutes after injection and a peak effect at 1 hour with essentially no effect 2-3 hours after injection.

Blood glucose starts to rise less than 30 minutes after a meal, thus Novo Rapid, Apidra and Humalog are able to deal with this glucose rise earlier than Regular Insulin. As expected, there is less hyperglycemia 1 or 2 hours after a meal than there is using Regular Insulin and there is less hypoglycemia 3 to 4 hours after a meal than with Regular Insulin. In other words the action of Novo Rapid, Apidra or Humalog is closer to the action of food and they are therefore effective insulins to take with meals.

Novo Rapid, Apidra and Humalog may be used in Intensive Insulin Treatment Routines in which Insulin is given with each meal and it may also be used in an insulin pump. Novo Rapid and Humalog are supplied in 10 mL vials for administration with a syringe or 3 mL cartridges. Apidra is supplied in 10 ml vials or 3 ml disposable Solostar pen.

Humalog cartridges fit into the Humapen Luxura, supplied by Lilly.

Novo Rapid 3 mL cartridges can be used in the Novolin Pen and the Novolin Pen Junior. All devices are supplied by Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. and are recommended for use only with Novofine needles.