Compare Levemir vs. Novolog

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Levemir
(insulin detemir)

Novolog
(insulin aspart)

Lowers blood sugar. Levemir is a long-acting insulin that provides all-day sugar control. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you know what the symptoms are and always have a source of sugar nearby.Lowers blood sugar. Novolog is a fast-acting insulin that provides meal-time sugar control. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you know what the symptoms are and always have a source of sugar nearby.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.39Levemir
Reviews for Levemir (insulin detemir)
45%
of people (All ages) say Levemir (insulin detemir) is worth it
35%
say it works well
22%
say it's a big hassle
130 reviews
Have you used Levemir (insulin detemir)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Novolog (insulin aspart)
58%
+13% better vs. Levemir (insulin detemir)
46%
+11% better vs. Levemir (insulin detemir)
19%
+3% better vs. Levemir (insulin detemir)
177 reviews
Have you used Novolog (insulin aspart)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LevemirNovolog
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 26%
  • Headache 23%
  • Sore throat 10%
  • Influenza-like illness 8%
  • Abdominal pain 6%
  • "stomach flu" 17%
  • Fever 10%
  • Cough 8%
  • Viral infection 7%
  • Nausea 7%
More Levemir side effects »
  • Decreased muscle reflexes 11%
  • Nail fungal infection 10%
  • Abnormal sense of touch 9%
  • Urinary tract infection 8%
  • Chest pain 5%
  • Headache 5%
  • Skin disorder 5%
  • Abdominal pain 5%
  • Sinus inflammation 5%
  • Injury accidental 11%
More Novolog side effects »
How it works
LevemirNovolog
Levemir is a long-acting insulin medicine for diabetes. It acts like the insulin that your body normally makes to process sugars and fats, and it keeps your blood sugar stable throughout the day.Novolog is a short-acting insulin medicine for diabetes. It acts like the insulin that your body normally makes to process sugars and fats, and it keeps your blood sugar stable after meals.
Type of medication
LevemirNovolog
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
LevemirNovolog
  • Injection
  • Injection
Used for
LevemirNovolog
Risk factors for serious side effects
LevemirNovolog
  • Insulin dose too high
  • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
  • Poor injection techniques
  • Unstable kidney functions
  • Unstable liver functions
  • Use of other medicine that lowers potassium
  • Current electrolyte imbalance
    Detailed Levemir (insulin detemir) risks & warnings »
    • Insulin dose too high
    • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
    • Poor injection techniques
    • Unstable kidney functions
    • Unstable liver functions
    • Use of other medicine that lowers potassium
    • Current electrolyte imbalance
      Detailed Novolog (insulin aspart) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy

      Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

      Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

      Food
      LevemirNovolog
      No food related info.
      • Novolog is a fast-acting insulin that provides sugar control after meals.
      • Short-acting insulin good for blood sugar control around meal times.
      Kidneys and liver
      LevemirNovolog
      • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
      • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
      Weight
      LevemirNovolog
      • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
      • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
      • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
      • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
      Upsides and benefits
      LevemirNovolog
      • Insulin is the most effective blood sugar-lowering medicine. When used correctly, it'll lower blood sugar every time you use it and prevent the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
      • Levemir is a long-lasting insulin that provides consistent, all-day sugar control with less risk of low blood sugar.
      • Dose can be easily adjusted to make a customized regimen that's tailored to your body.
      • Starting insulin early in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes can maintain your body's insulin-producing cells and slow down disease progression.
      • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
      • Insulin is the most effective blood sugar-lowering medicine. When used correctly, it'll lower blood sugar every time you use it and prevent the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
      • Novolog is a fast-acting insulin that provides sugar control after meals.
      • Dose can be easily adjusted to make a customized regimen that's tailored to your body.
      • Starting insulin early in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes can maintain your body's insulin-producing cells and slow down disease progression.
      • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
      Downsides and risks
      LevemirNovolog
      • You have to take insulin by injection.
      • You have to check your blood sugar every day.
      • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
      • Higher risk of low blood sugar episodes than other kinds of diabetes medicines.
      • You have to take insulin by injection.
      • You have to check your blood sugar multiple times every day, usually before each meal.
      • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
      • Higher risk of low blood sugar episodes than other kinds of diabetes medicines.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      LevemirNovolog
      • Long-acting insulin good for baseline blood sugar control.
      • Works in 1 hour and lasts about 24 hours.
      • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
      • Make sure you and your family know the symptoms of low blood sugar: sweating, shakiness, weakness, fast heartbeat, nervousness, headache, blurry vision, trouble thinking clearly, or passing out.
      • Always have a good source of sugar nearby for low blood sugar episodes.
      • Take it at the same time every day.
      • Make sure you understand how to give yourself the injections.
      • Don't shake the vial or mix with another insulin. Store unopened vials in the refrigerator. Opened vials are good at room temperature for 28 days.
      • Check your blood sugar levels every day.
      • Short-acting insulin good for blood sugar control around meal times.
      • Take 5 to 10 minutes before a meal. Effects last for 2-4 hours.
      • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
      • Make sure you and your family know the symptoms of low blood sugar: sweating, shakiness, weakness, fast heartbeat, nervousness, headache, blurry vision, trouble thinking clearly, or passing out.
      • Always have a good source of sugar nearby for low blood sugar episodes.
      • Make sure you understand how to give yourself the injections.
      • When mixing with another insulin (such as insulin NPH), draw this insulin into the syringe first.
      • Don't shake the vial. Store unopened vials in the refrigerator. Opened vials are good at room temperature for 28 days.
      • Check your blood sugar levels every day.
      Learn more
      More about LevemirSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Levemir (insulin detemir)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about NovologSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Novolog (insulin aspart)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it