Compare Novolog vs. Apidra

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

Novolog
(insulin aspart)

Apidra
(insulin glulisine)

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.Controls blood sugar. Apidra (insulin glulisine) is an insulin that controls blood sugar during your meals, but you'll still have to follow your doctor's diet and exercise plan.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.77Novolog
Reviews for Novolog
58%
of people (All ages) say Novolog is worth it
46%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
177 reviews
Have you used Novolog (insulin aspart)?
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Have you used Apidra (insulin glulisine)?
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Side effects
NovologApidra
  • Hyporeflexia 11%
  • Onychomycosis 10%
  • Sensory disturbance 9%
  • Urinary tract infection 8%
  • Chest pain 5%
  • Headache 5%
  • Skin disorder 5%
  • Abdominal pain 5%
  • Sinusitis 5%
  • Injury accidental 11%
More Novolog side effects »
  • Common cold 11%
  • Upper respiratory tract infection 8%
  • Low blood sugar 7%
  • Headache 7%
  • Seizure due to low blood sugar 6%
  • Flu 4%
  • Swelling in the arms and legs 8%
  • Joint pain 6%
  • High blood pressure 4%
  • Allergic reactions 4%
More Apidra side effects »
How it works
NovologApidra
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.Apidra (insulin glulisine) is an insulin that controls your blood sugar by turning the sugars you eat into energy or storing it in your body for future use.
Type of medication
NovologApidra
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
NovologApidra
  • Injection
  • Injection
Used for
NovologApidra
Risk factors for serious side effects
NovologApidra
  • Insulin dose too high
  • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
  • Poor injection techniques
  • Unstable kidney functions
  • Unstable liver functions
Detailed Novolog (insulin aspart) risks & warnings »
  • Changes in diet and exercise
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Taking other medications for diabetes
  • Over age 65
  • Liver or kidney problems
Detailed Apidra (insulin glulisine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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

Food
NovologApidra
  • Short-acting insulin good for blood sugar control around meal times.
  • Novolog is a fast-acting insulin that provides sugar control after meals.
  • Apidra (insulin glulisine) has to be injected with every meal.
Kidneys and liver
NovologApidra
  • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
  • Your doctor might have to check your kidneys and liver regularly if you've had kidney or liver problems in the past.
Weight
NovologApidra
  • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
  • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
NovologApidra
  • 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.
  • Apidra (insulin glulisine) starts working in as soon as 15 minutes.
  • Programs are available to lower your copay. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Can be used in children 4 years of age and older.
  • Can be used in people over 65.
Downsides and risks
NovologApidra
  • 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.
  • Your doctor might have to check your kidneys and liver regularly if you've had kidney or liver problems in the past.
  • Apidra (insulin glulisine) has to be injected with every meal.
  • Only available as a brand name, so Apidra (insulin glulisine) can be expensive.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
NovologApidra
  • 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.
  • Starts working within 10 to 30 minutes, and lasts for up to 5 hours.
  • Take Apidra (insulin glulisine) 15 minutes before a meal or within 20 minutes after starting a meal.
  • Don't mix Apidra (insulin glulisine) for under the skin injection with any other insulin except Novolin N or Humulin N. Don't mix Apidra (insulin glulisine) with any other insulin if you're using an insulin pump.
  • Don't use Apidra (insulin glulisine) if it looks cloudy or changes color, it's leaking or if there are particles in it.
  • Change the area where you inject Apidra (insulin glulisine) every time.
  • Keep all unopened vials or pens of Apidra (insulin glulisine) in the fridge until you're ready to use it. You can keep opened vials and pens at room temperature, but throw it away after 28 days.
Learn more
More about NovologSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Novolog (insulin aspart)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ApidraSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Apidra (insulin glulisine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it