Compare Novolog vs. Levemir

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

Novolog
(Insulin Aspart)

Levemir
(Insulin Detemir)

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.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.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.758620689655173Novolog
Reviews for Novolog (Insulin Aspart)
58%
of people say Novolog (Insulin Aspart) is worth it
46%
say it works well
18%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Levemir (Insulin Detemir)
44%
14% vs. Novolog (Insulin Aspart)
35%
11% vs. Novolog (Insulin Aspart)
22%
4% vs. Novolog (Insulin Aspart)
Side effects
NovologLevemir

The Novolog FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Novolog side effects »

The Levemir FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Levemir side effects »
How it works
NovologLevemir
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.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.
Type of medication
NovologLevemir
Anti-diabetic
Insulin
Prescription only
Anti-diabetic
Insulin
Prescription only
Available as
NovologLevemir
  • Injection
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
NovologLevemir
Risk factors for serious side effects
NovologLevemir
  • 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 »
    • 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 »
      Pregnancy category
      NovologLevemir
      BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

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

      See the FDA package insert
      BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

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

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
      Food
      • You have to check your blood sugar multiple times every day, usually before each meal.
      • Novolog is a fast-acting insulin that provides sugar control after meals.
      • 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.
      No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      • 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.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
      Weight
      • 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
      NovologLevemir
      • Novolog is a fast-acting insulin that provides sugar control after meals.
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • Levemir is a long-lasting insulin that provides consistent, all-day sugar control with less risk of low blood sugar.
      • 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.
      • 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
      NovologLevemir
      • You have to check your blood sugar multiple times every day, usually before each meal.
      • You have to take insulin by injection.
      • 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 check your blood sugar every day.
      • You have to take insulin by injection.
      • 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
      NovologLevemir
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • Check your blood sugar levels every day.
      • Long-acting insulin good for baseline blood sugar control.
      • Works in 1 hour and lasts about 24 hours.
      • Take it at the same time every day.
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • Check your blood sugar levels every day.
      Learn more
      More about NovologSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about LevemirSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert