Toujeo vs Novolog

Listen to the article instead of reading through it.


For patients with diabetes, a chronic condition that affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar levels, certain drugs that influence insulin availability can help in maintaining optimal glucose concentrations and managing symptoms. Toujeo and Novolog are two such medications prescribed for this purpose. They each impact insulin levels differently but both play significant roles in glycemic control for people with diabetes.

Toujeo is a long-acting basal insulin analog, providing steady release of insulin over 24 hours thus helping to stabilize baseline glucose levels throughout the day and night. It typically needs only one daily injection due to its prolonged effect.

On the other hand, Novolog falls under rapid-acting insulins category which mimic the burst of insulin your body would naturally produce at mealtime. Its main function is to control post-meal spikes in blood sugar when taken before meals.

What is Toujeo?

Insulin glargine (the generic name for Toujeo) is a long-acting insulin analogue, which was developed as an improvement over the traditional intermediate and long-acting insulins. Insulin glargine was first approved by the FDA in 2015. Toujeo works by mimicking the body's natural release of insulin throughout the day and night, maintaining steady glucose levels for up to 24 hours. It is prescribed for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients who need continuous blood sugar control.

On the other hand, insulin aspart (the generic name for Novolog) is a rapid-acting insulin analogue that starts lowering blood sugar shortly after injection with its peak action occurring around one hour later. This makes it suitable to take just before meals or even immediately after eating when required.

While these two types of insulins are used to manage diabetes, they work differently: Toujeo provides a consistent level of insulin throughout the day while Novolog offers quick bursts at meal times or when a sudden drop in blood sugar occurs. The choice between them often depends on individual patient needs - their lifestyle, dietary habits, and how well their blood sugars are currently controlled.

What conditions is Toujeo approved to treat?

Toujeo is approved for the treatment of various types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (as part of a broader insulin regimen)
  • Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (alongside diet and exercise)

Novolog, on the other hand, is also approved to treat both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes but it's used to control high blood sugar in adults and children who are at least two years old.

How does Toujeo help with these illnesses?

Toujeo is a long-acting insulin that helps manage blood sugar levels in people with diabetes by mimicking the function of naturally produced insulin. It works relatively slowly, but its effects can last for up to 24 hours after injection. Insulin is a hormone that facilitates the uptake of glucose (sugar) into cells so it can be used as energy or stored for later use. People with diabetes either don't produce enough insulin or their bodies are unable to use it effectively, leading to high blood sugar levels.

On the other hand, Novolog is a fast-acting insulin designed to control post-meal spikes in blood sugar. It starts working within 15 minutes and lasts about three to five hours.

While both Toujeo and Novolog aim at managing blood glucose levels in diabetics, they differ significantly regarding when they start working and how long their effects last. Therefore, choosing between them will depend on individual needs concerning timing and duration of glucose control.

What is Novolog?

NovoLog, also known as insulin aspart, is a fast-acting form of insulin used for the treatment of high blood sugar levels in adults and children with diabetes. Unlike Toujeo (insulin glargine), which is a long-acting type of insulin that provides steady release over 24 hours, NovoLog works quickly to manage spikes in blood sugar levels that occur around meal times.

Approved by the FDA in 2000, NovoLog starts working about 15 minutes after injection, peaks approximately one hour later and continues to work for two to four hours. Because it's fast-acting, it's often used at mealtimes along with a longer-lasting insulin.

As an injectable insulin product not associated with serotonin or dopamine pathways - unlike some types of antidepressants - NovoLog doesn't typically produce side effects such as sedation or weight gain. However, potential side effects can include low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), allergic reactions at the injection site and changes in fat tissue at the injection site.

What conditions is Novolog approved to treat?

Novolog, a rapid-acting form of insulin, is typically used for the management of blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes. Specific applications that Novolog has been approved for by the FDA include:

  • Management of high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes mellitus
  • Treatment to prevent complications of long-term hyperglycemia or high blood glucose levels

How does Novolog help with these illnesses?

Novolog, like Toujeo, is a form of insulin used to control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Novolog, however, is a fast-acting insulin that begins to work very quickly after injection and peaks in about one hour. Its rapid onset allows it to more closely mimic the natural surge of insulin release your body would normally produce at mealtime. This makes Novolog particularly useful for managing blood glucose levels during meals or when sugar levels rise due to stress or illness. It's typically administered shortly before or after meals and may need to be paired with a longer-acting insulin for full-day coverage. Unlike Toujeo which is long acting and designed for once-daily dosing, providing relatively stable insulin level over 24 hours.

How effective are both Toujeo and Novolog?

Both insulin glargine (Toujeo) and insulin aspart (Novolog) play pivotal roles in managing patients with diabetes, and they were launched by the FDA within a span of five years. Their actions on glucose metabolism differ significantly, making them suitable for different circumstances. Insulin glargine is a long-acting insulin analog designed to provide steady, all-day sugar control while insulin aspart is a fast-acting insulin analog used primarily to control blood sugar levels during meals.

The effectiveness of both medications was studied directly in randomized controlled trials; both drugs demonstrated significant efficacy in controlling diabetes symptoms along with reassuring safety profiles. Neither drug showed superiority over the other when examining various metrics related to their ability to regulate blood sugar levels – each has its own unique benefits dependent upon patient needs.

A 2015 systematic review highlighted that Toujeo effectively reduces HbA1c levels from baseline and provides comparable glycemic control to other basal insulins but with lower risk of hypoglycemia. The same study reported that Toujeo achieves this effect at similar or slightly higher daily doses compared to other basal insulins like Lantus.

On the other hand, Novolog's fast-acting properties make it an ideal choice for mealtime use or via continuous subcutaneous infusion pumps for individuals requiring intensive therapy for type 1 diabetes. A meta-analysis conducted in 2004 concluded that Novolog appears more effective than regular human insulin at reducing postprandial glucose excursions without increasing the overall risk of severe hypoglycemia.

In summary, whereas Toujeo provides consistent all-day coverage due to its extended duration of action, Novolog offers rapid onset and short duration which makes it especially useful around mealtimes.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Toujeo typically prescribed?

Injectable dosages of Toujeo range from 0.2-0.4 units/kg/day, but clinical studies have indicated that starting dosage for treating diabetes in most people is 0.2 units/kg/day or up to 10 units once daily. Children and adolescents may also be started on the same dosage as adults due to its long action profile. In either population, dosage can be adjusted based on the individual's metabolic needs, blood glucose monitoring results and glycemic control goal after a few weeks if there is no response. The maximum total daily insulin dose should not exceed more than 50% basal requirement (Toujeo) in any case.

At what dose is Novolog typically prescribed?

Novolog insulin treatment is usually initiated at a dosage that will meet 50-60% of daily insulin needs. For adults and children aged 2 years old or more who have type 1 diabetes, the dose per meal is typically around one-third of the total daily dose. This can be adjusted according to blood glucose levels, generally within the range of 0.5–1 unit/kg/day in divided doses throughout the day. The maximum daily dosing varies widely depending on individual health conditions and response to therapy; however, it must always be tailored by your healthcare provider to suit your specific requirements. If there is no adequate response after several weeks of treatment with Novolog, you should consult with your doctor for potential adjustments.

What are the most common side effects for Toujeo?

Some of the most common side effects reported for Toujeo and Novolog, two types of insulin used in diabetes management, may include:

  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) leading to symptoms such as nervousness, tremor, anxiety
  • Injection site reactions such as redness, swelling or itching
  • Weight gain
  • Swelling of your hands and feet
  • Rash or allergic reactions
  • Changes in fat tissue at the injection site (lipodystrophy)
  • Upper respiratory tract infection -Sinusitis (inflammation of the sinus cavities in the head) -Diarrhea and nausea.

These are not all possible side effects and you should reach out to a healthcare professional if you experience any unusual symptoms while using these medications.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Toujeo?

When comparing Toujeo to Novolog, it's important to note the potential side effects each drug may have. While generally safe, they can sometimes cause serious reactions:

  • For both medications, signs of a severe allergic reaction could include: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat
  • Low potassium levels in the body - symptoms may include leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats or fluttering in your chest
  • Rapid weight gain especially if you're also feeling shortness of breath and swelling in your hands or feet (signs of possible heart failure)
  • Symptoms indicating low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) such as sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger blurred vision dizziness or tingling hands/feet.

Additionally: Toujeo might cause thickening of skin where injection was done while Novolog might induce changes over time at the injection site including changes in fat tissue leading to dimpling/skin thickening. If any severe reactions occur suddenly after starting these medications then medical help should be sought immediately. It is important that patients monitor their bodies and report any unusual symptoms to healthcare professionals promptly for appropriate management.

What are the most common side effects for Novolog?

Common side effects of Novolog, an insulin medication, can include:

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Weight gain
  • Allergic reactions including rash or itching
  • Swelling of your hands and feet
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Injection site reactions such as redness, swelling, and itching.

It's important to note that while hypoglycemia is a common side effect for most insulin medications like Novolog, it could cause serious problems if not managed properly. Symptoms may include tremors, sweating, fast heartbeat and confusion among others.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Novolog?

Novolog, while a generally safe and effective medication for managing diabetes, can occasionally cause undesirable side effects that might necessitate immediate medical attention. Be alert to symptoms such as:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Sudden changes in vision
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Swelling in your hands or feet
  • Symptoms of low potassium levels such as leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in the chest.

If you experience any of these symptoms after using Novolog insulin injection , it is important to seek medical help promptly.

Contraindications for Toujeo and Novolog?

Both Toujeo and Novolog, like other insulin medications, may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in some individuals. If you notice symptoms of hypoglycemia such as dizziness, confusion, sweating or rapid heartbeat, please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Toujeo nor Novolog should be used if you are allergic to any of their components or if you have episodes of hypoglycemia without warning signs. Always inform your healthcare provider about all the medications that you are taking; certain drugs can affect glucose metabolism which could require adjustments in your insulin dose.

Additionally, do not mix these insulins with other insulins or use them with an insulin pump unless directed by a healthcare professional. Insulin regimens should always be individualized based on patient needs and it's important to monitor blood glucose levels regularly while using either medication.

How much do Toujeo and Novolog cost?

For the brand-name versions of these drugs:

  • The price of Toujeo (insulin glargine injection 300 Units/mL) is around $400 for a 1.5 mL pen, which may last about one month depending on your daily dose. This works out to approximately $13-$27/day.
  • The price of Novolog (insulin aspart injection 100 Units/mL) is roughly $290 for a pack containing five 3 mL prefilled pens, again lasting about one month at typical doses. That's equivalent to around $10-$20 per day.

Thus, if you are taking larger doses of insulin (over 50 units per day), Novolog could be less expensive on a per-day treatment basis than Toujeo. However, cost shouldn't be the main factor when deciding between these two medications; effectiveness and how well they control your blood sugar levels should also come into consideration.

Currently, there are no generic versions available in the U.S for either Toujeo or Novolog due to patent protections and regulations concerning biosimilar insulins. Therefore prices remain relatively high compared with other classes of medication.

Popularity of Toujeo and Novolog

Insulin glargine, in its brand name form, Toujeo, is a long-acting insulin commonly used for the management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It was estimated to have been prescribed to about 4 million people in the US in 2020. This accounts for just under 15% of total insulin prescriptions in the country.

Insulin aspart, marketed as Novolog among other names, is a fast-acting insulin analog that was prescribed to around 3 million people in the USA during the same period. In terms of overall insulin prescriptions within America, it represents approximately 10%. The use of both drugs has remained relatively steady over recent years but with an increasing trend due to rising prevalence of diabetes across all age groups.


Both Toujeo (insulin glargine) and Novolog (insulin aspart) have a proven track record of use in patients managing diabetes, backed by substantial clinical research indicating their efficacy compared to placebo treatments. Occasionally, the two insulins might be used in conjunction to achieve better blood glucose control, but this should always be under careful medical supervision due to the potential for hypoglycemia. Their mechanisms of action differ: Toujeo is a long-acting insulin providing stable blood sugar control over 24 hours while Novolog is a rapid-acting insulin taken just before meals for immediate response.

Toujeo is often considered as an ongoing treatment option that provides consistent baseline coverage, while Novolog could typically be added on-demand for mealtime sugar surges or when more intensive management is needed.

Both drugs are not yet available in generic form which can pose cost concerns especially for uninsured individuals. Also noteworthy is that both drugs may require some adjustment period as individual responses vary.

Side effect profiles are similar between these two insulins; they're generally well-tolerated with hypoglycemia being the most common side effect of all insulins. For both medications, patients must closely monitor their blood glucose levels particularly when initiating or adjusting treatment and seek medical help immediately if they notice symptoms indicative of severe hypo- or hyperglycemia.