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Frequent Responder
captex
Total Posts: 92
Registered on: ‎11-06-2009

How long does it take for Novalog to work and show a drop on a test strip?

I was told to eat within 10 minutes of taking Novalog or perhaps suffer from the dreaded BG Low.  Today, I tested myself before I took it and it read 277.  After 10 minutes I tested aagain and I had a 288.  I had taken 6 units of Novalog 10 minutes earlier.  I wanted another 5 minutes and it did drop to 283.  Is this right?  How long does a fast acting Insulin take to act?

lizzylou
Total Posts: 13,930
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Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Re: How long does it take for Novalog to work and show a drop on a test strip?


captex wrote:

I was told to eat within 10 minutes of taking Novalog or perhaps suffer from the dreaded BG Low.  Today, I tested myself before I took it and it read 277.  After 10 minutes I tested aagain and I had a 288.  I had taken 6 units of Novalog 10 minutes earlier.  I wanted another 5 minutes and it did drop to 283.  Is this right?  How long does a fast acting Insulin take to act?


It starts acting within about 15 minutes, but that doesn't mean that it will completely reduce numbers in that time.  To go from 277 to 100 for instance in 15 minutes would make you feel really sick for one thing.

 

Depending on the amount of insulin resistance you have the peak number usually occurs in about 2 hours.  It can continue working for 1 or 2 more hours, but not at as rapid a speed. 

 

If you had started at 90 for instance in a half hour your numbers would be rapidly reduced and if you didn't eat enough food to cover it you could stand a chance of going low.

 

You do have to experiment to see how it works for you, but you won't ever have immediate results unless you overdose.

 

Lizzy

Knowledge is Power!





Here's some useful links, click on the titles


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 All About Carbs

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for lots more  


mollythed
Total Posts: 6,092
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Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Re: How long does it take for Novalog to work and show a drop on a test strip?

To back up what Lizzy said, Novology can begin to work in 5-15 minutes, reach its peak effect in 1-2 hours and continue to work for a total of 4-5 hours.

Comparing of Different Insulins

 

Novolog is a rapid-acting insulin in this graph.

 

If you take insulin to correct a high reading, you should begin to see the effect in that 1-2 hour range, but if you take it with a meal, you may not see a drop in your numbers much before 3-3.5 hours, because the glucose from the carbs you ate may get ahead of the insulin, and it may take that long for the insulin to counterbalance the carbs.

 

The idea that you should eat within 15 minutes doesn't mean that you will see its effect that soon.  Rather, its a matter of trying to time the carbs and the insulin so that they will both go into effect at approximately the same time, maybe an hour or two later.

 

Of course, you're just getting started, and the doctor has based his dosing on his best guess of how much insulin you need, or maybe even a little less, because the risk of a low is more serious than dealing with a high.  It may take a while for you and your doctor to adjust that dose.  You can help by keeping good records of what you eat and how blood glucose is affected.

 

 


"Molly" (aka mollythed)
Type 2 diabetes diagnosed in 1995, now managed with Lantus, Humalog and Metformin; diet and exercise.
My husband and three adult sons also have type 2 diabetes.





Frequent Advisor
mbkjad
Total Posts: 183
Registered on: ‎11-05-2009

Re: How long does it take for Novalog to work and show a drop on a test strip?

Captex,

 

I think it can vary a bit but when I first started Novolog I experimented a bit and settled on the fact that it was between 20 and 30 minutes before I could or would start to see the insulin starting to affect by BG numbers.  My doc had always told me to eat 15 minutes before eating.  The other piece to it is if your starting BG was 277 and you only took 6 units I highly doubt you are going to see any real significant drop.  I adjust based on which meal it is but if this was before breakfast and my BG was 135 and I was eating 20 carbs I would probably inject 20 - 25 units.  Given same scenario at lunch I would only inject 10.  At 277 I would probably take 20 and test every 15 minutes and keep a glass of juice handy just in case.  I doubt I would go low though.

 

 

Mike

Diagnosed Type 2 March 2008 (give or take a few months)
A1c: 6.4 (May 2013), 6.2 (Feb 2013), 5.9 (Nov 2012), 5.7 (Aug 2012) 6.5 (31 Jan 2012)
Meds:
Metformin XR 2000 mg daily
Lovaza 2 grams daily
Lipitor 10 mg daily
Fenofibrate 165 mg daily
Lisinopril 2.5 mg daily
Novolog
Zyrtec
Multivitamin
Began Pumping in June 2013
Frequent Responder
captex
Total Posts: 92
Registered on: ‎11-06-2009

Re: How long does it take for Novalog to work and show a drop on a test strip?

[ Edited ]

Clues:  My numbers went from....

 

6:36 - 299   I took 33 units of Levemir, 6 unit Novalog, 500 mg Glucophage.  Ate a 1/2 Whole Wheat Turkey Sandwich dry with coffee, sweetnlow and cream

 

10:52 - 277  I took 6 units of Novalog

 

11:02 - 288

 

11:07 - 280  I ate a slice of cheese

 

11:30 - 263

 

12:21 - 249  I ate 4 chicken wings

 

1:41 - 256

 

2:35 - 296

 

3:09 - 306   I then took a 10mg of Glipizide

 

4:39 - 168  

 

It seems that the Insulin isn't working.  Maybe it's gone bad.  It doesn't look cloudy and I don't leave it in the heat.  Throw it out and start over?

Frequent Advisor
mbkjad
Total Posts: 183
Registered on: ‎11-05-2009

Re: How long does it take for Novalog to work and show a drop on a test strip?

Captex,

 

How are you picking your insuling amounts?  The 33 units of Levemir is a long-term insulin that works in the background.  The Novolog is a here and now and should be taken at meal-times.  Can you also overlay your meal-times and carbs eaten with this?  Quite frankly, 6 units of Novolog is not going to put a dent in a BG of 280 even if you don't have any resistance.  Assuming you didn't eat you do see a drop from 1107 to 1221 of 31 points which is probably an at best of what I would expect from a 6 unit injection of Novolog.

 

Definitely need that mealtime / eating information with corresponding carb intake!

Mike

Diagnosed Type 2 March 2008 (give or take a few months)
A1c: 6.4 (May 2013), 6.2 (Feb 2013), 5.9 (Nov 2012), 5.7 (Aug 2012) 6.5 (31 Jan 2012)
Meds:
Metformin XR 2000 mg daily
Lovaza 2 grams daily
Lipitor 10 mg daily
Fenofibrate 165 mg daily
Lisinopril 2.5 mg daily
Novolog
Zyrtec
Multivitamin
Began Pumping in June 2013
Frequent Responder
captex
Total Posts: 92
Registered on: ‎11-06-2009

Re: How long does it take for Novalog to work and show a drop on a test strip?

Mike I not "picking" my Insulin.  My Endo raised my Levemir because of my high numbers from 25 units to +3 units every three days until I get a morning number below 100.  I take Insulin in the morning rather than the evening to avoid any lows.  The Novalog is on a sliding scale.  2 units starting at 150, 4 units at 200, 6 units at 250 etc...  My Diabetes is being treated reactively, not proactively.

Established Advisor
jptdad
Total Posts: 298
Registered on: ‎11-30-2009

Re: How long does it take for Novalog to work and show a drop on a test strip?

[ Edited ]

I switched from Novolog to Humalog, because of cost factor but still rapid acting insulin. Did notice a difference in your dosage amount, you may not be getting enough Novolog.

You wrote:

 

6:36 - 299   I took 33 units of Levemir, 6 unit Novalog, 500 mg Glucophage.

 

According to my sliding scale, if I were at 299 I would take 10 units of insulin plus another unit per 6 g of carbs about to be injested. If you had a 1/2 sandwich, assuming 1 slice of bread, that would be in the 12-15 g carb range and would require another 2 units of insulin bringing the total to 12 which is double the amount you took. You might want to ask your doc about this, use a sliding scale plus carb to insulin ratio.

 

You also mentioned if the insulin were going bad. Do know the shelf life is about 28 days if stored properly. I write the date the vial was opened and toss it after 28 days and start a new one, could be a factor. Good luck.

_________________________________________________
Trusted Contributor
morrisolder
Total Posts: 10,706
Registered on: ‎11-28-2009

Re: How long does it take for Novalog to work and show a drop on a test strip?


jptdad wrote:

I switched from Novolog to Humalog, because of cost factor but still rapid acting insulin. Did notice a difference in your dosage amount, you may not be getting enough Novolog.

You wrote:

 

6:36 - 299   I took 33 units of Levemir, 6 unit Novalog, 500 mg Glucophage.

 

According to my sliding scale, if I were at 299 I would take 10 units of insulin plus another unit per 6 g of carbs about to be injested. If you had a 1/2 sandwich, assuming 1 slice of bread, that would be in the 12-15 g carb range and would require another 2 units of insulin bringing the total to 12 which is double the amount you took. You might want to ask your doc about this, use a sliding scale plus carb to insulin ratio.

 

You also mentioned if the insulin were going bad. Do know the shelf life is about 28 days if stored properly. I write the date the vial was opened and toss it after 28 days and start a new one, could be a factor. Good luck.


JPT--

 

Isn't insulin dosage a matter of extreme YMMV--so the dosage that works for you may or many not be at all relevant to someone else using the same insulin.  About the only consistent generality I have read about is that because of insulin resistance, insulin -dependent T2s usually need more insulin than T1s

Morris

Diagnosed Type 2, with an A1c of 11.4 in 2003; averaging a 5.0 A1c since then with diet, exercise and Glipizide XL + meds for blood pressure and cholesterol. 
A bit dated, but scroll down on this page if you want to know more ...


mollythed
Total Posts: 6,092
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Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Re: How long does it take for Novalog to work and show a drop on a test strip?


morrisolder wrote:

JPT--

 

Isn't insulin dosage a matter of extreme YMMV--so the dosage that works for you may or many not be at all relevant to someone else using the same insulin.  About the only consistent generality I have read about is that because of insulin resistance, insulin -dependent T2s usually need more insulin than T1s


 Morris,

 

You are right that the amount of insulin a person needs is extremely variable, and that people with type 2 tend to need more insulin than people with type 1.  Captex is just beginning to use rapid-acting insulin, so JPTdad is probably quite right in his assessment that the dose will eventually need to be increased and that part of the lack of response to insulin may indeed be that the dose is still too small.  Still, it really needs to be done gradually, under a doctor's supervision, and the appropriate dose may or may not be close to what JPTdad is using.


"Molly" (aka mollythed)
Type 2 diabetes diagnosed in 1995, now managed with Lantus, Humalog and Metformin; diet and exercise.
My husband and three adult sons also have type 2 diabetes.