insulin aspart


Novo Nordisk


Zuellig Pharma
Full Prescribing Info
Insulin aspart, rDNA.
1 ml of the solution contains 100 U of insulin aspart* (equivalent to 3.5 mg).
1 pre-filled pen contains 3 ml equivalent to 300 U.
*Insulin aspart is produced by recombinant DNA technology in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Excipients/Inactive Ingredients: Glycerol, phenol, metacresol, zinc chloride, disodium phosphate dihydrate, sodium chloride, hydrochloric acid/sodium hydroxide (for pH adjustment) and water for injections.
Pharmacotherapeutic Group: Drugs used in diabetes. Insulins and analogues for injection, fast-acting. ATC Code: A10AB05.
Pharmacology: Pharmacodynamics: Mechanism of action: NovoRapid produces a more rapid onset of action compared to soluble human insulin, together with a lower glucose concentration, as assessed within the first four hours after a meal. NovoRapid has a shorter duration of action compared to soluble human insulin after subcutaneous injection.
When NovoRapid is injected subcutaneously, the onset of action will occur within 10 to 20 minutes of injection. The maximum effect is exerted between 1 and 3 hours after injection. The duration of action is 3 to 5 hours.
Insulin aspart is equipotent to soluble human insulin on a molar basis.
Adults: Clinical trials in patients with type 1 diabetes have demonstrated a lower postprandial blood glucose with NovoRapid compared to soluble human insulin. In two long-term open label trials in patients with type 1 diabetes comprising 1,070 and 884 patients, respectively, NovoRapid reduced glycated haemoglobin by 0.12 percentage points and by 0.15 percentage points compared to soluble human insulin; a difference of limited clinical significance.
Clinical trials in patients with type 1 diabetes have demonstrated a reduced risk of nocturnal hypoglycaemia with insulin aspart compared to soluble human insulin. The risk of daytime hypoglycaemia was not significantly increased.
Elderly: In a PK/PD trial the relative differences in the PD properties between insulin aspart and soluble human insulin in the elderly patients with type 2 diabetes were similar to those seen in healthy subjects and younger patients with diabetes.
Children and adolescents: When given to children, NovoRapid showed similar long-term glucose control compared to soluble human insulin.
In clinical trials for children and adolescents aged 2 to 17, the pharmacodynamic profile of insulin aspart in children was similar to that seen in adults.
Pregnancy: A clinical trial comparing safety and efficacy of insulin aspart vs. soluble human insulin in the treatment of pregnant women with type 1 diabetes (322 exposed pregnancies) did not indicate any adverse effect of insulin aspart on pregnancy or on the health of the foetus/newborn.
In addition, the data from a clinical trial including 27 women with gestational diabetes randomised to treatment with insulin aspart vs. soluble human insulin showed similar safety profiles between treatments as well as a significant improvement in postprandial glucose control in the insulin aspart treated group.
Pharmacokinetics: In NovoRapid substitution of amino acid proline with aspartic acid at position B28 reduces the tendency to form hexamers as observed with soluble human insulin. NovoRapid is therefore more rapidly absorbed from the subcutaneous layer compared to soluble human insulin.
The time to maximum concentration is, on average, half of that for soluble human insulin. A mean maximum plasma concentration of 492 pmol/l was reached 40 minutes after a subcutaneous dose of 0.15 U/kg bodyweight in type 1 diabetic patients. The insulin concentrations returned to baseline about 4 to 6 hours after dose. The absorption rate was somewhat slower in type 2 diabetic patients, resulting in a lower Cmax (352 ± 240 pmol/l) and later tmax (60 minutes). The intra-individual variability in time to maximum concentration is significantly less for NovoRapid than for soluble human insulin, whereas the intra-individual variability in Cmax for NovoRapid is larger.
Children and adolescents: The pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of NovoRapid were investigated in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Insulin aspart was rapidly absorbed in both age groups, with similar tmax as in adults. However, Cmax differed between the age groups, stressing the importance of the individual titration of NovoRapid.
Elderly: The relative differences in pharmacokinetic properties between insulin aspart and soluble human insulin in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes were similar to those observed in healthy subjects and in younger patients with diabetes. A decreased absorption rate was observed in elderly patients, resulting in a later tmax (82 minutes), whereas Cmax was similar to that observed in younger patients with type 2 diabetes and slightly lower than in patients with type 1 diabetes.
Hepatic impairment: In patients with hepatic impairment, tmax was delayed to about 85 min. (50 min. in subjects with normal hepatic function) while AUC, Cmax and CL/F were similar.
Renal impairment: a single dose pharmacokinetic study of insulin aspart in 18 subjects with normal to severely impaired renal function was performed. No apparent effect of creatinine clearance values on AUC, Cmax, CL/F and tmax of insulin aspart was found. Data were limited in patients with moderate and severe renal impairment. Patients with renal failure necessitating dialysis treatment were not investigated.
Toxicology: Preclinical safety data: Non-clinical data reveal no special hazard for humans based on conventional studies of safety pharmacology, repeated dose toxicity, genotoxicity or toxicity to reproduction.
In in vitro tests, including binding to insulin and IGF-1 receptor sites and effects on cell growth, insulin aspart behaved in a manner that closely resembled human insulin. Studies also demonstrate that the dissociation of binding to the insulin receptor of insulin aspart is equivalent to human insulin.
Treatment of diabetes mellitus in adults, adolescents and children aged 2 year and above.
Dosage/Direction for Use
Posology: NovoRapid is a rapid-acting insulin analogue. NovoRapid dosage is individual and determined in accordance with the needs of the patient. It should normally be used in combination with intermediate-acting or long-acting insulin given at least once a day. Blood glucose monitoring and insulin dose adjustment are recommended to achieve optimal glycaemic control.
The individual insulin requirement in adults and children is usually between 0.5 and 1.0 U/kg/day. In a basal-bolus treatment regimen, 50–70% of this requirement may be provided by NovoRapid and the remainder by intermediate-acting or long-acting insulin. Adjustment of dosage may be necessary if patients undertake increased physical activity, change their usual diet or during concomitant illness.
NovoRapid has a faster onset and a shorter duration of action than soluble human insulin.
Due to the faster onset of action, NovoRapid should generally be given immediately before a meal. When necessary NovoRapid can be given soon after a meal.
Due to the shorter duration, NovoRapid has a lower risk of causing nocturnal hypoglycaemic episodes.
Special populations: As with all insulin products, in elderly patients and patients with renal or hepatic impairment, glucose monitoring should be intensified and the insulin aspart dosage adjusted on an individual basis.
Paediatric population: NovoRapid can be used in children in preference to soluble human insulin when a rapid onset of action might be beneficial, For example, in the timing of the injections in relation to meals.
Transfer from other insulin products: When transferring from other insulin products, adjustment of the NovoRapid dose and the dose of the basal insulin may be necessary.
Method of administration: NovoRapid is administered subcutaneously by injection in the abdominal wall, the thigh, the upper arm, the deltoid region or the gluteal region. Injection sites should always be rotated within the same region in order to reduce the risk of lipodystrophy. As with all insulin products, subcutaneous injection in the abdominal wall ensures a faster absorption than other injection sites.
The duration of action will vary according to the dose, injection site, blood flow, temperature and level of physical activity. However, the faster onset of action compared to soluble human insulin is maintained regardless of injection site.
NovoRapid FlexPen is a pre-filled pen designed to be used with NovoFine or NovoTwist disposable needles up to a length of 8 mm.
NovoRapid FlexPen is colour-coded and accompanied by a package leaflet with detailed instructions for use to be followed.
Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion (CSII): NovoRapid may be used for Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion (CSII) in pump systems suitable for insulin infusion. CSII should be administered in the abdominal wall. Infusion sites should be rotated.
When used with an insulin infusion pump, NovoRapid should not be mixed with any other insulin products. Patients using CSII should be comprehensively instructed in the use of the pump system and use the correct reservoir and tubing for the pump. The infusion set (tubing and cannula) should be changed in accordance with the instructions in the product information supplied with the infusion set.
Patients administering NovoRapid by CSII must have alternative insulin delivery method available in case of pump system failure.
Intravenous use: If necessary, NovoRapid can be administered intravenously by physicians or other healthcare staff if applicable.
For intravenous use, infusion systems with NovoRapid 100 U/ml at concentrations from 0.05 U/ml to 1.0 U/ml insulin aspart in the infusion fluids 0.9% sodium chloride, 5% dextrose or 10% dextrose including 40 mmol/l potassium chloride using polypropylene infusion bags, are stable at room temperature for 24 hours. Although stable over time, a certain amount of insulin will be initially adsorbed to the infusion bag. Monitoring of blood glucose is necessary during insulin infusion.
A specific overdose for insulin cannot be defined, however, hypoglycaemia may develop over sequential stages if too high doses relative to the patient's requirements are administered: Mild hypoglycaemic episodes can be treated by oral administration of glucose or sugary products. It is therefore recommended that the diabetic patient always carries sugar containing products.
Severe hypoglycaemic episodes, where the patient has become unconscious, can be treated with glucagon (0.5 to 1 mg) given intramuscularly or subcutaneously by a trained person, or with glucose given intravenously by physicians or other healthcare staff if applicable. Glucose must be given intravenously if the patient does not respond to glucagon within 10 to 15 minutes.
Upon regaining consciousness, administration of oral carbohydrate is recommended for the patient in order to prevent a relapse.
Hypersensitivity to the active substance or any of the excipients.
Special Precautions
Before travelling between different time zones, the patient should seek the doctor's advice since this may mean that the patient has to take the insulin and meals at different times.
Hyperglycaemia: Inadequate dosing or discontinuation of treatment, especially in type 1 diabetes, may lead to hyperglycaemia and diabetic ketoacidosis.
Hypoglycaemia: Omission of a meal or unplanned, strenuous physical exercise may lead to hypoglycaemia.
Especially in children, care should be taken to match insulin doses (especially in basal-bolus regimens) with food intake, physical activities and current blood glucose level in order to minimise the risk of hypoglycaemia.
Hypoglycaemia may occur if the insulin dose is too high in relation to the insulin requirement.
Patients whose blood glucose control is greatly improved, e.g. by intensified insulin therapy, may experience a change in their usual warning symptoms of hypoglycaemia, and should be advised accordingly. Usual warning symptoms may disappear in patients with longstanding diabetes.
A consequence of the pharmacodynamics of rapid-acting insulin analogues is that if hypoglycaemia occurs, it may occur earlier after an injection when compared to soluble human insulin.
Since NovoRapid should be administered in immediate relation to a meal, the rapid onset of action should be considered in patients with concomitant diseases or medication where a delayed absorption of food might be expected.
Concomitant illness, especially infections and feverish conditions, usually increases the patient's insulin requirements. Concomitant diseases of the kidney, liver or affecting the adrenal, pituitary or thyroid gland can require changes in the insulin dose.
When patients are transferred between different types of insulin products, the early warning symptoms of hypoglycaemia may become less pronounced than those experienced with their previous insulin.
Transfer from other insulin products: Transferring a patient to another type or brand (e.g. strength or manufacturer) of insulin should be done under strict medical supervision and may require a change in dosage or number of daily injections from that used with their usual insulin products. If an adjustment is needed, it may occur with the first dose or during the first few weeks or months.
Injection site reactions: As with any insulin therapy, injection site reactions may occur and include pain, redness, hives, inflammation, bruising, swelling and itching. Continuous rotation of the injection site within a given area reduces the risk of developing these reactions. Reactions usually resolve in a few days to a few weeks. On rare occasions, injection site reactions may require discontinuation of NovoRapid.
Combination of thiazolidinediones and insulin medicinal products: Cases of congestive heart failure have been reported when thiazolidinediones were used in combination with insulin, especially in patients with risk factors for development of congestive heart failure.
Avoidance of accidental mix-ups/medication errors: Patients must be instructed to always check the insulin label before each injection to avoid accidental mix-ups between NovoRapid and other insulin products.
Insulin antibodies: Insulin administration may cause insulin antibodies to form. In rare cases, the presence of such insulin antibodies may necessitate adjustment of the insulin dose in order to correct a tendency to hyper- or hypoglycaemia.
Effects on ability to drive and use machines: The patient's ability to concentrate and react may be impaired as a result of hypoglycaemia. This may constitute a risk in situations where these abilities are of special importance (e.g. driving a car or operating machinery).
Patients should be advised to take precautions to avoid hypoglycaemia while driving. This is particularly important in those who have reduced or absent awareness of the warning signs of hypoglycaemia or have frequent episodes of hypoglycaemia.
Use In Pregnancy & Lactation
Pregnancy: NovoRapid (insulin aspart) can be used in pregnancy. Data from two randomised controlled clinical trials do not indicate any adverse effect of insulin aspart on pregnancy or on the health of the foetus/newborn when compared to soluble human insulin (see Pharmacology: Pharmacodynamics under Actions).
Intensified blood glucose control and monitoring of pregnant women with diabetes are recommended throughout pregnancy and when contemplating pregnancy. Insulin requirements usually fall in the first trimester and increase subsequently during the second and third trimesters. After delivery, insulin requirements normally return rapidly to pre-pregnancy values.
Lactation: There are no restrictions on treatment with NovoRapid during breast-feeding. Insulin treatment of the nursing mother presents no risk to the baby. However, the NovoRapid dosage may need to be adjusted.
Adverse Reactions
Summary of the safety profile: Adverse reactions observed in patients using NovoRapid are mainly due to the pharmacologic effect of insulin.
The most frequently reported adverse reaction during treatment is hypoglycaemia. The frequencies of hypoglycaemia vary with patient population, dose regimens and level of glycaemic control, please see Description of selected adverse reactions as follows.
At the beginning of the insulin treatment, refraction anomalies, oedema and injection site reactions (pain, redness, hives, inflammation, bruising, swelling and itching at the injection site) may occur. These reactions are usually of transitory nature. Fast improvement in blood glucose control may be associated with acute painful neuropathy, which is usually reversible. Intensification of insulin therapy with abrupt improvement in glycaemic control may be associated with temporary worsening of diabetic retinopathy, while long-term improved glycaemic control decreases the risk of progression of diabetic retinopathy.
Tabulated list of adverse reactions: Adverse reactions listed below are based on clinical trial data and classified according to MedDRA System Organ Class. Frequency categories are defined according to the following convention: Very common (≥ 1/10); common (≥ 1/100 to < 1/10); uncommon (≥ 1/1,000 to < 1/100); rare (≥ 1/10,000 to < 1/1,000); very rare (< 1/10,000); not known (cannot be estimated from the available data). (See table.)

Click on icon to see table/diagram/image

Description of selected adverse reactions: Anaphylactic reactions: The occurrence of generalised hypersensitivity reactions (including generalised skin rash, itching, sweating, gastrointestinal upset, angioneurotic oedema, difficulties in breathing, palpitation and reduction in blood pressure) is very rare but can potentially be life threatening.
Hypoglycaemia: The most frequently reported adverse reaction is hypoglycaemia. It may occur if the insulin dose is too high in relation to the insulin requirement. Severe hypoglycaemia may lead to unconsciousness and/or convulsions and may result in temporary or permanent impairment of brain function or even death. The symptoms of hypoglycaemia usually occur suddenly. They may include cold sweats, cool pale skin, fatigue, nervousness or tremor, anxiousness, unusual tiredness or weakness, confusion, difficulty in concentration, drowsiness, excessive hunger, vision changes, headache, nausea and palpitation.
In clinical trials, the frequency of hypoglycaemia varied with patient population, dose regimens and level of glycaemic control. During clinical trials the overall rates of hypoglycaemia did not differ between patients treated with insulin aspart compared to human insulin.
Lipodystrophy: Lipodystrophy is reported as uncommon. Lipodystrophy may occur at the injection site.
Drug Interactions
A number of medicinal products are known to interact with the glucose metabolism.
The following substances may reduce the patient's insulin requirements: Oral antidiabetic products, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), beta-blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, salicylates, anabolic steroids and sulfonamides.
The following substances may increase the patient's insulin requirements: Oral contraceptives, thiazides, glucocorticoids, thyroid hormones, sympathomimetics, growth hormone and danazol.
Beta-blocking agents may mask the symptoms of hypoglycaemia.
Octreotide/lanreotide may either increase or decrease the insulin requirements.
Alcohol may intensify or reduce the hypoglycaemic effect of insulin.
Caution For Usage
Special precautions for disposal and other handling: Needles and NovoRapid FlexPen must not be shared. The cartridge must not be refilled.
NovoRapid must not be used if it does not appear clear and colourless or if it has been frozen.
The patient should be advised to discard the needle after each injection.
NovoRapid may be used in an infusion pump system (CSII) as described in Dosage & Administration. Tubings in which the inner surface materials are made of polyethylene or polyolefin have been evaluated and found compatible with pump use.
In case of emergency in current NovoRapid users (hospitalisation or insulin pen malfunction), NovoRapid can be withdrawn with an U100 insulin syringe from FlexPen.
Incompatibilities: Substances added to NovoRapid may cause degradation of insulin aspart. This product must not be diluted or mixed with other products, except infusion fluids as described in Dosage & Administration.
Before opening: Store in a refrigerator (2°C - 8°C). Keep away from the cooling element.
During use or when carried as a spare: Do not refrigerate. Store below 30°C. Use within 4 weeks.
Do not freeze.
Keep the pen cap on NovoRapid FlexPen in order to protect from light.
NovoRapid must be protected from excessive heat and light.
The expiry date is printed on the label and carton.
Patient Counseling Information
Do not use NovoRapid: If you are allergic (hypersensitive) to insulin aspart or any of the other ingredients in NovoRapid.
If you suspect hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) is starting.
If FlexPen is dropped, damaged or crushed.
If it has not been stored correctly or if it has been frozen.
If the insulin does not appear clear and colourless.
Before using NovoRapid: Check the label to make sure it is the right type of insulin.
Always use a new needle for each injection to prevent contamination.
Needles and NovoRapid FlexPen must not be shared.
Method of administration: NovoRapid is for injection under the skin (subcutaneously) or for continuous infusion in a pump system. NovoRapid may also be given directly into a vein (intravenously) by physicians or other healthcare staff if applicable. Never inject your insulin directly into a muscle (intramuscularly).
Always vary the sites you inject within the same region to reduce the risk of developing lumps or skin pitting. The best places to give yourself an injection are: the front of your waist (abdomen); the upper arm or the front of your thighs. The insulin will work more quickly if injected into the waist. You should measure your blood sugar regularly.
How to handle NovoRapid FlexPen: Read the included 'Instructions on how to use NovoRapid solution for injection in FlexPen' carefully. You must use the pen as described in the instructions on how to use NovoRapid.
Instructions on how to use NovoRapid solution for injection in FlexPen: Read the following instructions carefully before using your FlexPen. If you do not follow the instructions carefully, you may get too little or too much insulin, which can lead to too high or too low blood sugar level.
Your FlexPen is a pre-filled dial-a-dose insulin pen. You can select doses from 1 to 60 units in increments of 1 unit. FlexPen is designed to be used with NovoFine or NovoTwist disposable needles up to a length of 8 mm. As a precautionary measure, always carry a spare insulin delivery device in case your FlexPen is lost or damaged.
Caring for your pen: Your FlexPen must be handled with care.
If it is dropped, damaged or crushed, there is a risk of insulin leakage. This may cause inaccurate dosing, which can lead to too high or too low blood sugar level.
You can clean the exterior of your FlexPen by wiping it with a medicinal swab. Do not soak it, wash or lubricate it as it may damage the pen.
Do not refill your FlexPen.
Preparing your NovoRapid FlexPen: Check the name and coloured label of your pen to make sure that it contains the correct type of insulin. This is especially important if you take more than one type of insulin. If you take the wrong type of insulin, your blood sugar level may get too high or too low.
A. Pull off the pen cap.
B. Remove the paper tab from a new disposable needle.
Screw the needle straight and tightly onto your FlexPen.
C. Pull off the big outer needle cap and keep it for later.
D. Pull off the inner needle cap and dispose of it.
Never try to put the inner needle cap back on the needle. You may stick yourself with the needle.
Always use a new needle for each injection. This reduces the risk of contamination, infection, leakage of insulin, blocked needles and inaccurate dosing.
Be careful not to bend or damage the needle before use.
Checking the insulin flow.
Prior to each injection small amounts of air may collect in the cartridge during normal use. To avoid injection of air and ensure proper dosing: E. Turn the dose selector to select 2 units.
F. Hold your FlexPen with the needle pointing upwards and tap the cartridge gently with your finger a few times to make any air bubbles collect at the top of the cartridge.
G. Keeping the needle upwards, press the push-button all the way in. The dose selector returns to 0.
A drop of insulin should appear at the needle tip. If not, change the needle and repeat the procedure no more than 6 times.
If a drop of insulin still does not appear, the pen is defective, and you must use a new one.
Always make sure that a drop appears at the needle tip before you inject. This makes sure that the insulin flows. If no drop appears, you will not inject any insulin, even though the dose selector may move. This may indicate a blocked or damaged needle.
Always check the flow before you inject. If you do not check the flow, you may get too little insulin or no insulin at all. This may lead to too high blood sugar level.
Selecting your dose: Check that the dose selector is set at 0.
H. Turn the dose selector to select the number of units you need to inject.
The dose can be corrected either up or down by turning the dose selector in either direction until the correct dose lines up with the pointer. When turning the dose selector, be careful not to push the push-button as insulin will come out.
You cannot select a dose larger than the number of units left in the cartridge.
Always use the dose selector and the pointer to see how many units you have selected before injecting the insulin.
Do not count the pen clicks. If you select and inject the wrong dose, your blood sugar level may get too high or too low. Do not use the residual scale, it only shows approximately how much insulin is left in your pen.
Making the injection: Insert the needle into your skin. Use the injection technique shown by your doctor or nurse.
I. Inject the dose by pressing the push-button all the way in until 0 lines up with the pointer. Be careful only to push the push-button when injecting.
Turning the dose selector will not inject insulin.
J. Keep the push-button fully depressed and let the needle remain under the skin for at least 6 seconds. This will make sure you get the full dose.
Withdraw the needle from the skin, then release the pressure on the push-button.
Always make sure that the dose selector returns to 0 after the injection. If the dose selector stops before it returns to 0, the full dose has not been delivered, which may result in too high blood sugar level.
K. Lead the needle into the big outer needle cap without touching it. When the needle is covered, carefully push the big outer needle cap completely on and then unscrew the needle.
Dispose of it carefully and put the pen cap back on.
Always remove the needle after each injection and store your FlexPen without the needle attached. This reduces the risk of contamination, infection, leakage of insulin, blocked needles and inaccurate dosing.
Further important information: Caregivers must be very careful when handling used needles - to reduce the risk of needle sticks and cross-infection.
Dispose of your used FlexPen carefully without the needle attached.
Never share your pen or your needles with other people. It might lead to cross-infection.
Never share your pen with other people. Your medicine might be harmful to their health.
Always keep your pen and needles out of sight and reach of others, especially children.
MIMS Class
Insulin Preparations
ATC Classification
A10AB05 - insulin aspart ; Belongs to the class of fast-acting insulins and analogues. Used in the treatment of diabetes.
FlexPen 100 U/mL (clear, colourless, aqueous solution in a pre-filled pen) x 3 mL x 5's.
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