NovoRapid vials, prefilled pens (FlexPen and Flextouch pens) and penfill cartridges (for use with NovoPens) all contain the active ingredient insulin aspart. They are used to treat diabetes.
People with diabetes have a deficiency or absence of a hormone manufactured by the pancreas called insulin. Insulin is the main hormone responsible for the control of sugar (glucose) in the blood.
People with yype 1 diabetes need to have injections of insulin to control the amount of glucose in their bloodstream. Insulin injections act as a replacement for natural insulin and allow people with diabetes to achieve normal blood glucose levels.
The insulin works in the same way as natural insulin, by binding to insulin receptors on cells in the body. Insulin causes cells in the liver, muscle and fat tissue to increase their uptake of glucose form the bloodstream. It also decreases the production of glucose by the liver, and has various other effects that lower the amount of glucose in the blood.
NovoRapid injections contain a type of insulin called insulin aspart. This is known as a fast-acting insulin. When it is injected under the skin it starts to lower blood sugar within approximately 10 to 20 minutes, and its effects last for three to five hours. This type of insulin should be injected shortly before or if necessary shortly after a meal, to control increasing blood glucose levels after eating.
Insulin aspart is usually given in combination with intermediate or longer-acting types of insulin, which provide control over blood glucose throughout the day.
It is important to monitor your blood glucose regularly and adjust your insulin dose as required. Your doctor or diabetic team will explain how to do this. Keeping your blood glucose level as close to normal as possible, and not too high or too low, significantly reduces the risk of developing late-stage diabetic complications.