Fiasp Insulin. The New Kid on the Block

Fiasp Insulin the new kid on the blockIt has been a long  time since the diabetes world has seen a new rapid acting insulin brought to market.  The last one that I can remember was  Apidra released back in 2004.  It is  not surprising  then that the release of Fiasp by NovoNordisk is creating a lot of buzz.  Not to be let out, my son recently began using this insulin. Since Fiasp insulin is the new kid on the block, I thought I would give everyone a brief rundown on the highs and lows associated with it.

What is it?

Fiasp insulin was released by NovoNordisk onto the Canadian market in March of 2017.  Many of us scrambled to get a prescription because it promised better blood glucose levels without pre-bolusing for meals! According to the press release, you can dose up to two minutes before a meal and up to 20 minutes after starting a meal without compromising overall glycemic control or safety!*

How is it different?

A Medscape article states that  Fiasp is  absorbed twice as fast as its counterparts.

It does this with the help of  two excipients–Vitamin B3 is responsible for the increase in the speed of absorption and Amino Acid (L-Arginine)  has been added for extra stability.**

What do users think?

All of this science is great but most people are wondering how well it works in real life settings.  From what I have seen, the bulk of users really like it.  I could only find one person out of about a dozen users who had returned to their old insulin aspart.

When I asked my son for his review I was told “I still have highs. I still have lows BUT if I have a heavy carb  loaded meal, Fiasp kicks butt and I don’t have the same crazy swings that I always did before.” For a 19 year old who can definitely binge on carbs, this is huge.

Other users seem to have  had similar results.

Some people with diabetes found that the insulin peaks were no longer as pronounced.  They had some difficulty battling highs with Fiasp however while others found it perfect for corrections. In fact some people are purchasing Fiasp just for corrections.

Other users explained that the faster insulin action allowed them to more quickly respond to rising blood glucose levels.  This in turn meant resulted in much  tighter control.  The quick action has  also left one user to caution about the timing of any  prebolus.

Most seemed to agree that Fiasp insulin resulted in fewer food spikes and more stable blood glucose levels but as I said not everyone loves it.  For some users, their traditional rapid acting insulin seemed to work better.

Final thoughts…

All in all, most people with diabetes who are  trying the new kid on the block seem to be happy with it.  It offers another insulin choice  for those who struggled with post-meal spikes or don’t pre-bolus meals.

It must also be noted however that while Fiasp is not currently approved for use in insulin pumps in Canada, both those on insulin pumps and MDI are using this insulin aspart.

Finally, I was also happy to see that the price of Fiasp insulin was par with NovoRapid.  This meant that there was no need to worry about an increased cost for out of pocket insulin expenses.  My understanding is that Fiasp insulin is not yet on many (or any) provincial formularies.  This most likely will mean that if you decide to use the insulin and are currently using a publicly funded program, you may have to either pay for this insulin out of pocket or speak to your doctor about having special authorization added to your benefits to ensure full coverage.

Please remember to check with your diabetes team before starting any new insulin regimen. 




Does Diabetes make us healthy?

I have recently read blog posts about people getting healthy and in shape. I have begun to notice a term “sweatbetes”.  I am not into much of the new lingo and I admit to being pretty slack on the entire fitness scene.  We try to get a walk in on a regular basis. When the sun comes out, there is a walking trail that we try to visit on a semi-regular basis.  My son plays hockey with his friends now and then but is not a fitness guru or currently concerned about his abs.

We are working on trying to loose a bit of weight in the house but have always maintained pretty healthy eating habits.  My children love fruit.  They eat little junk (unlike their mother).  I try to bake with less sugar, apple sauce instead of margarine, and use flax or whole wheat flour whenever possible.

Do I do this on purpose? Am I trying to teach my sons to eat healthy? Am I trying to keep them off the obesity track? I guess in a way I am.  I have always felt it was important for them to eat right. Their mother has a sweet tooth, I really wanted to help them avoid that. 

Did diabetes impact this decision? I don’t think so.  I gave my boys plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables long before diabetes.  I have tried to modify my cooking to have more grains and less preservatives for years.

When I grew up, I saw people struggle with their weight. They made me very conscious of how difficult it can be if you end up having to deal with obesity.  I have tried to make sure that my children were not weight conscious and respectful of people of all sizes.  They have been perfect in my eyes no matter what their weight. I have also worked to try to show them healthy options.  We have had chicken nuggets but with age, my children would rather have a good salad.  We have cakes but they would often prefer an extra helping of strawberries. 
Did I make these choices because of diabetes? No.  Did diabetes mean that I was more concerned than ever? Yes.  In our family, we know that diabetes increase the risk of heart problems.  We know that good cholesterol levels, even in my youngest son, are vital.  We work to keep them in check and so far we are winning.