Apidra, Novolog or Humalog - which do you use? Please share your experiences! (I will be experimenting w/ all 3)

Hi everyone,
I recently got some free samples of Novolog and Apidra from my endocrinologist so that I can try them out (I currently use Humalog in my pump).

I would really like to hear about your experiences with whatever fast-acting analogs you’ve tried!

For more info on my “experiment” please visit my blog, at www.teamsweetpea.com.

Thanks for your help!!

I use Novolog, but not because of any properties of the insulin. I am on MDI and the Novopen Junior allows for 1/2 units of insulin. I like that flexibility as I use small doses. (2-4 units usually) I do find that under 2 units doesn’t always register but I often do 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 depending on my starting BG level, exercise plans and planned carb intake.

hello, I used novolog (novorapid in France) a year ago and my doctor told me to use Apidra. I have one shot of lantus by day, and I use small doses of Apidra (4-5 units) My A1c was bad (8,5%) . I think that apidra, for myself, is more speedy than novolog. After meal and 4 units of apidra my bg can be at 0,50 two hours later. It was not the same with novolog. Without walking I stayed at 2,20 two hours after meal under novolog. But my A1c is 7,7% now.
For me, Apidra is too much fast and novolog is too slow!!! Maybe I need to have pen wiho allows 1/2 unit of insulin but there’s not that kind of pen in France!
I hope you make the good choose. sorry for my mistakes.

i’ve used novolog, and none of the others and have had good success with it.

I use Humalog, Symlin, and Lantus. I use the Humalog and Symlin before meals and Humalog on a sliding scale if I need it in between meals and then Lantus at lunch and bedtime. Most recent A1c was 7.0

I’ve been on Humalog forever – never really thought about changing it. I’m curious to see what you discover!!

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I also have used Humalog for the past several years. I used Novolog before that, but didn’t really notice any difference when I changed (admittedly, with my control it probably would not have been noticed if there was a difference).

Humalog is the only fast-acting insulin available in Hungary (where I live). And since I’m paying about a dollar a month for insulin here, it would be hard to convince me to change!!!

But please let us know your findings!!!

I’ve used all three, Humalog the longest ago. Switched to Novolog because the pens were disposable and and I thought the “clicker” on the Humalog pen was wearing out. I tried Apidra because at one time I was being so aggressive with insulin, I thought I noticed a trend where 2 hours post meal was okay, but was going low after that, apidra was supposed to have a quicker peak and slightly shorter duration. While using Apidra, I felt like maybe it ended to quickly, and I was getting highs past the 2 hour time frame. In the end, Apidra just didn’t seem that different plus the Apidra pen is bulky and awkward. So I’m still using Novolog and happy with it.
I also found Scott’s post about the old animal insulins compared to the new analogs a very good read.

I did a one month switch to Apidra for the same reasons as you. I have been on Humalog since my diagnosis. i pump using an Animas 2020. Here’s what I found:

  1. With Apidra, my basal rates went down by 50%.
  2. Apidra did seem to kick in quicker. Humalog used to peak in 90 minutes for me. Apidra peaks in 60 minutes.
  3. When I switched back, it took a day for the Humalog to be effective again. i suspect that the body’s immune system has to get used to the new insulin. This is the one thing you need to watch out for when you switch analog insulins and back.

I also tried a CGMS trial to study the trends. I like what I see in Apidra. I think I’ll switch.

I’ve used Novalog for quite sometime, and I use to use Humalog. It’s been so long ago that I can’t remember if I noticed a difference or not. After 15 years it seems my T1 history is a bit blurred (but not my vision)!

I could never get Humalog to work properly. Injecting 15 minutes before I ate I’d be too high at 1 hour and then too low later on.The more I used it the worse it was.

In contrast, Novolog works perfectly if I inject it right before I eat. I use one unit per 12-15 grams depending on time of day and am in the 90s at 2 hours after eating. If I didn’t use Novolog I’d be in the 200s.

Hi Sara,
I personally think that the one that works for your body’s metabolism is the one to go with. I started out on the Novolog, but it just didn’t seem to work well for me. The peak times just weren’t right. I also started on Lantus at night at the same time. That may have made a difference. I don’t know. My nights were really bad with the rise in my blood sugars. The Lantus helped, but we had to keep raising the dose until we got it right. Then we worked on getting the days in better shape. We didn’t have a lot of luck there so my doctor switched me to Humalog and it finally started working out well. We also added a shot of Lantus in the mornings along with the Humalog after each meal and now I have great control. My last A1C was 5.6 . I feel tremendously better keeping my blood sugars down and keeping my diet under control as well. Youy may have to try each of them to find the one that works best for you. Good luck and please keep us posted.

Have used Humalog since the beginning (all of them) and had great numbers, used Novolog when I was preggo and didn’t seem to be any different. Used Apridra with absolutely NO success what-so-ever, like another member said I noticed that my numbers were reading like I had never even taken a dose and had major highs. HTH and good luck!!! Oh yeh, still on the Humalog…

I never knew there could be that much of a difference between insulin types! Very interesting… I can’t wait to hear back about your experiences. I have used Humalog since my diagnosis (2000) and switched to Lantus from another long acting about 2 years ago… I’m happy with that switch for sure. My last A1C was 7% and I’d love to do better than that. I know I have room for improvement sometimes with my food choices and carb counting, but hadn’t though about changing to another type of insulin…

Thank you all for responding - I can’t believe how much great information is here already! It is really helpful to hear how these insulins work for other people.

Craig, I’m on day 3 with Apidra and I think I’m seeing some trends similar to what you and sri describe - a faster peak and shorter duration, but I haven’t crunched the numbers yet so I can’t really be sure. If so, that works great for use in a pump (not necessarily for MDIs though!).

sri, you make are really interesting point about immunity - I will have to pay close attention to the first couple days after the switch. Maybe it would be better to do two weeks on each one instead of one…

Hannah, I heard the same thing about Apidra being less viscous. I never really got a lot of no delivery alarms on Humalog, but it will be interesting to see if the absorption is any different!

Thanks again for all your feedback - keep it coming! I’ll be posting regular updates on my blog.

I’ve used Regular, Humalog, Novolog and Apidra, so I’ve tried them all. My own experience was that Humalog was the fastest to work and had the shortest duration of activity. Novolog was a waste for me; I found it was incredibly slow (I showed no reduction in glucose levels for 3 hours) and lasted about 8 hours – making it hardly any different (except that it costs 50% more) than Regular. Apidra falls somewhere in between; it was not as fast as Humalog, but much faster than Novolog. However, my own feeling is that rapid-acting analogs are more hyped than in reality; no fewer than 5 meta-analyses have proven conclusively that the clinical trials on analogs were of methodologically poor quality, did not show meaningful differences in hemoglobin A1c. These analysis were done in Switzerland/Italy, the UK, Germany and Canada.

I think the jury is out as to whether the analogs are worth their higher prices!

Has anyone had any trouble with water retention with the Humalog, Novolog or Apidra?


I just got some Apidra samples and used them for two meals today. I’d been seeing some highs with Novolog recently–I opened a new pen and was still seeing highs, but possibly my pens were getting old since I bought them in October.

Whatever the case, the first two trials the Apidra worked extremely quickly and it gave me even better numbers than Novolog has been. I didn’t go high at all and was back to baseline by 2 hours and dropped a bit more in the third hour. Nothing after that. Also my blood sugar started to drop at 15 minutes and I think that the claim you could inject after eating might hold up.

The only downside is the Opticlick pen. My mate took one look at it and asked me if it was an extra large vibrator. I don’t think it will fit comfortably in my purse, either. Your point in an old blog entry about what happens if you lose the pen is a real concern, ditto what happens if you want to check that the cartridge hadn’t gone bad by using a new one.

I read that they will be using the Solostar disposable pen for Apidra, eventually, and I’ve been using one of those (also a sample) with Lantus. It seems pretty much identical to the Novolog pen. No half units, but otherwise fine.

Jenny, I have been using Apidra myself for the past 1.5 years, and find it works pretty well (much better than Novolog did for me). Also, the company has done clinical trials of dosing after eating and found that a majority of patients found no decline in control, making it the only analog which can recommend post-meal injection (at least according to my own endo; I haven’t verified it myself). I find the Opticlik pen to be the least attractive feature; Solostar could resolve that issue – when it becomes available!

I use solostar Apidra, but there is no 0,5 unit. I use before or after meal. I didn’t like the Opticlick pen. Do you no the autopen from Owen Mumford? I use it for my Lantus shots and I like it very much.