Non-analog insulins for the pump?

I would like to learn if there are any options that you would recommend me asking my endo about, to switch out of Novolog into a (less expensive) non-analog insulin for my pump and whether that is a good idea or not.


I started with Velosulin in my first pump. It was Novo-Nordisk “buffered” regular insulin. The thought was that it would produce less pump occlusions.

I switched to Humalog about 2 years later and noticed a dramatic difference in terms of less hypos and more predictable coverage of meals. I was always frustrated by having to bolus 1/2 before a meal and hope I didn’t go low before the food kicked in.

I know there is a vocal minority of folks in this community who advocate the use of animal insulins and non-analogues as superior, but from my standpoint, the faster the insulin takes effect, the better for overall control, especially in a pump where precision is preferable.

Are you paying out of pocket for Novolog? If yes I could understand why you would want to consider changing otherwise if Novolog is controlling your BG then I would let it be.

I will be curious to see what others have to say,


So you would say analogs are better, Mick?

I really like the analogues, especially in a pump. For my money, it’s a natural fit to give the fastest acting insulin available in the most precise delivery system available.

Remember, nothing with diabetes is set in stone. You can always try a bottle of Regular for a couple of weeks or a month to see if you prefer it. If not, and you feel it’s worth going back, then do it. Either way, at least you can compare for yourself. This is something I have really learned from this community, no matter what anyone else’s experiences are, yours will be unique to you! Ubuntu, Mick

I am, but only for a short period of time due to a wait period in between insurances.


I would say that there is probably no downside, especially with the cost difference, to trying a non-analogue in the pump. As I said, give it a try and see how you like it.

You should just be aware that you may have to modify the timing of your premeal boluses.

Just wanted to bump this question… as I am curious about this option as well!

Has anyone tried using non-analog insulin in a pump???

For what its worth, when I wore a pump, insulin analogues were still new and many insurance plans weren’t covering them, so like many pumpers, I started with regular. My personal experience was that Novolog was the slowest analog, hardly faster than the regular insulin which was available without Rx and at less than half the cost, but Humalog was significantly faster. The main issue is that you may need to adjust basals slightly with regular because the tail of activity is longer, but other than that, you shouldn’t find the differences too major … remember, the human body doesn’t use insulin analogues … only regular!

Just to be the devil’s advocate -
“remember, the human body doesn’t use insulin analogues … only regular!”

Although your point that all insulin in nature is regular insulin, you should also remember that insulin was also never intended to be injected subcutaneously. Even analogues don’t approach the speed at which insulin acts in nature when it is working intravenously, and likely more importantly, intra-hepatically (?sp).

Analogues are the closest thing we have now to that speed. Subcutaneous regular, for most individuals, makes timing of bolus and meal, much more challenging than working with any of the available analogues.

Yes, subcutaneously injected insulin – even the shortest acting insulin analogues – have time-activity profiles measured in hours, whereas plasma secreted insulin’s time-activity profile is measured in minutes. But the bigger question is how safe we should feel about using insulin analogues which have the potential of carginogenic (cancer-causing) effects, and which is more dangerous … elevated blood glucose levels for a short period, or long-term exposure to a man-made substance which could cause cancer? Its really a judgment call, but know that the science has suggested both may be true, so choose your treatments with knowledge of all of the evidence, not just those pieces the drug industry wants you to know about.