Novolog vs humalog

Perhaps giving it a week or more would give your body time to adjust. Maybe you need more Humalog than Novolog. At least you have the Afrezza to clean things up.

I know this is an old thread, but stumbled upon it when my new job has express scripts. Seems like the only choice with them is Humalog/Lantus/one touch strips/ and bd pen needles. Other than the nuisance it’s hard to complain when I’m still just paying pennies to the dollar of what it truly cost. Without those bean counters making deals to keep prices as low as possible, I’m sure things wouldn’t be so affordable.

good thing i found this thread. my endo switch me to Novolog. was on Humalog but i was getting to high on it. & i think i may have develop an allergy to it. so far I’m doing good on the Novolog.

@Benjamin_McLaughlin, I’m glad your insurance is so affordable. Mine s not…I must pay $700 monthly on my husbands work policy and the prescription coverage s handled b CVS/Caremark which is terrible. They would not cover my generic syringes!! I am not leased with them. It is one issue after another!

I’m wondering as well, since I have a feeling that Novolog in JApan might be moderately cheaper than Humalog (which in Japan does not have a generic). I also find that Humalog occasionally seems to trail in my system past 7 hours (I’m almost 100% sure it’s not my lantus- I take 8ui twice daily).

If Novolog does indeed work faster (or if there is an insulin that works faster than Humalog), it might be time to switch.

Since you mentioned that you developed an allergy to humalog, I began to wonder if I’m in the same predicament as you. My humalog ratios have changed over the years, but my lantus levels have generally been stable. If there is some sort of allergy or something, perhaps I’ll wind up taking much less Novolog.

Or, it could be that you have engaged in some sort of activity that lowers your basal need, or you might have mildly overbolused and that effect coupled with your activity sends you low, or you might have bolused in your thigh or deltoid, not your abdomen which extends the activity time (while also pushing out the time of maximum effect), or … “Humalog occasionally seems to trail in my system past 7 hours”

I’ve used Novolog, Humalog and Apidra as my fast-acting on MDI. On Apidra enough of the insulin action was over within three hours most of the time, so I could use a 3-hour test to determine whether I would likely be safe to go to bed without a low and would not likely be too high overnight either. With Humalog I had to wait 4 hours to test, and with Novolog the wait was 5 hours.

If I was high before a meal, Apidra would drop me fast, so I could bolus and find my BG 30 or more points lower within 30 minutes if I waited that long to eat. Neither Novolog nor Humalog dropped my BG a single point within 30 minutes, and in one test not a single point even in 40 minutes, though in a second test it did drop a few points in 40 minutes. But that much is within the margin of error of the meter anyway.

I have been on Apidra for the past year. Unfortunately, my insurance dropped it in favor of Novolog this year. And in checking other Medicare part D supplements, I found that in my area there were 24 plans - but not one would cover Apidra as a tier 3 medication. One would cover it as a tier 4, but that would have cost me about $1300 more a year. So much as I prefer Apidra, I’ve changed to a different plan that covers Humalog. For me, it was much better than Novolog. But people are different. Some find Novolog faster than Humalog.

1 Like

Hi, I’m new here. I came to this site in hopes of learning how to advocate for myself better. I am 36 years old, type 1 for 30 years. I’ve been on Humalog since 1996. I have a battle on my hands with my insurance provider (Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Oklahoma) right now. My husband enrolled us in this insurance plan in October 2015 through his employer. I had plenty of insulin at that time, so I hadn’t tried to use this insurance to purchase my Humalog until two weeks ago. I have been on a Medtronic insulin pump for the last 6 years, using the Humalog and no long-term insulin. When I tried to go fill my insulin prescription two weeks ago, the pharmacy told us that our insurance provider refused to cover my Humalog because it is not a “preferred” drug. They would “prefer” that I use Novolog instead. I have tried Novolog in the past when I needed a new insulin prescription and had to go see a primary care doctor out of emergency (I dropped my last vial of Humalog and had to see someone quick) and this doctor personally liked Novolog better, thus forcing me to use it out of self-preservation. My body did not tolerate the Novolog very well at all. I was sick with highs all the time, miserable, and downright furious. Fast forward to present: now this insurance company thinks they know better than myself and my doctor regarding what insulin I need to use. The Humalog has worked great for me for well over a decade! How can I fight this?! I REFUSE to let an insurance company brow-beat me into using an insulin I do not tolerate well in order for them to save a few bucks! My doctor filled out an appeal form, faxed it to their appeal review (BlueLincs), and I received the paperwork in the mail last Friday saying that they STILL denied me the use of my Humalog!! I am so furious I am considering taking legal action! 1) I thought it was illegal to deny a diabetic their medication 2) we pay over $500/month in premiums for them to deny me my tried and true life-sustaining medication?!?! I use up to 3 vials of Humalog a month! Without insurance coverage, it costs us $750/month (same as my rent)! A single vial is $250!! I notified my doctor’s nurse the day I tried to fill my insulin prescription of what is going on, that I’ve tried Novolog before and it does not work with my body chemistry, and that I was out of insulin. 2 weeks later, I am still out of insulin and having to re-use insulin from old pump reservoirs in order to get by. I am in college and classes start Tuesday. I’m scared that I’m going to have to try to learn without having my insulin, or that I will be FORCED into starting Novolog out of self-preservation and that it will make classes harder due to extremely high blood sugars. What can I do? I’m to the point of saying “forget it,” taking my pump off, not using any insulin, and whatever happens, happens. Anyone have any advice or help?

You and your prescriber need to challenge the denial. See if you can get your provider to document that you are allergic to Novolog. In my medical opinion, if using Novolog results in highs that make you feel sick and nauseated, this is a medication allergy. As an MD, I frequently have to document allergies to medications; nausea and vomiting are two of many bona fide allergic reactions. Don’t give up! Health insurers suck the big one…

3 Likes

In the meantime, ask your provider for some sample vials of Humalog.

Please check your PMs.

1 Like

That is exactly what my doctor did when my insurance company was forcing me to use Humalog instead of Novolog or Apidra - he wrote that I have an allergy to Humalog (as I get bad reactions to it) and, therefore have to use the others. They approved the prescriptions I needed quickly after that.

I agree with @rgcainmd’s advice. The only thing I’d add is that if your college has an on campus student health office, they may be able to help you also----

I’m sure every school is different but where I went to college they had a practitioner in the office who could write prescriptions, refer to other practitioners, write letters, they could even dispense some prescription meds themselves, etc… And we were already paying for it with our tuition and other fees…

1 Like

Thank you for the advice!

I notified my endocrinologist’s office the day I attempted to purchase my insulin prescription of what is transpiring. They know I am out of insulin and did not offer me any. I think it’s because I have had to ask for free sample vials so much in the last 2 years. My husband works in the oilfield and has been through 4 layoffs in the past 3 years. It seems like every time we get insurance started, he gets laid off. I am not currently working because I cannot handle the exertion of working, going to college full-time, and managing a household. We depend solely on my husbands income. Because I cannot afford the exorbitant prices on my healthcare needs, I have had to ask pretty frequently for assistance from them for insulin and pump supplies in the last 2 years.

My insulin costs $250/vial and I can use up to 3 vials/month. 3 vials costs $750/month. This doesn’t include my supplies, or other meds I’m currently taking. I cannot afford it at this rate! I’d give ANYTHING to have pre-ObamaCare prices again!! $100/vial seems like nothing compared to the prices now!

My doctor’s office submitted an appeal form stating that I am intolerant to Novolog, but I got paperwork in the mail last Friday stating that BlueLincs is still denying me my Humalog. I’ve called my endocrinologists office again today, but I got the answering machine and no call back thus far. I am also trying to find a phone number to contact my state’s Insurance Commission. I found one, but I was unsure whether or not it was the correct department to call. Either way, it’s MLK Day, so most government agencies are closed today.

My college is a community college affiliated with one of our state universities. I was an on-campus student for the first year and a half, but transferred over to an online-only student because they did not offer a meal plan for students and it was too difficult to try to go through the whole day without eating. They have a cafe, and charge students $5 for a small plastic container with roughly 6 carrot sticks and a cup of ranch. They offered meals, but it was way too pricey in my opinion for struggling college students. Too expensive for my household!! My college does not have a nurse or any medical office for students, even though they offer a nursing program. That was exceptionally scary to me when I was on-campus. But, my college offers a medical insurance plan for $950/month for students!! :frowning:

I’m really starting to think that the medical/healthcare profession no longer cares about the patient, but rather their bottom line: cold, hard $$$!!!

Wow that’s changed a lot in the 15 years since I was in school---- I think we paid like $250 / semester for the insurance plan which pretty much covered full primary care at the campus health clinic… That was at a Cal State University

I’ve still found my primary care doctors office to be much more responsive than my endos office-- so I have them manage all my prescriptions… They’re just better at it— the endo sends them chart notes that presumably indicate that I know how to manage effectively and the primary doc pretty much signs off whatever I ask for— might be worth contacting your primary if you have one instead of your endo

Well, I cannot comment about things changing, lol. I did everything backwards in life. Kids, marriage, then college. I’m 36 years old and have been in college for the last 3 years. I am transferring to another university after I graduate to finish my degree. The college I’m in now doesn’t offer the degree program I am intending to go into. I had to end up staying where I was after enrolling for a different major, then changing my mind. Decided it was best to at least stay where I was to get my prerequisites out of the way. I still have at least another 4 years to go before I even enter the workforce. No retirement for me!!

you might find some help here
http://www.lillycares.com/index.aspx

and here’s our general patient assistance page
http://www.tudiabetes.org/diabetes-patient-assistance-resources/

Thank you, Marie.

I’ve used the LillyCares patient assistance program before, but there is an income requirement. Unfortunately, according to most patient assistance programs, my household makes too much money to qualify.

Taxes, insurance premiums, uniforms, and child support for my step-daughters takes over half of what my husband brings in weekly. He makes $20/hour, but he brings home less than $500/week. They just laid off a whole bunch of people the week after New Years, transferred my husband from nights to days, and took away all their overtime, which is what we needed to survive. $20/hour @ 40 hours/week just isn’t enough to make it these days. We are literally drowning. $750/month rent, $130/month light bill, $200/month for cable/phone/Internet for school, $120/month for car insurance, then food, fuel, and necessities. We struggle quite a bit and there is so little left after bills that we have only been able to afford to eat one meal a day for the last 2 years. Husband makes too much gross to qualify for any assistance.

I know I’ve shared a lot of personal info here today, which I normally wouldn’t do, but I want to make apparent that even people in the lower middle-class are seriously struggling these days.

2 Likes

we are struggling too. I completely understand. My endo sometimes gives me 2, sometimes 3 bottles. I’m a little ashamed to say sometimes I ask the nurse when he’s not in the room and see if I can get more.

1 Like

Don’t feel bad, Marie. I’ve had to do the same thing. It’s especially frustrating that some Dr’s and nurses don’t seem to understand what average people go through to meet our needs. If only we all made what the medical profession makes. I’m sure if we did, none of us would think twice about the prices of medical care and prescriptions. Unfortunately, though, not all of us get blessed with that kind of financial security.