Some recent thoughts and news about insulin pens

I recently had to revisit some of my insulin pen strategies and learned some new things so I thought I might share them here.

+ Novo Nordisk is no longer making a number of insulin products and packaging options. (see: list here.) Of import to me they recently quit making Novolin N (NPH). Bummer. They now only make NPH in a vial. Yeah, I know, NPH is kinda old school. I also use Novolog and Levemir but I still use NPH to target exceptional morning highs. (My doctor’s recommendation. Works great.)

+ Because of this I had to change my NPH prescription to Lilly who
still makes Humulin N. But they only package it in a disposable plastic
prefilled QwikPen. Gotta say, I’m not impressed with the KwikPen when compared to the NovoPen or the FlexPen. Drawing a dose is much more complex - needlessly so in my opinion - but I’m thankful to still be able to use NPH.

+ Novo Nordisk and the insulin industry in general is moving away from 3ml cartridges and is packaging insulin only in the disposable plastic (use-once and throw-away) pen. Many of the still produced insulins are now only available in Flexpen/KiwkPen format (and vials). That’s a sad development for me too. The 3ml cartridges were so much easier to manage when traveling or trekking. The cartridges were about 80% smaller to pack and therefore easier to keep cool in hot environments and warm in cold environments. And the metal reusable pens were indestructible while the plastic disposable pens crack and break pretty easily. And they just aren’t environmentally friendly. Plus ya gotta carry em in and out. Nope, I loved my 3ml cartridges. Sometime change is not good ;-(

Upon further browsing I discovered I was wrong about something I posted above. Turns out the Humulin N Pen is not a KwikPen format. Which is good because I was very surprised at how awkward and complex the operation of the pen is and I couldn’t believe Lilly was still using such an old pen design. Turns out they don’t package Humulin N in their new KwiPen format. They only package it in something called the Original Prefilled Pen which is a totally funky difficult-to-use antique-style pen. Yet another indicator of discontinued support for NPH insulin. The KwikPens are something else and appear to be more modern.

I also prefer the reusable pens. I use the Lilly Luxura HD for my Humalog (though I have used both of the disposable pens as well) since it’s the only way to dose in .5 unit increments, and yes, the delivery from the re-usable pens just feels so much more solid.

I'm on the Lantus SoloStar pen, Lindsay. It COMES with 300 ml of Lantus (insulin glucogene) pre-loaded. All you have to do is attach a pen needle, and dial your dose. Mine is 20 units, so that's not too bad. I've only been on it now for 2 weeks, and I'm still learning how to use it.

I also am on Lantus and Novolog (flexpen ) and have been on both for 6 years. I am still refining the Lantus and the sliding scale for the Novolog. I started out on 15U of Lantus once a day, at present I am down to 10U twice a day. It seems I was not getting 24 hr. coverage. So the endo divided the dose and it has really helped. BG are mostly flatline now along with the Novolog,, and A1c is down to 5.9% from 7.4% Which is great for me. Since I have gone Low Carb with Dr. B's group, Novolog Units and weight have also dropped.

Give it all time, I think the saying is " Things happen for those who waite.

Good luck Chele

You can get a free Humalog Memoir pen or Humalog Luxura pen at