Switching from Novolog to Humalog

Looks like I’ll be switching insulins, due to new Rx coverage, effective in January 2018. My endo has said they are essentially the same, but I thought I’d check in here. Also on Lantus, but that will stay the same. Doing MDI with a CGM right now.

thanks for any input.

I think there are minor differences that can be noticeable for some people. I tried Humalog briefly and found that I needed much more of it for carbs and corrections, that I had to increase my basal rates (I was using it in a pump) and that it didn’t last as long.


My son has not used Humalog, but I’ve heard the same as @Scott_Eric. Caleb’s endo discourages its use bc of experience he’s seen with pumping - it being more susceptible to clogging. Any chance your insurance is Aetna? We got a similar notice.

@Scott_Eric - How’s the puppy?

I made that switch and didn’t notice much of a difference—I think humalog may be a tiny bit faster/have less of a tail, but hard to say. I’m also on MDI (humalog and tresiba, formerly lantus), so the clogging/pumping concern wasn’t an issue.

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I used NovoLog for years and I’ve used Humalog for years. I don’t see any functional difference between the two. I have noticed on the internet some people claim they find difference between the two. If that’s true it’s now a your mileage may vary issue

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I’ve used both. I need about 12% more insulin on Humalog than on Novolog on MDI. But in a previous thread on a different message board, I noted that there were others who had the opposite experience. Also Humalog gets started a little faster than Novolog for me and at least in previous years had a slightly shorter tail. However, this year I’ve noticed that a typical mealtime dose (8 units) of Humalog takes between five and six hours to finish working, which is as long as Novolog took the last time I was on it about three years ago.It may be just that at my age (76) pretty much everything about how my body works is slowing down. :wink: However, due to statin-induced muscle damage, I’m a lot less active than in former years, too, so that might also influence things.

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For me like others I need more Humalog to cover the same vs Novolog. Also, Novolog is more tolerant of heat (important for people like me who live in the desert). For one of our admins, David, Humalog does absolutely NOTHING for him.

Technically theyre the same, but users have reported different experiences.

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I also have Aetna but haven’t gotten any notice on a change. They did switch me a few years back from Humalog to Novolog and I guess in typical insurance fashion, we got back to the other one?!
Over the years I have had to go back and forth between the two and have never really noticed any difference. But YDMV!

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The bottom line is that there is so much individual variation that the only way to know, really know, is to keep careful records and discover what effect it has for you. Novolog and Apidra have the same efficacy for me, but there is a considerable difference in speed and timing. Humalog, on the other hand, does absolutely nothing for me—might as well be a placebo. There’s something about my body chemistry that just doesn’t like it. That, admittedly, is the extreme case. But the rule holds: individuals have differing experience and the only thing that really matters is what your experience is.

He’s a lot of fun and a LOT of work! My last Golden lived to 13 and I was a teenager when he was a puppy, so I completely forgot how much work puppies are! 630am is sleeping in now! I’m loving it though, good practice for babies one day (or a lesson to NEVER have them… Kidding!)

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I recently switched from Humalog to novolog. I have noticed slight differences but am willing to bet it’s an individual thing.

Nice to hear! :slight_smile:

I have briefly used Novolog, but really prefer Humalog. No issue in the pump whatever. I find that generally whatever we are used to is what we like best. All the literature says there is no difference.


I don’t like the assumption that pharmacy benefit managers take that Apidra, Novolog, and Humalog are functionally equivalent. That may be a valid assumption on the population level but they need to allow for individual exceptions. As long as they don’t make the doctor and patient jump through numerous hoops to get an exception, I’m tolerant of their endless insulin formulary dance.

I’ve used all three of these insulins. I am allergic to Novolog when used in a pump. I get large raised red welts at the pump site when using Novolog. It’s been so long since I used Humalog, I can’t remember any material differences.

Good luck with your insulin switch. Do not be shy to complain to your doctor if the Humalog makes your control harder. Diabetes is hard enough to live with; these pharmacy business managers should not make us regularly go through this!

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Agree. You can ask for a medical necessity to stay on novolog which I did. The other one I tried caused lows.

I have used both Humalog and Novolog and there was not much difference for me. Several years ago, I switched to Novolog because I could use a Novolog Child’s pen that delivers in .5 units and get tighter control where Humalog pens were only available in 1 unit increments. Then 4 years ago, or so the digital pens that deliver in .1 units started coming out in Europe and they only worked with Humalog so I went back to Humalog as the digital pen was awesome for tight control. The latest iteration of digital pens deliver in .1 units and now take Humalog as well as Novolog and other cartridges. The insulin cartridges are available worldwide including the US, however, the digital pens still need to be purchased from a source in Europe and they are not FDA approved.


Thank you to everyone who chimed in with their experiences with switching from Novolog to Humalog. I love the phrase “insulin formulary dance”, though of course I don’t like the dance itself.

Humalog does now have a pen that can inject .5 units. It’s called “HumaPen”, and is kind of a heavy metal deal - though not in the rock band way.

Now, getting your dr’s office to send the new Rx to the right (and also frequently changing … grrr) mail order pharmacy is another story …

Is your switch to Humalog at the 100 concentration, also?

I was using Novolog 100 in a pump for about 2 years. I was eventually using so much that I was changing infusion sets about every 36 hours. Doc switched me to Humalog 200. Working fine and I was getting 3 days on an infusion set which is the max anyway. A few months ago insurance (Anthem BC/BS) said I could no longer use Humalog and had to switch to Novolog. Problem is that Novolog does not make a 200 version. Doc and I had to go through hoops to get Anthem to allow the Humalog 200.


Your comments just make me think that the insulin formulary dance is even crazier than I thought.

I ALSO have Anthem BC/BS, but here in Oregon, they are switching the opposite way, from Novolog to Humalog.

I’m using the 100/IU/mL cartridges.

That’s my exact experience. I now use humalog because it’s whats covered under my insurance, and I’ve adjusted.