Collection of 3 Insulin Pens

Novolog vs Humalog Insulin



Disclaimer: This website and blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Read full disclaimer.

When I first starting injecting short acting insulin, my doctor prescribed Humalog in an insulin pen.  At the beginning of this year, my medical insurance company (Aetna), issued a a new drug formula for 2020, and it said that Novolog was the preferred drug.  This meant that I had to try Novolog before the insurance would cover Humalog.

I was a little nervous about this change, so I did some research.  I found that they are very similar, although some people do prefer one form of insulin over the other.  Like many things in medicine, there are individual differences in how people respond to medications.

In my experience, the Novolog insulin worked as well as the Humalog insulin.

Insulin sensitive? Ask for the pediatric version

I like the Junior version of the Humalog U-100 KwikPen because I am very sensitive to insulin and 1.5 units was often the perfect dose for dinner, and 0.5 units was a good correction dose for me.   In the above photo, the Junior version is the middle insulin pen, and if you look closely, you can see that it has the ability to dial in a half a dose of insulin.

If you are sensitive to insulin like me, you may want to ask your doctor for an insulin pen that allows for delivering half doses.

Novolog also has a product for pediatric patients called the NovoPen Echo.  So whether your insurance company signed a deal with Lilly (Humalog) or Novo Nordisk (Novolog), you can ask your doctor for the pediatric version of the insulin pen.

The NovoPen Echo also has a memory and records the last dose given.  I’ve never tried the NovoPen Echo, but I also wonder if it’s better in other ways.  I found the Junior version of the Humalog KwikPen a little easier to use as well.  If you have LADA diabetes, it’s possible that you are really sensitive to insulin and that you could benefit from a device that allows for half units.

It’s kind of like finding the right size shoe… If you give yourself 3 units of insulin when you really need 2.5, then you’ll likely end up with low blood glucose a couple hours after the meal.

That said, now that I’ve switched to an insulin pump, I am thinking about how much finer control that is.

Switch to an Insulin Pump for Finer Control

I just recently switched to an insulin pump, which allows for much finer dosing precision.  With the insulin pens, the smallest amount I could inject was a half of a unit.  With an insulin pump, I can do as little as 1/10th of a unit.  Being able to bolus 0.2 or 0.3 units is a noticeable advantage!!

My Medtronic MiniMed 670G Insulin Pump, on the manual bolus screen, showing small 0.1 insulin dose

Both Humalog and Novolog can be used in insulin pumps.  My insurance company keeps switching what they prefer, and now I’m back on Humalog, but using it in a pump now.  I’ll write more about that in a future blog posts.

Related Links

Novolog Insulin Pens – Information about the NovoPen Echo for kids.

Humalog KwikPen – Includes information about the junior insulin pen.

Humalog vs Novolog – What’s the difference?  – Basically they are extremely similar!

Novolog vs Humalog: Which Is Better?  The author of this article prefers Novolog.  I’ve also read anecdotes on discussion forums from people who prefer Humalog.

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