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View Full Version : Vet Info Network discussion of differences in Novolin and Humulin N


k9diabetes
05-05-2013, 05:39 PM
http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=25958 (http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=25958)

Kathy (founding moderator) sent me a link to this article... I need to get back in the habit of checking the VIN website's news...

The article reports the same thing that I have seen reported periodically over the past year or so as Walmart's Relion N went from Novolin N to Humulin N and then back to Novolin N.

http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=25958 (http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=25958)


Spokespersons for the manufacturers say their brands are not identical. “Humulin and Novolin are made using different ingredients and manufacturing techniques, so they are not the same,” said Julie Williams, communications manager for Lilly Diabetes.

Ken Inchausti, director of media relations, communications and public affairs for Novo Nordisk, Inc., concurred. “There are going to be some distinctions,” he said. “... You can have variations in terms of, one NPH is constructed this way, one NPH is constructed another way.”

Inchausti advised: “I would say that any time you are switching medications in any situation, it does require delicate and close monitoring and care to make sure you will have a consistent outcome. ... Switching insulins is not like changing batteries!”


My understanding betwen 2003 and about 2011 was that the insulins generally could be considered interchangeable and it could be that at one time they were more similar than they are now.

One of the risks over time, particularly with a product that doesn't produce much profit, is that manufacturing quality could fall by the wayside in an effort to wring some profit from sales to Walmart. The bigger risk, of course, is that they stop manufacturing it altogether. It also seems, strictly anecdotally, that it used to be easier to get a longer shelf-life from the bottles. That too may have changed over time.

Keep in mind that I am not saying that one N insulin is better than the other.

Some people who switched and found them different got better regulation. Some who switched and found them different got worse regulation. And some who switched got the same regulation.

My general take is that there aren't any "bad" insulins. There are insulins (if you're lucky, more than one) that work for your dog and insulins that don't. Every dog is different.

I also am not as negative about NPH generally as Dr. Peterson and others. Vetsulin is not my first choice for diabetic dogs because of the U40 concentration and the cost that comes from a bottle having 2.5 times fewer units of insulin than the same size bottle of U100 insulin.

If Vetsulin is selling for an average of $50 a bottle for 400 units, it would be $125 for 1,000 units. So it is somewhat more expensive than even the most expensive sources of NPH.

The syringes are hard to find and come in few varieties, and the faster acting component in the insulin can overwhelm dogs' digestion of their food. Dr. Peterson states that he likes the 30-35% faster acting insulin in the product to deal with post-meal high blood sugar. But realistically, we just don't see that many dogs having a post-prandial blood sugar rise. At least as many, and maybe more, have a quick fall in blood sugar in the first two hours.

So my first choice is NPH, second choice is Vetsulin for small dogs and possibly Levemir for large dogs. They all have pluses and minuses.

Natalie

farrwf
05-06-2013, 03:59 AM
Good and factual info!

Now we know the situation.

ABBIE'SMOM
05-06-2013, 06:20 PM
Very interesting~ I called Wal-mart to see how I could get Novolin N from them when I was getting Abbie's 2nd bottle of Insulin. They said no problem, you don't need a prescription, you can come & pick it up.
When I talked to the Vet, he asked didn't they require a prescription, I said no, but maybe it was that one clerk & asked him to call it in to Wal-mart. He did, when I went to pick it up, they said he had prescribed Humulin N. The clerk said I don't need a prescription for Novolin N, so I stuck with it.
I mentioned the prescript & different insulin that he ordered when I went in the next time. He said oh they are the same! I have been struggling to get Abbie's blood sugar regulated & Who knows what this would have done If I had changed.You learn so much on this site!
Thank you!
Elaine & Abbie

amydunn19
05-06-2013, 07:45 PM
The Humulin would have cost you another $60 too.