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Old 09-20-2014, 05:48 PM
WestieGirl16 WestieGirl16 is offline
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Default New here! Novolin vs Humulin experience

Hi everyone!

New here, came across this forum while googling Novolin vs Humulin. Posting to share some info.

My Westie was diagnosed last July 2013. After many curves we finally got her perfect on 5 units of Humulin N 2x a day. I've been getting the prescription filled at Target this entire time. Two weeks ago I go to pick up her insulin and they had subbed Novolin N for her Humulin since it was on backorder. I noted the difference and they said that since it was on backorder thats what the supplier sent and that it was the same. Did a little googling when I got home which led me to some older threads on this forum. Made me hesitant to change to Novolin especially since vet said that I should watch her to make sure she didn't go into shock. Target said that they wouldn't take the bottle back since it had left the store and they couldn't dispense it to anyone else (even though it was unopened at the time because it would be a loss to the store. So I was super paranoid and started her on the Novolin when I was home and could watch her. Everything seemed fine and I thought she was going to be okay with it.

Over the next week, I noticed her drinking a lot more water than usual. Noticed her panting even though she wasn't being active, just sitting on the couch looking out the open window. The clincher was that she had three accidents in the house, when she hadn't had any in MONTHS. I was DONE and new I had to stop giving her the Novolin. I called around to see if anyone had Humulin in stock and found it at Costco. I had the vet call in a new script and picked it up today.

Moral of the story is that I should have gone with my instinct and declined the Novolin. Because they are indeed different. Now I'm stuck with a $110 full new bottle of Novolin since it was only used for a week but at least I feel better that I was able to get my hands on her regular insulin. Hopefully she'll be back to normal soon.

I wanted to post so that if someone is ever in my shoes, and are googling like I was, they can find a recent post about what I experienced.

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Old 09-20-2014, 10:59 PM
k9diabetes's Avatar
k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
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Location: Northern California
Posts: 11,306
Default Re: New here! Novolin vs Humulin experience

I'm sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with the switch...

I do think it's important to note that the differences in the two typically are fairly small and there are other potential reasons why a different bottle of insulin - regardless of the maker - might have such a different effect.

We have seen many people switch back and forth between Walmart's Relion Novolin N and Humulin N and get a nearly identical response.

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Old 09-20-2014, 11:33 PM
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Riliey and Mo Riliey and Mo is offline
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Default Re: New here! Novolin vs Humulin experience

Hello and welcome

glad you found us

can you tell us abit more about your dog to provide more data

how much does he weigh?
how much insulin is he given, where and when

i found switching insulin from nph to humilin and back, no difference.

i think its important to gather all info on your dog and keep a log, i did and still do

it was important for me to start hometesting. I got a glucose meter, some strips and lancets and started testing my Riliey before breakfast and insulin. Then i started doing my own curves. Testing every 2 hours for a 12 hour period.

this is important to take control of your dogs diabetes. I did, still trst 3 or 4 times a day.

whether your injectioning humulin or novolin this testing will show you how your dogs blood sugar is doing every hour.

if your dog is drinking more water and having accidents in the house could be a few things. Collecting more data on your dog, along with vet visits will tell you more. Again a 12 hour curve will help . He could need more insulin, have an infection, or other medical diagnose.

did your vet do a curve, be nice to see the results. Please post a recent curve.
Riliey . aka Ralphy, Alice, Big Boy
20 lb male. 5 1/2 nph insulin. 1/2 cup fromms. black cockapoo, dx Apr 2012 . 5 1\2 yrs diabetic. 2000 to 2017
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Old 09-21-2014, 01:40 AM
JoJo's mom's Avatar
JoJo's mom JoJo's mom is offline
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Location: Westchester, New York
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Default Re: New here! Novolin vs Humulin experience

Hi and welcome
I made the switch from Humulin-N to Novolin-N about 3 months ago. The cost of the Humulin was over $100. I get the Novolin at walmart for $24.88. They have a special arrangement with the manufacturer for this price.
I was able to make the switch with no problem although I found the novolin to be slightly weaker in strength. Once I upped jojo's dose he has done fine.
Again as everyone mentioned you need to home test so that you will know how your dog is reacting to whatever insulin you are using.

Good Luck'
JoJo 6 yr old mini-schnauzer dx with diabetes over 3 years ago. Currently on 16U of Novolin N 2 x a day. AlphaTrak 2. Also Calli 3 yr old yellow lab mix.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:33 AM
WestieGirl16 WestieGirl16 is offline
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Default Re: New here! Novolin vs Humulin experience

Hi all,

Thanks for the responses. She's a 9year old spayed 18lb Westie. Diagnosed right before her 8th bday. I think the problem was that the Novolin was weaker than than the Humulin. I most likely would have had to up her dosage but I would have left that up to the vet to determine. Her vet had prescribed her Humulin from when she was diagnosed in July 2013 and after a few curves to get the units right, she's been great for quite some time. No accidents, on a regular schedule for walks and feedings, I was even able to keep her on her regular grain free food. I didn't want to give her any of the prescription stuff. It wasn't until the insulin change that I saw a difference.

We haven't had a curve done in a while because once we got her regulated, the vet said that there wasn't a reason to continue with them unless I saw a change. I'm not one for home testing because between work and home life which includes a 14 year old Westie with neurological problems and doggie dementia, it's just not feasible. It's easier for me to drop her off at the vet for the day and have them do it.

I appreciate all of the responses! Again, I was just frustrated at being told that the two were the same and I shouldn't see a difference when in fact I did.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:51 AM
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amydunn19 amydunn19 is offline
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Default Re: New here! Novolin vs Humulin experience

I saw a small difference switching - I found Maggie needs less Novolin instead of more. Every dog is different with reactions and some dogs have changed without any problems.

Testing is certainly a choice. I went for a year or so without testing and thought my vet was on the right track. Unfortunately, she was a little over her head with a challenging dog and we came close to losing her. One small incident pushed me to start testing. More information is never a bad thing. If you ever decide that you want to start, then the option is there.
Maggie - 15 1/2 y/o JRT diagnosed 9/2007, Angel status on 6/20/16. Her mantra was never give up but her body couldn't keep up with her spirit. Someday, baby.......
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:36 AM
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jesse girl jesse girl is offline
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Default Re: New here! Novolin vs Humulin experience

the question is could a change to novolin cause such a dramatic change in symptoms ?

thats a difficult question to answer . we have seen on the forum once a dog receives some insulin the symptoms of urinating and drinking massive amounts of water subsides quite a bit and can be close to normal while numbers are still relatively high .

so what happened when you changed insulin's ? why did the symptoms return so suddenly ? we are limited to writing this story because we dont know what blood sugar was doing at the time . its very possible blood sugar went to low causing blood sugar to spike do to those levels creating much higher blood sugar . that may depend what blood sugar was doing on humulin . if it was fairly tight regulation with numbers in the low 100s and single digits that theory is possible novolin may have taken the numbers to low and the body reacted to it

if numbers have been fairly normal and a bit higher say in mid 100s and 200s going to low with the change probably did not occur

its possible it could have been something simple and the shot was not received properly .with being anxious about giving something different since your pup has done so well on one insulin and very understandable . my jesse has always been a bit unstable on any insulin. we have switched a few times and wasn't a problem for us because changing wasn't that big of a factor

it makes sense to stay on an insulin that has worked well and i may have done the same with jesse if she was just perfect i would not switch either especially if i was not testing blood sugar and the higher price would not be a factor

the return of symptoms so quickly gives the appearance of no insulin given and might point to a shot that just dint get absorbed into the body or the insulin itself was no good ( which i would think would be rare ) but anything is possible and a possibility

i am sure you are going to switch back you may need to have some more testing to see actually what is going on and your pup isnt going a bit to low and a lower dose maybe needed

one thing we know on the forum blond sugar is not static. it can change from time to time . it is rare to see a dog have a low blood sugar event . which to me is quite amazing and thats why many vets may test blood sugar once a year and feel that is good enough. i guess cost is a factor for pet parents also but thats where the problem occurs for some . blood sugar changes and the body cant seem to protect itself from low blood sugar . its possible an illness or medication can cause this or just a bit to much exercise or the dose was just to large and it finally caught up to where the body could not keep up with that higher dose anymore

this disease a bit more complicated than just giving shots and feeding food to go along with it . our knowledge is really limited and information can be all over the place . even today testing jesse regularly for over 4 years i dont really know why thing work and not work i have theories but hats all they are is theories
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Old 09-28-2014, 04:29 PM
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k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
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Default Re: New here! Novolin vs Humulin experience

I appreciate your reporting your experience. Whatever was behind the problems you experienced, it underscores the need to be cautious in making a change and to be ready to do a lot of testing when you do.

I usually recommend a small reduction in dose when changing between types of NPH just to be safe.

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