Diabetes in Dogs: The k9diabetes.com Forum

Go Back   Diabetes in Dogs: The k9diabetes.com Forum > Answers - Archive of helpful posts from the forum > Insulin

Insulin Kinds of insulin, action profiles, use in dogs, where to buy, etc.

Closed Thread
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-05-2013, 05:39 PM
k9diabetes's Avatar
k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern California
Posts: 11,329
Default Vet Info Network discussion of differences in Novolin and Humulin N


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.


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.

Old 05-06-2013, 03:59 AM
farrwf's Avatar
farrwf farrwf is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cordova, TN
Posts: 2,397
Default Re: Vet Info Network discussion of differences in Novolin and Humulin N

Good and factual info!

Now we know the situation.
Otis Farrell dx'd 12/10, best friend to his dad, Bill, for over 14 years. Left this world while in his dad’s loving arms 10/04/13. Sonny Farrell dx'd 1/14, adopted 5/15/14. Left this world while in his dad's loving arms 9/06/16. Run pain free, you Pug guys, til we're together again.
Old 05-06-2013, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: FLORIDA
Posts: 64
Default Re: Vet Info Network discussion of differences in Novolin and Humulin N

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
Abbie, 12 yr old black,Hound, Lab mix?Diagnosed 2/28/13- 21U Novolin N(eff. 9/20/13) Science Diet Adult lite 1/2 +Science Diet WD+ Canned WD Wt-61.0# - Abbie's Mom
Old 05-06-2013, 07:45 PM
amydunn19's Avatar
amydunn19 amydunn19 is offline
Senior Member and Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Little Rock, AR
Posts: 4,616
Default Re: Vet Info Network discussion of differences in Novolin and Humulin N

The Humulin would have cost you another $60 too.
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.......
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:02 PM.

Disclaimer -- The content on this site is provided for informational and educational purposes only. While we make every effort to present information that is accurate and reliable, the views expressed here are not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by a licensed veterinarian. Please consult with your veterinarian for specific advice concerning the medical condition or treatment of your pet and before administering any medication or pursuing any course of treatment that you may read about on this site.

The views and opinions expressed by contributors to this forum are strictly their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the owners, administrators, or moderators of this forum and the k9diabetes.com website.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2009, 2010 k9diabetes.com. All rights reserved.