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Can You Mix Levemir And Humulin R

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Types Of Insulin - Topic Overview

Insulin is used to treat people who have diabetes. Each type of insulin acts over a specific amount of time. The amount of time can be affected by exercise, diet, illness, some medicines, stress, the dose, how you take it, or where you inject it. Insulin strength is usually U-100 (or 100 units of insulin in one milliliter of fluid). Short-acting (regular) insulin is also available in U-500. This is five times more concentrated than U-100 regular insulin. Long-acting insulin (glargine) is also available in U-300. This is three times more concentrated than U-100 long-acting insulin. Be sure to check the concentration of your insulin so you take the right amount. Insulin is made by different companies. Make sure you use the same type of insulin consistently. Types of insulin Type Examples Appearance When it starts to work (onset) The time of greatest effect (peak) How long it lasts (duration) Rapid-acting Apidra (insulin glulisine) Clear 5-15 minutes 30-60 minutes 3-5 hours Humalog (insulin lispro) Clear 5-15 minutes 30-90 minutes 3-5 hours NovoLog (insulin aspart) Clear 5-15 minutes 40-50 minutes 3-5 hours Afrezza (insulin human, inhaled) Contained in a cartridge 10-15 minutes 30-90 Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. TiedyedSunshine

    As of this year my insurance needs prior authorization for both types of insulin I'm prescribed: Humalog and Humulin N.
    I'm now 27 and have been on these two types of insulin since my diagnosis at age 9.
    Upon my attempt to re-fill my script for Humulin N, my pharmacy tried to contact my Dr's office for authorization but since my Dr's office is inept and does not accept faxes or phone calls from pharmacies (or anywhere else for that matter), I would need to make an appointment just to get my Dr. to send off authorization for this insulin. Having been on this insulin for about 18 years and having just seen my doc, I'd rather not go right back in and spend half a day at the Dr's office just for this. However, talking with the receptionist at the office, she said the doc would call me in one vial of Novolin N to hold me over until the appointment. But wait, Novolin N? That's not even what I take. And besides, I can get Novolin N at Wal-Mart without a prescription for less than my co-pay. So I told her nevermind.
    After doing some research I found that Humulin N and Novolin N appear to be similar enough to hopefully not cause much disruption in my routine/blood sugars. So, okay, I'll try that, it's what the doc was gonna call in for me anyway, no big deal.
    HOWEVER, when I discovered that Humalog would also need prior authorization I became concerned, as I don't know of a comparable type available for a reasonable price without a script. Novolin R is the only option I'm finding, which seems to have a longer onset, peak and duration than Humalog.
    So I'm debating whether I want to make the switch or suck it up and make an appointment just for a Humalog auth. Ugh.
    I still have a couple vials so the need is not immediate.. By the time I run out it may be time to see the doc anyway.
    But my questions are:
    Has anyone switched from Humalog to Novolin R? How was the transition?
    Does anyone use Novolin R? Do you use it in combination with another insulin and what type?
    Does anyone use Novolin R and Novolin N combo? How does it work for you?

    Any info/input/thoughts/etc. appreciated! :)

  2. Jen

    Humulin N and Novolin N are both NPH, just different brands. They are the same insulin, though, so should have the same onset, peak, and duration.
    R insulin has a longer onset and peak and duration than Humalog. When I was on R, I had to snack in the morning in order to offset the peak of the R. It also needs to be taken at least 30-60 minutes before a meal to give it time to kick in.
    When I was taking R and NPH together, I took two shots a day for years (R and NPH at breakfast and dinner). This required a very regimented schedule of meals and snacks which I could not disrupt at all without going extremely high or low. Later, my endocrinologist switched me to three shots a day (R and NPH at breakfast, R at dinner, and NPH at bedtime) which helped reduced overnight lows.

    Have you looked into MDI (multiple daily injections - four or more shots a day) at all? This regimen uses a flatter basal insulin like Lantus or Levemir, instead of NPH, and uses carbohydrate counting and an adjustable dose of Humalog at each meal. A lot of people take Lantus or Levemir before breakfast and before bed, and take Humalog or Novolog or Apidra before each meal and snack or whenever they need a correction. It's a more intensive insulin regimen, but it allows for much more flexibility and (usually) better control than using NPH. Although I see you have a pretty good A1c and a CGM, so maybe the NPH is working for you.

  3. Sam19

    I've never used R and NPH, but I keep quite a few vials in my fridge because they're cheap in case of emergency--- like if the whole supply chain got disrupted.
    If your insurance requires prior authorization for humalog, it is very likely that they have novolog (or maybe apidra) in their formulary not requiring pre auth. Same for N... Your insurance likely covers lantus or levemir instead.
    Jen is right N = N and R=R no difference between brands.
    I would call your insurance and ask what insulins are in their formulary or preferred then call your doctor or go sit in their waiting room until they change your rx... Their assistants usually take care of it, it shouldn't require an appointment unless they consider you "overdue" for one anyway. It sounds like just a matter of getting on the same page with your insurance though. They can refuse prior authorizations if you don't have documentation of trying, and failing, with their preferred brands.

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