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From Mississauga, Ontario, Canada:

I am a 36-year old male and have had IDDM for 25 years. Recently I switched from 2 injections a day (mixed R and N Humulin) to 4 injections (3 of Novolin R at meals, Novolin N at bedtime) for tighter control. I am having some problems with hypoglycemia with this regimen because my R seems to be lasting very long. For example, my blood sugars are dropping at 2 mmol/l (40 mg/dl) per hour 7 hours after the supper R, even though there is no other insulin in my system. I am also experiencing very high blood sugars 2 hours after supper (13 mmol/l or 250 mg/dl) because the R is slow in starting to work. I wait at least 30 minutes or more between injecting and eating. P> Could this be a result of switching to Novolin (Novo Nordisk) from Humulin (Eli Lilly)? These are both human insulins. The package insert for Humulin R says it lasts up to 6 hours, while Novolin (Toronto) claims 8 hours. Are these numbers due to different measurement techniques, or because of different binding agents in the insulins?


Ask your diabetes team about trying Humalog [lispro insulin] (made by Lilly). You will need to use it with either some NPH in the morning or Ultralente since its effect seems only to last about 4 hours. The other possibility is that you are making some of your own insulin and this will work better for you.


[Editor's comment: Lilly's Humulin and Novo's Novolin insulin products are almost interchangeable. I wouldn't expect you to have problems from switching brands: and you could always try switching back and see if that makes any difference. WWQ]

Original posting 23 Mar 1998
Posted to Insulin


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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