Total Posts: 25
Registered on: ‎04-09-2010

novolin vs novolog

What is the difference between the 2 insulin and can they be switched?
Super Advisor
Total Posts: 2,327
Registered on: ‎11-02-2009

novolin vs novolog

( I think your post will get more responses in the Type 1 forum. Don't be surprised if it gets moved)

I THINK Novolin is also known as Regular, which is a somewhat outdated insulin* and NOT interchangeable with NOvolog. Novolog is a fast acting insulin and is out of your system in a few hours. Regular takes longer to start working and longer to get out of your system and is likely considered intermediate acting. Some people use it as a third insulin (in addition to fast like novolog and long acting like Levimere) for slow to digest meals like pasta or pizza.*

However - it USED to be the only faster acting insulin we had available to cover meals, so many of us long time diabetics grew up with Regular and NPH. It is possible to use it to cover meals, but NOT directly interchangeable with novolog.

Diagnosed Type 1 at age 16 months, almost 50 years !
Minimed pump and cgm since July '09. Metformin (insulin resistance), levothyroxine(thyroid), losartan (BP)

I have traveled cross country, and to Canada, UK, Kenya, Mexico, Jamaica, Equador/Galapagos islands, and lived in Egypt for a year.
Valued Contributor
Total Posts: 995
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

novolin vs novolog


The human insulins that first began to be widely prescribed in the mid to late 80s generally ended with the "lin" "suffix" (it's not like -ed, so is it really a suffix??) and were Humulin and Novolin (side note: I think Novo liked their brand so much they even created a game for the Super Nintendo called "Captain Novolin" , which has gone down in gaming history as one of the worst games ever!). The insulin came in a variety of "styles": R(egular), NPH, Lente, and Ultralente. R was the fastest insulin on the market until Humalog came around in about 1996. Theoretically, it was to be injected/pumped about 1/2 hour before your meal, peaked in 2-3 hours, and lasted up to 8 hours (for Novolin). It's considered a short-acting acting insulin, and is OK for covering meals, though it is not as fast as today's rapid acting analog insulins. Both Lilly and Novo produced the full line of Humulin and Novolin before the development of the analogs. You can see a chart with all of the insulins and their action profiles by clicking HERE.

Both Lilly and Novo continue to manufacture synthetic human R and NPH, though the last time I checked, it appeared both companies are planning to discontinue all synthetic human insulins. Perhaps they are doing this as an unconscious response to Germany's decision to provide funding for the human synthetics as opposed to the analogs (which, as I recall the German Health Ministers deemed "expensive and ineffective")? Maybe they are doing it because each company has come up with its own version of a "latest and greatest" version of insulin that they will sell for twice the price of the current analogs? I don't know. What I do know is that every time they make "improvements" to insulin, they jack the price up astronomically, putting these insulins out-of-reach for many people and furthering the development of a tiered health care system, one for the independently wealthy/well-insured and one for the rest of us.