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December 6, 2019


Question from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia:

Since December 2011, my mother has used Novomix. Before that, she used to take Mixtard and Humulin 30/70. Now, she can’t afford Novomix 30 because it’s too costly where she lives. Can she use Humulin 30 again instead of the Novomix pen? If not, then should she go with Mixtard? If she uses Humulin, will she have any side effects? Should she take the same dose in Humulin which she used to take with Novomix? She takes 47 units of Novomix twice a day.



From: George Grunberger, MD, FACP, MACE

Yes, she can switch; the only difference would be that with the Humulin preparation she should inject about 30 minutes before her meals. And yes, she could switch at 1:1 ratio unless she has been getting lows. Insulin usually has no side effects; if she injects too much, she will get hypoglycemia but that’s not a side effect; glucose lowering is the reason people inject insulin in the first place. Any time insulin is switched frequent glucose monitoring is a must.