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April 23, 2020

Insulin, Insulin Analogs

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Question from Jacksonville, Florida, USA:

I have been using Regular (Lansulin R) before every meal and a Lantus SoloStar pen at night before go to sleep for many years. Now, for some reason, I can’t any human insulin so, for the next 20 days, I’m going to start using animal insulin (Novolog FlexPen,which is from animals). Is this bad? Is anything going to happen to me? I’m going to stop using Lansulin Regular (R), by the way, because I used to get them from my country but I can’t get them any more.

Answer:

From: George Grunberger, MD, FACP, FACE

NovoLog is a HUMAN rapid acting insulin analog. There have been NO animal insulins sold in this country for over 25 years or so. Lansulin R, which is the old version, is just a brand name of human R insulin in some countries; it works, but analogs are better and a more logical choice for most patients with type 1 diabetes, and have been used in U.S. since 1997 (Humalog was first, NovoLog second). Lansulin R needs to be given 30 to 45 minutes before meals since it’s slower and also longer acting than NovoLog, which can be injected just prior to meals. It’s perfectly fine to make the switch but, as always, careful monitoring of glucose levels needs to be done to establish correct dosing.