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October 7, 2003

Insulin

Question from Shreveport, Louisiana, USA:

We just moved here, and my partner had to find a new physician who would accept Medicaid. At his appointment, the doctor changed his Regular insulin brand, but not his NPH. He did not offer any explanation for this and did not tell us what changes we could expect from the change in insulin type. Please help with this if possible.

Answer:

Most likely your partner’s physician changed the brand for insurance reasons. Many states have formularies which restrict the brands that can be used.

There is little or no difference in the action of the Regular insulin between the two brands, but any changes should be discussed with the physician. I would also discuss the regimen per se since there are newer insulins which could be more effective.

ABS