Novolog vs Humalog

We’ve all heard our doctors or insurance companies says it.

“Novolog and Humalog are essentially the same. While one may act a little bit faster than the other, or one may have a slightly longer tail than the other…they are essentially the same. No significant differences are seen, clinically.”


I have used Novolog for years now and I love it. It works well for me. I know when it will start working. I know when it will stop working. I know what it will do to my blood sugar when it’s high.

However, I have an insurance company that insists that Humalog is preferred. I can get my Humalog prescription for a certain copay…which is HALF the amount of the copay if I wanted to continue to obtain Novolog.

Knowing that price difference I (begrudgingly) switched to Humalog. I had quite a nice stockpile of Novolog when I switched my prescription so for several months I was able to continue using Novolog. However, in the past month I’ve had to transition to Humalog.

All hell has broken loose.

I cannot get a firm grip on my basal rates, my ISF, or my I:C ratio. My average blood sugars have been far higher than I was used to on Novolog. The Humalog is unpredictable – one day it will begin working very fast after I bolus, the next day it will seem to take 30 minutes, and the next day it won’t seem to do a damn thing for about 4 hours…by which point I’ve given more insulin (probably a few correction boluses, actually) and then all of a sudden it seems that the insulin I gave 4 hours prior works….along with all the corrections after and I plummet from 400+ to low within an extremely short time-period. Overall it appears to have a longer tail……..usually. But sometimes it seems to have a much much much shorter tail.

I can’t figure it out.

I hate Humalog.

I’m using about 33-40% more Humalog than Novolog and I’m still not seeing results anywhere close to what I was able to obtain with Novolog.

‘Go back to Novolog!’ you say. Yes, simply said…expensively done.

What I really need is a nice long extended weekend to do some basal testing. But it’s the holiday season. I work a full time job and a part time job. One of my jobs is in retail. I don’t have nice long extended weekends.

If you have made the switch from Novolog to Humalog (or vice versa) and have had difficulty, please feel free to share your sage words of advice. If you made the switch easily and with no needs to adjust your doses…well, go away. Your diabetes plays too nicely!


2 thoughts on “Novolog vs Humalog

  1. I think I am dealing with the same thing you are. Since 2010 (when I was diagnosed), I have used Novolog 90% of the time. Recently, I’ve been getting Humolog samples from my doctor because in the past, I never *really* noticed any differences. But the past few weeks have been rough, and I am experiencing everything you mentioned here: skyrocketing blood sugars/slower reaction times, higher basal rates, giving extra correction boluses (on top of the extra insulin I’ve already given for carbs), and then a plummeting crash from a high BG. It’s driving me absolutely insane.

    I plan on getting back to Novolog soon because like I said, these were Humolog samples from my doctor. I’m always willing to accept samples of any kind because I pay full price for my insulin upfront, but I think I’m going to stay away from Humolog for as long as I can.

  2. Emily says:

    I have been using novolog for a while and love it. I don’t have insurance now and my doctor gave me humalog. I am disgusted because my sugars have spiked and I can’t figure it out. They have been high in the morning since I am on humalog. I have to take a higher dose of humalog then novolog. I knew what I was doing with novolog. I have gotten a sample of novolog and will switch to see if this is working the way it did before. Humalog is unpredictable. I hope we all get better numbers. Good luck

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