Difference between humalog and novolog?

By stephmonsta Latest Reply 2016-06-12 20:29:52 -0500
Started 2013-01-01 20:10:45 -0600

Is there any?

27 replies

pandorahsbox 2016-06-12 12:23:58 -0500 Report

After 12 years of Humalog, I just switched to Novolog (4 weeks ago).And I hate it! The Novolog will NOT get stubborn numbers down as quickly as Humalog. What's more, Humalog does NOT drop kick me 3 hours later like Novolog does. I am far too busy to remember that I MUST eat for the anticipated 3 hour crash when the stupid Novolog never corrected my high number to begin with. I may as well go back to NPH if this continues. (Novolog will, however, work very quickly if you exercise immediately after injecting.) I've also noticed that I could feel my lows better on Humalog. Not so with Novolog, and the rebound highs are extreme. My numbers have never been this hideous in 40 years with Type 1. It's so discouraging to realize that my options are limited, but thanks to this board, I see that I'm not the only one.

Type1Lou 2016-06-12 16:00:30 -0500 Report

I, too, have been a Type 1 for 40 years as of this summer. I found that I was able to interchange both NovoLog and Humalog when my prior insurer mandated that I switch from NovoLog to Humalog or pay for it out of pocket. Although both are rapid acting insulins, their formulation is a bit different and not everyone is able to interchange them without difficulty (as you've discovered). As soon as I became eligible for Medicare, I switched back to NovoLog because I like it better (and I don't like being forced to change something that works.). BTW, I use an insulin pump and my last A1c was 6.4. If you were forced to change to NovoLog due to insurance issues, document your deteriorated control with NovoLog and send that documentation with a request to override whatever it was that made you to switch. My experience is that I've been able to successfully appeal many such insurance decisions…but it takes determination and documentation.

pandorahsbox 2016-06-12 20:26:18 -0500 Report

Thank you. I also had a habit of injecting after eating when on Humalog. I see that I can't do that with Novolog. I like to enjoy a meal without fearing lows should the meal arrive late or not be as carb - rich as injected for. I suppose Novolog ' s slow reaction time would be a plus in such an instance. I liked how Humalog took me down gradually. Novolog is harsh. Thanks again for your advice. I appreciate it.

pandorahsbox 2016-06-12 20:29:52 -0500 Report

I should clarify…I meant that if I don't shoot up before eating, the Novolog won't get the high down for hours on end.

(ElCid) 2016-05-17 22:53:26 -0500 Report

It's crazy. Humalog would act within 20 mins and peak for maybe 60. Novolog is fine if my sugar is stable, but if I forget to dose before a meal or my sugar is inordinately high it does nothing for several hours and then I plummet. Brutal. I'm now curious what my next a1c will be… Historically high 6s…

(ElCid) 2016-04-23 22:50:07 -0500 Report

I just recently switched from Humalog to Novalog because of insurance. I'm having a terrible time controlling my sugars. There's definitely a difference.

LisaTajuana 2016-05-17 17:10:16 -0500 Report

The same happened to me with Novolog. As I increased the dosage my a1c's kept going up and stayed between 10-11. Novolog made things worse for me.

clearcom0 2015-07-08 01:00:56 -0500 Report

I have used both. Humalog lowers my blood sugar exactly 1 1/2 hours after I take it whereas Novolog is more variable, sometimes extending far beyond 2 hours. This causes problems when I take a shot to get my blood sugar down, then take another shot because it hasn't come down, only to have it drop too low when both shots end up taking effect. I am trying to switch back to Humalog, but my insurance (Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC) has made it more expensive and now requires the doctor to preauthorize it before they will cover it at all. It is interesting to see comments saying that Novolog acts more quickly. This has not been my experience, and the variability in the timing of its effect is the larger issue for me.

babbawabba 2014-10-03 19:31:17 -0500 Report

My daughter is very sensitive to Novolog. One unit drops her several hundred. Now he ordered Humalog but her insurance will not cover it. So she has to take more levemir until he tries to get a prior authorization for it. So frustrating. the same with asthma meds and nebulizer Go figure. They will cover Ipatropium Bromide with Albuterol but not Ipatropium alone. The albuterol (duo neb) makes her shake and jittery. Ughhhh

Nikki & Sami
Nikki & Sami 2013-02-07 14:03:20 -0600 Report

I have used both, I've been diabetic for 37 yrs,& I find humalog works best.Novolog is just it's generic equivalent.

Type1Lou 2013-04-15 17:21:10 -0500 Report

Novolog is not generic. It is made by NovoNordisk and Humalog is made by Lilly. When I was on MDI, I started using Humalog but then changed to Novolog when I saw a free offer from NovoNordisk for insulin pens in "Diabetes Forecast". I didn't experience any difference between the two although they are not completely identical. I am now on a pump and use Novolog.

Roxannescott 2013-04-15 17:28:25 -0500 Report

I am really alergic for some reason to the Lilly Humolog. I bloat up and have had skin problems with it… so be aware!

jayabee52 2013-02-07 14:09:22 -0600 Report

Nikki, please read some of the responses below. The two have similar actions but they are not equivalents because of their sources. Pay close attention to the resply from Mays and the links he provides


MAYS 2013-01-13 18:20:57 -0600 Report

This may interest you:


As well as this:

What's the difference between Novolog and Humalog insulin?

Humalog is the brand name for Eli Lilly's fast-acting analog insulin. It's generic name is lispro. Novo Nordisk also developed a very fast-acting insulin analog sold under the brand name NovoLog. Its generic name is aspart. Another drug company, Sanofi-Aventis, has developed a very fast-acting insulin analog sold as Apidra. Its generic name is glulisine.

These three types of insulin analog are nearly the same in action. They start to work in five to 15 minutes, have their peak effect in about 45 to 90 minutes, and last about three hours.


AllisonK87 2013-01-13 16:34:10 -0600 Report

I am not sure what the differences are but I know from my experience that I swell up from novolog and with humalog i am fine.

type1skillset 2013-01-03 21:28:22 -0600 Report

I agree with all the statements below. The only difference is in a pump. Humalog has been shown to block more (not a big difference but one all the same) and has been shown to have a different absorption. I should emphasize this is in a pump only. Reference from where the above statements were made: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21134878

Type1Lou 2013-01-03 10:32:49 -0600 Report

I too started with Humalog (vials) for my first fast-acting insulin but changed to Novolog (back in the early 2000's) when they offered a free package of insulin pens and now use Novolog in my pump which I've had for a little over a year. There is a slight difference in the action time but both are essentially the same…so the answer appears to be there is a slight difference but not a significant one.

nanaellen 2013-01-03 10:21:07 -0600 Report

I used Humalog when first diagnosed but they changed me to Novolog for Insurance purposes and I never noticed ANY difference.

GordyK 2013-01-02 23:42:23 -0600 Report

I have used them both; both are fast acting insulins, but Novolog is a little faster than Humalog. I have had better luck controlling my numbers with Novolog.

IronOre 2013-01-01 20:22:02 -0600 Report

I guess basically they are the same, and are used for the same thing . . . but there are some differnces. I was curious about this a while back and found something on-line that explained the differnce.
I used Novolog, because Humalog didn't quite do it for me, but it's been such a long time since I used Humalog that I don't remember why I switched.
In Canada they have Novorapid . . . It is exactly the same as Novolog. I have used both.

chefpapo62 2013-01-19 19:05:15 -0600 Report

Hola i think is because money insurance bussiness. they change my from novo to huma.because Insurance want to save money maybe huma is chaeaper that novo.

JaxType1 2013-04-15 14:21:19 -0500 Report

Huma not cheaper… it depends on the insurance. They work out deals with different suppliers. Choices can change with no notice, and something they provide today may not be reimbursed tomorrow.

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