New Member, Filling Humalog QwikPen with Walmart Novalin R

Thanks for those who posted about refilling their pens.

I live in Mesa, Arizona, and now I am in the Medicare Donut Hole.

Plan to refill Humalog pens with Novalin R. Humalog pens are easier to rewind than Novolog. I know the timing is different on Novalin. Look forward to reporting on my results after I talk to the Doc this Tuesday.


Welcome @CharlesFurniss.

I am sorry to hear about your issues affording your insulin. If you can afford the Novalin R, perhaps you can mail order your preferred insulin from Canada. It is about double the cost of the Novalin R at Walmart. Either way, I look forward to hearing about your results. It helps everyone.


I also supplement my Novolog usage with Novolin R due to cost factors, and because there are certain times when the longer onset, longer lasting duration of Novolin R perform better than Novolog for me.
For me at least, they do seem to be roughly similar on a unit per unit dose, but those timing factors do have to be taken into consideration both for effective food coverage, and for calculating your onboard insulin load when making subsequent doses.
I have not yet gotten to the point where I have also added Novolin N into my MDI routine, since I am still able to source an adequate supply of either Lantus or Basaglar for my daily basal shots. But I would most definitely need to start taking a good hard look at that as well, if cost concerns forced me into that direction.
It is my understanding that Novolin N can be a bit finicky/fiddly to get right, so I would probably have to have a very pressing need before I would take that route.
My current emergency backup calculations are that I could probably source enough Novolin R and Novolin N from Walmart for my daily insulin needs at a rate of around $100-150 per month if I had to. As an insulin dependent T2 with extremely high insulin resistance coupled with extremely high carb sensitivity, my daily insulin needs would be considered quite extreme by many.
Certainly my insurance company thinks so!


Its interesting that you use R. I use Novolin N along with Lantus based on this article

to deal with my dawn phenomenon and also to reduce cost by reducing my Lantus. I have cut my Lantus usage in half and replaced it with N. It has also reduced my Novolog usage since I no longer have to use it first thing in the morning. I have not tried R yet but I might if I have to mediate costs even more.


@tduke, makes total sense. We also use NPH (N) in sick times when on MDI.

Would you mind giving more details about your use and how it impacts your basal? How do you halve your use of Lantus exactly?

I am sorry I have to. I halve my Lantus by dividing by 2.

I take Lantus from the pen and then take the N with a syringe. It affects my basal just like the article says it will. It knocks down the morning high I get and then supplements basal the rest of the day.


@tduke, you take Lantus once a day, correct? And that is in the evening?

Yes I take Lantus and N at 11 PM.

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My endocrinologist told me Novolin R and Humalog and Novolog are the same, only, Novolin R kicks in in 30min to 1 hour, and it lasts longer. I watched a Youtube video on easy ways to remember insulin drugs. They suggested I think of a long rolling quickly down a hill. So, the log drugs kick in in 15 min. vs up to 1 hour with the Novolin. I wake up and give myself a shot immediately. Then, I eat 45 min to 1 hour later.


He is right! They all are β€œfast” insulins. R is a little slower and a lot cheaper. Below is how they compare:

You can see that R will persist longer at a higher level, and can cause later lows. The latter is the more dangerous part, of course.

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I added 500 Mg Metformin to the mix also at night.

This is the result.