Novolin R Troubles

Please, someone assist me lol. I normally use Humalog, and I had to get R recently. My blood’s been either in the four hundreds or in the fifties, and it’s my fourth day on it. I can’t figure out how to get it working properly, I’ve been doing my shots 30 mins before I eat but it’s like it’s not working. I don’t know what to do and I’m starting to panic!

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Welcome @hannah! :smiley:

Don’t panic! There are others on here that use R more often than me, so I’m sure they’ll have some helpful suggestions.

Humalog and R have very different time action curves. I’ve pasted a graph below illustrating this.


You can see the first, fastest curve is Humalog. A 15-30 minute prebolus tends to work pretty well because of how quickly it works and peaks. R takes a bit longer, peaks lower, and stays in your system for a lot longer.

There are different ways of handling an insulin like that, but generally a long prebolus is needed (or a lower carb diet) and careful attention paid to how much insulin is being stacked.

I hope that helps a bit :slight_smile:. I’m sure others will chime in as they wake up.


I use it every day, but in small amounts in addition to Novolog for protein spikes. It has a much flatter, longer curve than Huma or Novolog. I would think you would need to wait 45 min to an hour before eating anything carby. You might also have to increase the dose to steepen the curve. You will probably have to eat a snack a couple hours after eating because of this, but this is what people had to do for years before Humalog. Think of it this way - 1 unit of Humalog or Novolin R should theoretically lower your blood sugar by the same amount, but on Humalog it will be over 3-4 hours with most of the effect in the first 2 hours, while R will take 6-8 hours with the peak happening at 2-3 hours. This means you should need a larger insulin dose in order to have more of a blood sugar lowering effect in the first few hours and unfortunately will need to eat again later on since the result of this will be more insulin in your system after your meal has digested.


Thank you! That’s quite helpful.

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I think @Scotteric has nailed it, but I also know that we have members that use it as their main insulin as well. You should have a better answer as some of those members see your post. We all know that not being able to control your insulin is no fun at all.

Welcome @hannah, I just realized this is your first post. Congrats on finding our little niche of the internet. If you don’t mind my asking, why have you switched to R?

If you would like to introduce yourself, feel free to do it here.