Seem to be gaining weight with Walmart Novolin R

I have been using Novolin R for breakfast and dinner bolus.

Using the small ReliOn insulin syringes 31 gauge 8mm needles.

I fill my syringe 30min to an hour ahead of when I plan to inject, (which is usually 45 min before I eat). Filling the syringe directly from the refrigerated vial in my fridge. This allows the insulin to be at room temperature and flick the bubbles out of the syringe. I get a bubble every time, so I probably wast 5 units.
No problem, 10ML is 1000 units or 3 1/2 novolog pens. For $25 it is a deal.

Also have tried to do a protein shake meal replacement and take no insulin at lunch. I think because I have used more of the Novolin R, than novolog, and the delayed action, my weight is up 2-3 pounds. I will correct this.
In conclusion, after about 45 days of switching from Novolog to Novolin R, as my endocrinologist said, " They are the same except for the timing of when it starts working, (30-45 min, vs. Novolog 15 min) and how long they work.

I did this change because I am on Medicare and entered the Donut Hole, where each novolog pen now costs me $125 vs, 1 Novolin R 10ML Vial which is equal to 3 1/2 Novolog Pens and costs $25 at Walmart over the counter, no prescription and no ordering delays through the mail order.
Charles Furniss
Mesa, Arizona


Charles, if you are interested in getting NovoLog pens cheaper, you can get them from Canada. Not sure if this has been mentioned to you before, but you can call them and they will even contact your endo for you, to get the prescription done.

I have used these guys. They are great.

5 NovoLog pens only cost $90 from Mark’s.


Thank you.
I do not want to use my medicare, because it will cost me more.

Can I purchase this with a prescription and not use my insurance?

Not sure how Canada works with USA prescriptions.

Many Thanks


Yes. Purchases from Canadian pharmacies do not take U.S. insurance. You just pay for it upfront and they will ship it directly to you. The shipping costs a little bit, but overall it is much cheaper than a lot of people pay in the U.S. even with insurance.

The only thing you need is a doctor who is willing to write you a prescription for a Canadian pharmacy. But it does not need to be an endo. Any doctor can write your script for you.

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If you’re close enough that you can cross the border, you do not need a prescription to buy insulin in Canada.


Can vouch that it is over the counter with no prescription in-person in Canada. I would say if you are planning to buy a considerable quantity that you should call ahead.

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I’m not on Medicare yet, but did come across this change for 2019.

Donut hole 2019

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Thank you for the input.
Right now, I can buy a 10ml vial for $25.00 without a prescription.

I live in AZ, so even shipping seems to bring hot insulin.

My insurance mailed me some twice during the 117 degree summer and it arrived hot, even packed in ice. Hard to believe they don’t understand how to pack this appropriately.

I have used Walmart, easy so far. I am always looking for

a more cost effective way to manage my costs.

Many Thanks

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@CharlesFurniss, outstanding thread, very useful.

Do you notice problems at dinner with going too low when your Novolin R insulin is peaking, or later on? How do you deal with insulin timing in general, for breakfast and dinner?

I have had no peaking problems. Maybe it’s my basal of Toujeo that holds me steady and I have no hypo events.

My body has responded with almost the same numbers as with the Humalog or Novolog. (Again we are all different)
I have used 15 units instead of 12 units at breakfast, the same at lunch, and 20 units instead of 15 at dinner. I am retired so I can plan the shots at meals to be 45 min. before the meal. Again, I am a test-aholic during the past month on Novolin R.

I also notice that I can wait to do the shot an hour before dinner. My numbers are about the same 2 hours after eating on Novolin, or 3 hours after injections.

I keep the vial in the fridge and fill the syringe 1 hour before I use the insulin, so it is room temp. In a rush, I hold the syringe in my hand and warm it for 5 min. to room temp. The pre-filled pens are easier, but expensive. The substituting of the Novolin for me, has me using only 1 novolog 300ml pen a month instead of 1 every 6 days.

I test when I wake up at 6AM, I have a PB&J- one piece of bread as a snack at 10, before walking exercise, with no shot. Then at Noon, when I eat, I’ll do a meal replacement (Protein drink) with no insulin, I Test before I do my 5 PM shot and eat around 6PM, then check again before bedtime. I still use test strips, I order them for 200 for $20 on ebay. Sometimes I wake up at 3 AM and I test again, wondering why I am awake? (Is it my numbers)? No!

My A1c is 6.7 and I am working on losing weight. At 72, 6’ tall, I weight 220 and carry it OK, but constantly crave sweets about 3-4 PM.

Thanks for listening. Hope it helped a bit.


In a way, it kind of makes sense that switching to the longer acting Novolin-R instead of one of the rapid acting insulins would also bring a noticeable weight gain effect.
It stays in your system longer, and in doing so, continues to store excess glucose in your body’s fat cells long after the rapid, shorter acting insulin varieties would have cleared your system. For type 2’s in particular, going on insulin therapy is almost universally accompanied by weight gain.
Which is kind of counter productive to treating T2’s, when you stop to think about it!

Thanks for the feedback.
I was trying to avoid hypo issues, now I have learned

how it affects me now, I can cut back on the amount of

Novolin and lose the few pounds a gained.

Wish they had a drug that worked for all of us with the same results. Unfortunately it seem to be trial and error.


@CharlesFurniss, did you have to change your diet to make it compatible with Novolin use?

I seem to have a steady routine of what I eat.
I eat very consistently a balanced diet and watch the carbs.

In Arizona, with so many seniors, and 8 Indian Casinos

there are 15 different buffets to choose from.

Actually, the buffets are great, I get a choice of good foods

and my wife does not have to cook.

My body seem to still be unpredictable on how it responds to what I eat. (frustrating) So, I over test and adjust.

After a month of Novolin R, I am cutting back my doses and working on taking the 3 pounds off.