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Why can I not be put back on animal insulin

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Q4444, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. Q4444

    Q4444 Type 1 · Active Member

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    I was originally diagnosed with diabetes in 1961 and treated with animal insulin until 1994 when a new consultant said I was being wrongly treated. She changed me to human insulin without telling me it was human insulin. I want to go back on animal insulin but I am being ignored
     
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  2. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Expert

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    Why do you want to go on animal insulin?
    Are you having trouble with human insulin? If so, have you tried all options available?
    Human insulin is much much more common (and, I would guess, cheaper) so there are multiple manufacturers with multiple different brands.
     
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  3. mike@work

    mike@work Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello @Q4444 !
    I have seen something like the scenario you have experienced. Was switched to Prothaphan (could be spelled a bit different in UK), with the consequence that I lost my hunger feelings. Can say I was not too happy, and when I mentioned the problem I got an answer like "No, no, that is not possible..." Well according to the lab rats, it is very possible for up to 2-3 % especially among switchers from animal insulins to human.
    As far as I know, you can DEMAND a change, but as theese insulins are considered "old-fashioned", I think you also need a good reason why you wish to change.
    I'm at this point still on Hypurin Bovine Lente, but that sort you will not be able to get any longer - supplies and "best before" run out in May, and no more are made. You will on the other hand, bee able to get long acting Hypurin Porcine Isophane and short acting Hypurin Porcine Neutral also in the future. I very recently got a new prescription with the Porcine variant.

    So, the only advice I can give you, if you really wish to switch, is to take up the fight.
    Keep in mind, that theese old insulins have different action curves than many new ones. On the other hand there are some noticeable differences in favor for the older ones in my opinion, such as:

    I have problems with (some?) synthetic insulins when BSLs are high - they have poor effect. Old animal sorts work in all cases.
    Synthetic have strong effect, when BSL already low, which increases Hypo risk. This is a known problem for many newer synthetic insulins. Animal insulins have only slightly noticeable increased effect when BSLs are low, at least on me.
    The discussion about human insulins not giving insulin resistance is old and clearly not true.
    Animal insulins of today are highly purified (Hypurin), and does not give more problems than synthetic. As a matter of fact, the only insulin you can get today, that is almost identical with your own body's insulin is Porcine insulin.

    Nuff said, except for one more thing - animal insulins are as far as I know quite a bit cheaper than synthetic, but I am not able to prove this, before I have some hard data, so it IS also possible I am wrong here...

    Edited to add a little P.S. Human insulin and Human analogs are not identical...
     
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    #3 mike@work, Mar 13, 2019 at 12:18 PM
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  4. mike@work

    mike@work Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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  5. Q4444

    Q4444 Type 1 · Active Member

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    Many thanks for the help, I am not the only one who has been treated with Human Insulin when I should have been left on animal insulin
     
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  6. mike@work

    mike@work Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @Q4444
    You're welcome! :)
    If you have the time and interest, please inform us how this problem, with possible solutions, proceeds.
     
  7. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    That is one scary article. Maybe I've misunderstood but
    1) Animal insulin -> human insulin -> (now) analogue insulin
    2) There weren't any long term studies to justify the (quick) changes. it was just assumed that "human" was better. Analogue was introduced to alter the time profiles.
    3) New insulins are being produced and old ones retired at a rate which guarantees they stay in patent....
    4) A low but significant number of people have more hypos on human/analogue insulin.

    Then there's a discussion of possible increased cancer rates - it doesn't sound that there is strong evidence for this but it's not clear that long term studies have been done.

    Mind you, the article is ten years old, so the cancer situation should be clearer now.
     
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  8. mike@work

    mike@work Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello there @EllieM !
    Nice to see you got interested.

    Jupp, and here is a link explaining how it's made. Not too technical, so it's a good introduction to the process(es).
    http://www.madehow.com/Volume-7/Insulin.html

    Also true,and I'm sorry to say, that I think it was mostly because of Big Pharmas ambition for big profit, that enabled the very fast introduction of the synthetic insulins.

    More money for patented stuff...

    Probably also true today, but very few (no one) will be offered the possibility to switch to an old animal sort nowadays. Admit that the old sorts also have problems of different kinds, but they could in some cases be a good substitute for a otherwise non-functioning insulin therapy.
    A term like "Dead in bed"-syndrome was almost unknown at those times when animal insulins was used, but sadly today it's a
    to some extent known expression. From the same source you can find some possibly interesting studies.
    https://www.iddt.org/about/gm-vs-animal-insulin/dead-in-bed-syndrome
    Possibly I say, because I don't think I have read them yet...
    One other thing that also was not too common before, was the loss of hunger feelings. That happened only if you had a very bad BSLcontrol. I think the ability to feel you need to eat if BSL is low, is degraded to some extent with newer insulins.

    There are unfortunately not too many studies done, regarding this possible problem - maybe no one is willing to fund such an investigation :angelic:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3899599/
     
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  9. ronialive

    ronialive Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    they give good information on iddt site. The doctors may say there is no reason to change back- but there is no reason not to. It is a patients right to chose their treatment and I use hypurin porcine in an insulin pump. I recently changed to fiasp. Had much better control but have gained 1 stone since Christmas. Asked to see consultant and for other stuff to help with weight. No luck with appt even so going back on porcine tonight.

    diabetic since age 4 - 46 years
     
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