Advice on switching to Lantus?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by BethB, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. BethB

    BethB Member

    Dec 20, 2018
    Hello All,

    My 8yo was diagnosed just under a month ago. We switched to low carb wet food immediately and the vet put him on Vetsulin (He's at 1.75u twice a day, thanks to this forum. The vet prescribed 3u twice a day right out of the gate).

    I know it's still pretty early in the process, but I'm so discouraged by how high and wacky his numbers are. I'm worried that it's because Vetsulin comes on so fast and leaves the system so quickly. (Riker's BG spreadsheet)

    Do you think it's too soon to ask my vet about prescribing a different insulin? Everyone here seems to speak so highly of Lantus and I know it helps many sugar kitties achieve remission. At this point I'd be satisfied with regulation...I'm just worried that the Vetsulin isn't helping and is actually making things worse. If so, how should I suggest it to the vet? He already thinks I'm crazy because of all the testing and me insisting on lower doses.

    Also, I've read a few articles on here that suggest Lantus is the same cost per unit as Vetsulin, if not cheaper. But those articles are pretty dated. If you're currently using Lantus I'd love to know the cost. I'm in the U.S.

    Thanks, Beth
  2. Giomax

    Giomax Member

    Dec 29, 2018
    Very expensive! :)

    A vial is over $300. The pens are about $100 each (and some pharmacies will not split a pack, which is five pens for $500). Some say you can use a vial on insulin for six months, but I tried using my Lantus for two months and my cat went backwards.

    I like that Lantus is a long-acting insulin, but currently having a rough time getting my boy regulated. Every cat is different though. He may just have a weird resistance to Lantus, or we haven't found the right dose for his body yet.

    Edit: if you're home testing regularly I would suggest a dose increase.
  3. SpotsMom

    SpotsMom Member

    Feb 10, 2018
    I’m also in the US. I just ordered a pack of 5 pens for less than $200 including shipping from Marks Marine Pharmacy in Canada. Still impatiently awaiting its arrival (it’s only been 2 days haha) so I can switch Spot from Prozinc. I brought it up to my vet and she said she actually prefers Lantus for kitties but finds a lot of her clients prefer the lower cost of Prozinc so that’s what she starts with.

    In the linked article below, lantus is specifically called out along with levemir as the preferred insulins for getting cats into remission. It’s a shame more vets don’t start with this. guidelines_final.pdf
  4. Amanda and a Loudogg

    Amanda and a Loudogg Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2017
    My buddy Lou was on Vetsulin after he was diagnosed. We paid about $55 per bottle per month, maybe 2 months. Our Vetsulin rarely lasted 2 months, which was annoying. However, I thought it was cheaper than the depot insulins. We switched to Basaglar (a glargine insulin similar to Lantus), and now we're on Levemir. If you get any of those 3 depot insulins in the US, you'll pay through the nose as Giomax indicated. I have ordered from Marks Marine Pharmacy in Canada twice now (once for Basaglar, once so far for Levemir), and I recommend them highly. I've never had any problems and they've even gone above and beyond when my vet was being stupid about giving me a new order.

    Basaglar costs $125.99 for a pack of 5 pens, Levemir and Lantus is $169.99 for a pack of 5 pens (plus $25 for shipping). Lou's on a higher dose (he's a high-dose kitty), but you can use the pens until they expire as long as they're kept in the refrigerator (usually around 2 years). So if you want to do the math, say my Levemir pens will last me 7 months. Vetsulin would have cost me $385 for 7 months (one vial per month). Levemir is just the $169.99. Obviously if your kitty is on a lower dose, your pens would last longer. So long story short (too late :rolleyes:), I've saved a lot of money switching from Vetsulin to a depot insulin. And quite frankly, Lou does so much better on depot insulins than he did on Vetsulin, so it's a win-win all around.
    Kris & Teasel likes this.

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