Lantus from Walmart

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by DreMeister, May 11, 2019.

  1. DreMeister

    DreMeister Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2016
    Been thinking about getting lantus thru walmart. They sell 10ml with a pen for $108. My vet charges $38 for 1 ml that lasts almost 2 weeks giving 6 units a day to Snickers. My questions are how do you use the pen, and how long will 10ml keep before going bad? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    There's no such thing as a pen of Lantus that holds 10ml.....the vial holds 10ml but a pen holds 3ml. A 10ml vial holds 1000 units which is more than most cats can use so you end up throwing a lot of it away. The pens come in a box of 5 (so a total of 1500 units) but each pen only holds 300 units so you're much more likely to be able to use every drop.

    On the pens, we use regular insulin syringes and pull the insulin out...we don't use the special pen needles.

    Vets are not supposed to "repackage" insulin...there's no way for you to know how old it is or if it's even really Lantus!

    You can get Lantus a lot cheaper from Canada but it takes about a week (if you have the time)

    Buying Insulin From Canada
     
  3. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    A package of pens will for months. You should be able to use almost every drop of insulin.
     
  4. DreMeister

    DreMeister Member

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    Apr 3, 2016
    But it's a lot cheaper than what the vet charges. Looks like it comes with a vial and a pen. So the pen has insulin in it also plus the vial? Guess I'll just stick to paying out the wazoo from the vet. I've spent several hundred dollars on the cat since she was diagnosed over 3 years ago.
     
  5. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    A vet should not be selling Lantus. It is a human insulin and as far as I know, can only be bought through a pharmacy. Like Cris said, if it is repackaged, then you have no idea how old it is and if it is still effective. Once a vial has been opened, it will only be effective for about 1 1/2 - 2 months before it loses its potency.
     
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  6. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    I'm with Lisa on this one. The only thing our Vet can do is write a Rx for Lantus for me to get elsewhere because it's not specifically for animals. Yes, Lantus can come in a vial OR a pen "vial". Most of us who use Lantus choose the 5 pen pack versus the vial because the vial would go bad before we could use it up. So the pens become mini vials that we draw from. :) I've ordered Maury's Lantus from the Canadian Pharmacy link Chris gave you, twice now. They're pretty friendly and decent shipping times. Not sure where you're located but we're peaking at warmer weather here so the pharmacy prefers not to send in summer heat. They do ship with a cold pack but you don't want it sitting outside all day ;). I had no choice when first ordering it but was able to have someone watch out for it and put it in my fridge while I was at work. Good luck!
     
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  7. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    Oh one more thing. This is the video I give to people to explain how to use a pen as a mini vial. She does a nice job of explaining :)

     
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  8. Margie and Jackson

    Margie and Jackson Member

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    Apr 26, 2019
    I was able to find a pharmacy in Portland Oregon that sells Lantus pens individually. That cost me about $95 and I believe it’s 300 units. I was advised not to try to get Lantus shipped from Canada because it’s so delicate. The shipping fee was $25, so it didn’t seem so cheap, either, but I didn’t fully price it out.
    The vial was priced at $285 or so by the USA pharmacies I called. It pays to call pharmacies and check prices.
     
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  9. DreMeister

    DreMeister Member

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    Apr 3, 2016
    Our vet charges $38 per 1 ml that lasts not quite 2 weeks. It ain't cheap. Was looking for a better deal on Lantus. Yes they repackage it into a vial. We keep it refrigerated but go thru 1 ml pretty fast. I would like to know what shelf life is for Lantus. The vet didn't really give us any other choices for insulin. This they said would work better for the cat because of slow release. I will watch that video as I have no clue about these pens.
     
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  10. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    The shelf life for humans is 28 days. The countdown starts once the vial is used for the first time. However it still is effective for a few more weeks. Usually you can use it for a cat for approximately 8 to 10 weeks. If your vet is repackaging insulin, you have no idea when that vial was first used. So you may be purchasing insulin that is not effective to control your cat's glucose levels. In addition, your vet maybe doing something illegally.

    You would be better off purchasing insulin at a pharmacy, even if it's at one pen at a time. Then you will know when the insulin is first used and with home testing, you will know when it is no longer effective. I also recommend that you look into purchasing the insulin from Canada. There are several members on this site that purchase their insulin from there. They will be glad to help you with ordering it. the insulin from Canada is far less expensive than what you would pay for it here in the US.
     
  11. MindyC

    MindyC Member

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    Feb 27, 2019
    When I called pharmacies in preparation to switch Max from Novolin to Lantus, Walmart said their price for a 10mL vial was somewhere around $300. Almost all pharmacies in my area had the same price. I found a smaller pharmacy willing to sell an individual pen (3mL) for $104. So...if you were told $108 from Walmart, they gave you the price for a single pen, which is not a vial.

    The pharmacist at the small pharmacy I bought the pen from told me 28 days to expiration, which is true if you don't refrigerate it. That pharmacist understood why I'd only want a single pen, but didn't know the pen could be used with regular insulin needles, or that cats could need non-whole unit dosing. If you keep it in the fridge and handle it correctly, it lasts usually until the last drop according to the Lantus forum here. We are past the 28 days with no drop in efficacy for Max. He's also only on .75U at the moment, so we are not going through it very fast.

    While there are a lot of things my vet office does well, I wouldn't buy insulin from them, ever. Thankfully they've never tried to sell it to me either. I read something somewhere (Lantus forum, maybe? I can't remember.) about repackaging Lantus, and that it should never be done. If I were going through Lantus at a higher rate, I'd order from the Canadian pharmacy mentioned here, or at least buy a vial from a pharmacy and not the vet. Buying the 5-pen pack from the Canadian pharmacy is still going to get you the best deal.
     
  12. Margie and Jackson

    Margie and Jackson Member

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    Apr 26, 2019
    The pharmacist said that if I I refrigerated the pen it could last 6 months. Try not to expose it to a lot of jostling and don’t keep it in the fridge door.

    The pharmacist thought it was weird that I’d use a syringe to draw from the pen, but the vet said the pen needles don’t work well for cats. It’s better to use the separate syringe.
     
  13. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    It has been a long time since I have had a diabetic cat, but I think that I would use all of the insulin in a pen in about 8 - 10 weeks. I was always able to use it before it became ineffective. A package of pens would last around 10 months.
     
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  14. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Jul 19, 2011
    The 28 day period was only what the manufacturer declared as their 'responsibility' when paperwork was submitted to the FDA. I've used pens for many years, I normally use every bit of every pen, even the ones that have been in the fridge a year. How long it lasts varies by the amount dosed.
     
  15. Remmie's mom

    Remmie's mom New Member

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    May 11, 2019
    I've watched this video at least two times. I think she does a good job of explaining.


     
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  16. Margie and Jackson

    Margie and Jackson Member

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    Apr 26, 2019
    My first pen was from the humane society shelter where I adopted Jackson. It expired 5/2019. It definitely worked, but his numbers and dose dropped with the new pen, so I’m not sure if he’s improving or if the pen had lost some potency. I admit to making some mistakes with it too, like injecting air into it, since I knew you should do that with vials.
     
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  17. AliceMeowliss&Cassandra

    AliceMeowliss&Cassandra Member

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    Jan 8, 2019
    At up to 8.5u per day, overdrawing slightly sometimes to allow wiggle room to fine tune my dose, my first Lantus pen lasted about a month. I believe this could be made to last longer, for sure.

    It seems really weird to me that your vet is selling you Lantus. My regular vet office doesn't even keep human R (the super fast acting stuff) for emergencies because they don't have a lot of stock room and they don't see a ton of diabetics. Repackaging medication like that, something that gets injected into a living body, that's scary for so many reasons I can't count. Every new surface that medication touches increases the risk of contamination. You don't even know if it's clean. It's like buying a drug on the street. You just don't know what is in it or where it has been.

    I hope you find a good solution. :)
     
  18. Teresa & Buddy

    Teresa & Buddy Well-Known Member

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    Jan 2, 2017
    I recently received 5 Lantus pens from Mark's Marine Pharmacy in Canada, I always pay extra for the insulated shipping container with the ice packs and it was around $199.00. Not sure of the exact price but it was less than $ 200.00. I always refrigerate Buddy's insulin, I think if you do not refrigerate the pens are good for 28 days.
     
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  19. JoyBee&Ravan

    JoyBee&Ravan Well-Known Member

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    Feb 17, 2018
    My cat is down to .5 units & I use every last drop. I started with Lantus but switched to Levemir. I keep the pen in the Fridge & it lasts over 3 months. I've never seen a difference when I start a new pen so I have to say it's still just fine after 3 months.

    I'm in the Chicago area & I used to buy one pen at a pharmacy but I switched to the Supply Closet here. I had several people state they've ordered from the people on the Supply Closet & they said the Insulin is good & the price is great.
     
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  20. DreMeister

    DreMeister Member

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    Apr 3, 2016
    So you can get the vet to give a prescription to purchase Lantus at a regular pharmacy? I've never asked them. The Walmart animal pharmacy page showed a 10ml vial plus a pen for $108. How on earth do you draw with a syringe out of a pen? I just think $80 a month for 2ml of Lantus is pretty high. Problem is my wife likes easy and does not want to bother switching but then again I pay for it not her. Snickers has been on this for over 3 years and that's a LOT of money I've given to the vet.
     
  21. DreMeister

    DreMeister Member

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    Apr 3, 2016
    I don't know but that's what they started giving us from the beginning.
     
  22. DreMeister

    DreMeister Member

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    Apr 3, 2016
    I could see the difference in needle sizes.
     
  23. Margie and Jackson

    Margie and Jackson Member

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    Apr 26, 2019
    My vet has been really great and I’ve known her for more than a decade. Close to 20 years. There was no discussion of where I’d buy the insulin, I said I needed a prescription and asked if they had suggestions for pharmacies. I called around and found one near my house willing to sell single solostar pens. My vet also assumed I would hometest and said it’s more accurate and cheaper. She said if I’m not able to hometest she would test fructosamine in the blood which is apparently not subject to rising under stress.

    Maybe you should call a few other vets and see if they are more responsive to your budget concerns.
     
  24. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    Just take the cap off the pen and use a U100, 3/10ml, 31 gauge insulin syringe to pull the insulin out of the pen!
    syringe in pen pic.jpg syringe in pen close up.jpg
    A pen should hold 3ml (or 300 units)
     
  25. DreMeister

    DreMeister Member

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    Apr 3, 2016
    I would like to switch vets but my wife refuses since ours is only a couple blocks from our house. Our cat squalls bloody murder when transporting her there and wife doesn't want to have to drive any further. Even though I'm paying for everything.
     
  26. DreMeister

    DreMeister Member

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    Apr 3, 2016
    Could I get a prescription for those pens at Walmart? That doesn't seem hard to extract like I thought. Thanks for the info!
     
  27. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Yes. A lot of use here get or Lantus/Levemir from Mark's Marine Pharmacy in Canada, about 1/3 the price of getting it from USA.
    If you get it from the USA you might be able to use the Lantus Saving Card
    https://www.lantus.com/sign-up/savings-and-support
     
  28. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    If you're going to get them at WalMart, you'll need a script that says "Lantus Solostar pens"....they come in a box of 5 pens (so a total of 1500 units) BUT you're going to pay around $350-$500

    Most places won't break up a box and sell you just one pen.

    That's why most of us buy from Canada....here's the Information on buying Lantus from Canada

    You will still need a script for the first order, but it doesn't matter if it's for the vial or the pens. If your vet writes the script for a vial, all you have to do is call Marks and tell them you want the pens instead. A box of 5 pens from Marks is $164.99 plus $25 shipping,

    Another nice thing about ordering from Marks is that once they have a script on file, you won't need to get a new script every year. I re-ordered from Marks several times over the 4+ years I used them and never had to provide a new script. In the US they require a new script at least once a year.

    The people at Marks really are fantastic. They work with a lot of sugarcat mom's and dad's!
     
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