Which Insulin Pen is Mightier than the Sword?

I made it back from the tour with my Lantus (insulin glargine) bottle in check and I didn’t run out of FlexPen needles before I made it home to Brooklyn to refill my prescription. My pharmacist, meanwhile, has been having quite a battle finding NovoPen Junior cartridges. I’ve received two phone calls in a matter of hours from the pharmacist with questions and one phone call from my endocrinologist asking if there was a problem with the pharmacy. Good to know that they are looking out for me.


This is the first time I ordered the NovoPen Junior and I did not realize it was such a hot commodity. I don’t really think it’s a hot commodity, I just like the idea of it being one. The pens do have some value and I think they’d make a great heist for a Sopranos episode. You could make a lot of cash if you stole a truckload of NovoPen Junior cartridges. Not only would it be good money for the family, it would be the only time you’d ever hear those three words said more than five times in an hour.

Before I get too far into the compare and contrast, I’ll say that the NovoLog FlexPen not requiring a cartridge refill is one of the things I like about it. I have had these pens fall out of my pocket before and I had a replacement close by and had nothing to worry about. If you lose the NovoPen Junior, you’re going to have to figure something out pretty fast as far as how to inject your insulin.

Regardless, I’m looking to get a NovoPen Junior because it will allow me to inject insulin in half units, whereas the NovoLog FlexPen I use now only allows full units. This is not a big deal if you’re not very sensitive to insulin, but 30 grams of carbohydrate is 2 units of insulin to me, and if I eat a meal that actually has 38 grams of carbs and I round up and take 3 units of insulin, there is a good chance I will be in the low 80’s an hour or so after the meal. Not that the 80’s is a bad place to be, it’s just somewhere where you have to be careful.

With a blood glucose level of 85 mg/dl, you can’t spontaneously shuttle run without a risk of going low. (In case you couldn’t tell by my photo, I’m a spontaneous shuttle runner. I carry chalked-up erasers wherever I go.) However, if we are talking about music, then the 80’s are a wonderful place to be. Nothing gets me as excited as either of the Eddies—Money or Rabbit, that is. Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight” and “Two Tickets to Paradise” could simultaneously be the best and worst songs ever to be released back to back. They are both so bad they are good. If you disagree, listen to them back to back and see if you don’t hate them just enough to start to dance a little bit. (By dance, I mean fist-pump.)

In other news, I’m back from all over the Southeast and finally settling in to the Northeast again. Murray and I have three shows this week, and one of them was at the release of our friend Dave Praeger’s book Poop Culture: How America is Shaped by its Grossest National Product. The book is not nearly as gross as you think—it is a bit Swiftian, if I do say so myself. I’ve read a few passages and heard Dave read a bit the other night and was intrigued and surprised at all of the research and effort he’s put into the book.

If you read my blog entries regularly and have never seen a picture of my wife, check out my latest video on heavy.com today. My wife is in a scene where we get into a fake fight and I throw a plate. It was awesome to relieve that violent rage in front of her in the name of acting. The video is called “Mimosas in the Rain” and it is perhaps the sweetest music video ever made. And yes, I’ve seen the video for Journey’s “Faithfully.” Enjoy.

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  • Sugar Sofa

    Funny you mention about the NovoPen Junior….I am also thinking of trying this. To be honest, I hate incorporating new products into my comfy lifestyle of reliable monitors and pens. But I figure it’s important to stay fresh and at least keep updated with the new line of goods!

    I love the idea of half units. I have recently entered a period of low carb counting in order to lose weight and its working fabulously. I have cut down my insulin dosage by over half. But now I could really use a pen that would be able to dial half units. I think this would fit my lifestyle perfectly. I’ve also heard they have lots of bright primary colors which could liven things up! I think I’m going to give them another look.

  • Lancet Queen

    Does the NovaPen Junior allow half doses under 1 unit? My Humapen Luxura will do 1, 1.5, 2, etc, but nothing under 1. The times that I’ve wanted to do

  • stuckey

    Yes it will do a half unit. I’m yet to try it but the pen gives a little click before it gets to one that is a half unit.

  • Lancet Queen

    Strange, something ate the rest of my comment above! I think I was trying to say that the times that I’ve wanted to do a single half-unit have been few and far between, but it would be nice to have. My Humapen Luxura instructions say that it doesn’t allow half-unit doses

  • Lorie

    Good luck on ever finding the novolog jr. pen with 1/2 units. I was told by the diabetic coordinator that it is being discontinued. Why would they do that? Alot of newly diagnosed diabetics end up needing 1/2 units.