Feline Diabetes and Lantus

I noticed someone came to my blog searching on Lantus and I wanted to share this tip. If your cat has been diagnosed with diabetes and the vet has prescribed Lantus you’re probably experiencing severe sticker shock right now. I researched the best costs for Lantus insulin and this is what I’ve found.

A 10 ml bottle of Lantus costs $250 (best price I’ve found not online). The bottle contains 1000 units. But, as you’ve learned, or will learn, it expires after three months so you have to throw it away when you’ve only used only 180 units. (For a cat getting 1 unit twice a day. 2 units x 90 days = 180.)

A box of five 3ml Lantus pens costs $400. Each pen contains 300 units. Now bear with me: it’s a bigger investment up front, but each pen lasts three months so that $400 investment lasts you 15 months. In the same amount of time, if you bought by the bottle, you would have spent $1,250. This works out even if the cat is getting 2 units twice a day (but the pens would last a year vs 15 months).

There are probably less expensive places to buy insulin online or in Canada, but buying the pens vs the bottle would still be the better way to go.

People photograph this little wooden house all the time. It’s pretty up close, but I noticed from across the street it looks less idyllic, against that big, unattractive building behind it.

Wooden House, Greenwich Village, New York City

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

4 thoughts on “Feline Diabetes and Lantus

  1. I had a diabetic cat, Smokey, who used 20 units twice a day (40 units daily – probably a world’s record) for five years. He went over the Rainbow Bridge in 2005.

    I was using a feline based insulin from Blue Ridge Pharmaceuticals (human based insulin didn’t work at all for him as it does for some cats) that cost me $90 a bottle and only lasted one week. For me, it looks as though the cost of Lantus would have been extremely cost effective.

    My vet did a write-up of Smokey and his insulin usage for the Cornell U. Vet school since he had never had a cat in his practice require so much insulin to maintain his blood sugar at normal levels. The thought now, years later, is that he might have had a benign tumor on his pancreas but since they didn’t do a necropsy after his death, we’ll never know.

    And now I have the three FIV positive ones. I am such a sucker.

  2. You are a saint. But MAN, I have also never heard of a cat needing so much insulin. I feel for you and your pocketbook! But I know that as painful as it is to spend money like that, you don’t regret it. There’s really no choice in the matter.

  3. I used to use Lantus insulin pens because my CVS would sell them individually. When they stopped doing that I changed over to the vial. I have noticed since changing that my cats sugars have been more erratic and harder to control. And I’ve had to drastically increase the dose. It’s all the same insulin, but very strange and coincidental it happened when changing from pen to vial. I’m talking 3.5 years on pens with gradual increase. Now 6 months on the vial and already up 2 full units twice daily. Has anyone else made this change and noticed this trend? Also the erratic nature of the sugars is also odd. I check at home. 400 one check. 92 another. I even bought a new glucometer in case that was the problem; it wasn’t. Advice please if you have any!!

  4. It sounds like that one vial might have something wrong with it. Or, have you used more than one vial and always have the same problem?

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