Optipen vs Autopen

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    • #5930
      Stephen
      Participant

      Sorry if this has already been posted, but I couldn’t find a thread about it :)

      I’ve got an Optipen Pro which has served me pretty well up until now. The battery on my current one is about to die so time to ask the GP to write me a script.

      However after Googling about, I’m reading a lot of bad press about them, NHS warnings and all manner of stuff.

      Has anyone made the switch one way or the other? Any thoughts on the bad publicity?

    • #6760
      Tim
      Keymaster

      Hi @Stephen – welcome to Shoot Up! I’ve never used an Optipen, or even seen anyone with one, so I’m as much use as [insert witty analogy here]

    • #6761
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’ve always used an Autopen for my Lantus, so I can’t offer a comparison.

      My one complaint about the Autopen is that the numbers completely wore off within about a month, so all dosing now is done by counting the clicks alone, which are 2 units a pop. No big deal really. The whole thing feels a little bit cheap and plastic, compared to my [oooh, luxurious] HumaPen Luxura, but hey.

      I reckon if usage warnings make it as far as becoming NHS warnings, then switching would definitely be advisable.

    • #6762
      Stephen
      Participant

      @Tim – thanks, and thanks for the [insert witty anology] advice :)

      @Clara – you would of thought the NHS warnings would of led to some sort of recall or led my diabetes doc to warn me, but nope! My diabetes doc still gave me a prescription for it this afternoon.

      On the subject of pens of other types, I got told today my Novopen 3 was defunct, should of been moved onto the Novopen 4 by now. I’m starting to think my doc might be a bit behind times …..

      I’m going to play both sides I think and get my GP to write me an Autopen up and take it from there. Despite the warnings, I’ve personally not had any problem with the Optipen.

    • #6767
      Tim
      Keymaster

      Ah, yes, the Autopen is a horrible pen – I kept wearing off the numbers too, which seemed to be a bit of a design flaw. You can also get the Solostar for lantus which is pre-filled and does single units (instead of the Autopen’s inexplicable two). It’s still a pretty horrible pen but I use it and find it better than the Autopen.

    • #6768
      Cecile
      Participant

      According to comments of @teloz to this piece, OptiPen has been succeeded by the tap-dancing OptiClik. I join the choir of AutoPen vilifiers: along with its inability to back-dial, you can keep on dialling even if the insulin is kaput and there isn’t 2 colours of pen to discern between fast-and long-acting insulins – its difference of colour (blue&green) indicates its capability to dispense 2 or 1 unit. I’m back to the single-star-stuff…haven’t encountered OptiPen or-Clik here on home turf.

    • #6771
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      My new DSN snatched my autopen away in horror (& changed me to the solostar prefilled pen) because there is a known reliability issue. I noticed myself that the magic button you press to deliver the goods would either speed inject everything at once, or go REALLY slowly. Nurse tells me this means you get inaccurate doses and increases the risk of those gristley lumps on injection sites (for which I have completely forgotten the real name!).
      I also learned an interesting new Lantus fact: the reason it hurts so much more than novorapid is that the suspension is slightly acidic. I suspect a sadistic chemist…

    • #6773
      Stephen
      Participant

      @Tim – the green do gooder in me has a serious problem with pre filled pens. I can’t recycle them anywhere! Do you just bin yours?

      @Ckoei – I haven’t heard of that one, thanks for the heads up :)

      @Hils – damn those chemist and their villainous ways …..

    • #6775
      Tim
      Keymaster

      @stephen – I just chuck my old pens, needles, lancets, etc., in our local lake. Same with old batteries.

    • #6776
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Dear Sanofi Aventis,
      Please-o-please-o-please can you divert a piffling slice of the VAST amount of cash you get from Lantus into providing a DECENT reusable pen. And if (as seems rather obvious by now) you really can’t be arsed, just stick your beastly acidic concoction in to NovoPen-shaped cartridges and everyone will be happy.
      Yours in bewildered disbelief that Autopens are the ‘good’ option,
      Mike

    • #6778
      Tim
      Keymaster

      ^^ what @mike said!

    • #6782
      Stephen
      Participant

      Amen @mike :)

      Going back to my earlier side note, the Novopen 4 is awesome. It’s shiny and blue! :) Shame the case is a little cheap, I liked the hard plastic case the 3 came in

    • #6785
      Hairy Gnome
      Participant

      @Stephen @Tim – the green do gooder in me has a serious problem with pre filled pens. I can’t recycle them anywhere! Do you just bin yours?

      You would have a problem with the OptiClik pen then @Stephen, it’s like a cross between a disposable pen and a reuseable one, but it’s better than the OptiPen Pro. I recently upgraded to a NovoPen 4 and I reckon it’s brilliant, my DSN told me Novo Nordisk do a Lantus type insulin, all that stops me from changing to it is the fact I can dial up 80 units on the OptiClik, but that’s a peculiarly T2 problem.

    • #6897
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Huh, I haven’t even considered anything different from what I was given to start with… A Novopen 3 and autopen 24. Seems like I have BOTH the wrong pens now! :P Still, I have a new diabetic specialist doctor, so I’ll see what he says about it all. I’ve not noticed anything odd, except that when the Autopen does that super high speed injection *shudders* Always hurts then, and that’s what makes me saddest – finger pricks are fine for me so far…

    • #6903
      Stephen
      Participant

      @neobrainless nah not the wrong pens at all :) The novo 3 is still good, it’s only when you ask to get it replaced you will probably find they can’t prescribe it as it’s been superseded. The autopen too is seemingly commonly prescribed for those who don’t use disposable pens.

      @teloz Novos Lantus pen is Levimir I think. 80 units …. wow I’d need (quick maths) 10 or 12 mars bars to balance that out lol

      Autopen is OK after the first week of use. No high speed injections yet! Does feel pretty cheap though, guess it’s the lesser of two evils whilst I veto disposable pens.

    • #6908
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Get a pump!! ha ha… or, see if they’ll reintroduce the original novopen – ahh, a thing of brushed metal beauty.. not like the plastic crap they dish out these days.. never had an Optipen..
      Over the years I’ve had Novopens, a couple of Humapens, ditto Autopens, pre-filled pens (now they really are plastic crap) and just a good old syringe and bottle..

    • #6910
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Charlie: My Novopen is a lovely metal thing :) As others have said, it’s much better than the plasticky crappy Autopen…

    • #6971
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’ve got an autopen, and hate it, cheap plastic and seems to randomly not want to do an injection, or do it for too quickly. Previously had those disposables before but hated the waste. Also have a Humapen Luxura which is one of the nicest ones i’ve had over the years, though that brushed silver metal Novopen was pretty good too. I’ve got enough old pens under my bed to open a (probably very dull) diabetes equipment museum.

    • #6975
      Alison
      Keymaster

      Ah the beautiful, slim, brushed silver original Novopen, I was hugely upset when they replaced it with the plastic crap because they were stopping making the smaller cartridges it needed. I would have happily paid for one of those pens, they were great and most people thought it was just an expensive fountain pen.

    • #6989
      Tim
      Keymaster

      I’ve ranted about it before and I’ll rant about it again – every pen available, with no exceptions, is horrible in every way. I would gladly pay for a nice pen – I look at the damned thing a zillion times a day, so it’d be nice to have a cool one.

    • #6994
      Hairy Gnome
      Participant

      Most of ’em are plasticky and clunky, but you have to admit @Tim, that by far the best of the bunch is the NovoPen 4, nice steel barrel, easy to read scale and easy to reset. Sadly though, it doesn’t look much like an expensive fountain pen, more like your average pocket flash-light. Surely it’s not beyond the wit of man to produce an insulin pen that is both functional and stylish, but I doubt that the thoughts of a few reactionaries on ShootUp will provide the necessary incentive. :(

    • #7015
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Hmmm. Maybe I should use my engineering powers to make this happen?! :P Sadly it’s not quite within my current industry! (Aerospace).

      I get frequently annoyed at the many products that could be improved so seemingly easily. Insulin pens are a prime example… :S

    • #7022
      Tim
      Keymaster

      @neobrainless – so are you a proper engineer then? If so, how irritated do you get when someone who comes to fix their washing machine calls themselves an “engineer”? :-)

    • #7023
      Tim
      Keymaster

      @teloz – all we need is a few more members and then we’ll become a mighty force to be reckoned with! I wrote a rather tastless article about this here: https://www.shootuporputup.co.uk/2009/09/diabetic-terrorism/

    • #7024
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Tim “I’ve ranted about it before and I’ll rant about it again – every pen available, with no exceptions, is horrible in every way…”

      LOL :) I recently changed insulins to get hold of the Humapen Memoir for its dose time/date memory function (the only one available in the UK since Novo are being rather uptight with their Echo). Stylistically it’s a bit like a maroon Austin Princess with a walnut dashboard. Mmmmmmm nice.

    • #7025
      Annette A
      Participant

      ‘To the engineer, the world is a toybox full of sub-optimal and feature-lacking toys.’
      Can’t remember where that came from but it is true. (Married to an electronics design engineer, everything in our house that is in any way electronic is ‘tweaked’ in some way. He has been told to keep his hands off ALL my stuff after he tried to optimise my laptop to his specifications. Every now and again he comes up with an idea as to how my diab control could be made better if a certain gadget/app/method could be developed. I annoy him by pointing out that I am officially an engineer as well, cos I have BEng after my name. The fact that its in Civil Engineering and I now work on journals/websites/publicity for a university is irrelevant. :-) )

    • #7026
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Tim: I’ll confess, I’m a trainee engineer, doing an apprenticeship at the moment. But doesn’t stop the engineer that’s being slowly released into the wild straining at the door :P But yes, I do still get mildly irritated by such folk :P Unless they are very good at their job – there are people on my apprenticeship I consider lesser engineers than many people I know with no such training. It’s all about mindset really.

      @Annette: That is SO true! Lol, you’re more of an engineer than me at the moment :P

    • #7032
      Anonymous
      Inactive
    • #7033
      Stephen
      Participant

      Awesome, bye bye Optipen AND Autopen then :)

    • #7034
      Cecile
      Participant

      The new horse (ClikSTAR) is capable of delivering up to 80 units in 1U increments, and is available in 3 different colours…at least a few of our prayers have been answered. The single reference to price I encountered, made me think it had to be very well-groomed steel, but it seems to be made of the same stuff as sunglasses & motorcycle helmets (polycarbonate plastic). Life has to remain elsewhere for us consumers to remain desirous :P

    • #8830
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Sort-of on topic: I managed to lose my NovoPen on a date last night (that’ll teach me to put it in my JACKET pocket, which got turned upside down when I picked it up…). The venue hasn’t had it turn up during cleaning, so I’m gonna be asking for a replacement. Just thought it might be worth asking if there is a preferable model to get? I’m guessing the Novopen 4, but as I have a bit of a chance to get the right one, I figured I’d ask?

      Time to hide all the chocolate biscuits to try and avoiding burning my retinas out over the 2-?? days it’ll take to get the replacement…

    • #8831
      Tim
      Keymaster

      Get a pump! ;-)

    • #8832
      Dave
      Participant

      I’ve had a 4 for a few months and it’s a decent improvement on the three. However, I’ve had to drop to the demi to get the benefit of half units during the day and this has the same style and design as the three.

      I think the 4 is the closest thing yet to the original thin Novopen but with improvements over the 3 such as quick cartridge replacement and being able to adjust down as well as up and a much smoother single click delivery.

    • #8834
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Tim – Lol, I’m in the lucky position that I don’t think I could get one if I wanted one! My control is too good! *dances and sings ‘7.5, 7.5’ * :P

      @Dave – Sounds good to me. I’m yet to feel the need for half unit doses, so when my lovely diabetes nurse phones me in a bit, the what I’ll check I’m getting!

    • #8835
      Tim
      Keymaster

      @neobrainless – ahha, but my A1C was 6.3% when I got one :-D

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