What is Lantus® (insulin glargine injection) 100 Units/mL?
Lantus (insulin glargine) is used to control high blood glucose levels for adults and children over the age of 6 with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Lantus is a long-acting insulin that is similar to the insulin produced by the pancreas in our body. It begins working several hours after injection and continues to work evenly for 24 hours.
This insulin may be recommended to be combined with an oral diabetes medication or fast-acting insulin.
Taking insulin should only be part of your treatment. Patients should also incorporate a lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise.
How does Lantus work?
Lantus works similar to the insulin naturally produced by your body. Insulin controls the re-uptake of glucose in the muscle and fat cells and suppresses the production of glucose in the liver.
Using Lantus Insulin
Before starting your Lantus insulin treatment, inform your doctor of all your existing medical conditions, especially heart, livery or kidney problems.
Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning on pregnancy, breast feeding or planning to breast feed.
Keep your insulin schedule consistent. Lantus should be taken once daily at the same time.
Monitor your blood glucose levels while taking insulin.
Do not make any modifications to your insulin dose or schedule without consulting your doctor first.
Do not mix or dilute Lantus with other insulin or solutions. This may cause the insulin to not work as intended and affect blood glucose level control which can lead to serious complications.
Only use Lantus if the solution is colorless or clear, with no particles inside.
Check your insulin before before taking it to make sure it’s the correct insulin.
Do not stop taking this medication unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.
Lantus is injected under the skin (subcutaneously). Your doctor will decide your dose and frequency based on your condition.
- Store in a refrigerator between 2 to 8°C.
- Keep out of reach of children.
- Do not freeze.
A side effect is any unwanted response to taking medication in regular dosages.
As with any medication, side effects may occur. They are usually temporary and go away within a few days or weeks.
Side effects when taking Lantus may include:
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Severe allergic reactions (including body rash)
- Severe swelling of the skin or mucous membranes
Common side effects include:
Allergic/skin reactions at site of injection (reddening, hives, itching, swelling or inflammation)
Rare side effects include:
- Eye conditions such as retinopathy which is an eye condition related to diabetes. Severe hypoglycemic reactions may cause temporary loss of vision.
- Temporary water retention in the body causing swelling in the ankles and calves
How to manage side effects
If you experience itching take a regular bath using creams, gels or oatmeal bath treatments.
Apply a cold compress or ice pack to the swollen area. Reduce your salt intake and try to eat a healthier diet.
The most common side effect when taking insulin is hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) which can be severe and even life threatening. Severe hypoglycemia can lead to affecting your heart and brain.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia include: sweating, rapid heartbeat, blurred vision and shaking.
If you experience any of the following side effects which can lead to severe allergic reactions or death, seek medical attention immediately:
- Full body rash
- Shortness of breath
- Extreme dizziness, drowsiness, or confusion
- Swelling of tongue, face or throat
- Difficulty breathing
Warnings & Precautions
Do not share syringes, insulin pens or needles with others as they may lead to spreading infections or blood pathogens. Do not reuse needles.
Rotate injection sites to reduce the risk of lipodystrophy (thickened or pitted skin), localized cutaneous amyloidosis (skin with lumps).
Do not inject into skin that is scaly, hard, scarred, bruised, lumpy, thickened, pitted, hard or damaged.
Do not use Lantus to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.
Do not take this insulin if you have any liver, kidney or heart issues.
Do not use Lantus is you are having an episode of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Do not use this medication if you have an allergy to insulin glargine or any ingredients contained in this solution.
If you reduce your insulin or stop taking it, your blood glucose levels may rise and put you at risk for serious complications.
This insulin should not be used by anyone under the age of 6 and used to treat type 2 diabetes for children of any age.
Inform your doctor if you have any of the following:
- kidney, heart or liver disease
- hypokalemia (low levels of potassium)
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, Lantus should be taken with caution. Speak to your doctor before taking this medication.
Driving or operating heavy machinery
Do not drive or operate heavy machinery while taking insulin as it may cause hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia or vision problems.
It is not recommended to drink alcohol while taking Lantus insulin.
If you are taking any of the following medications, consult your doctor:
- Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor
- Fluoxetine, monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors
- Lithium salts
- Pentoxifylline, propoxyphene, salicylate
- Sulfonamide antibiotics
Heart failure can occur if you are mixing Lantus insulin with medications called TZDs (thiazolidinediones), even if you have never had heart problems in the past.
If you already have experienced heart failure, it may worsen if you are taking TZDz with your Lantus treatment.
Notify your doctor if you are experiencing any of the following signs of heart failure:
- Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
- Sudden weight gain
- Swelling of ankles or feet
Inform your doctor if you are taking any other medications, over-the-counter medicines, sport supplements, vitamins/minerals or herbal supplements.