Insulin glargine (Injection)

Introduction

Insulin Glargine, Recombinant (IN-su-lin GLAR-jeen, ree-KOM-bi-nant)

Treats diabetes mellitus. Insulin is a hormone that helps get sugar from the blood to the muscles, where it is used for energy. This type of insulin usually works longer than regular insulin.

Brand Name(s)

Lantus, Lantus SoloStar

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to insulin glargine or other components of this product, or if you have diabetic ketoacidosis.

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin.
  • You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • There are many different devices available for giving an insulin injection. You may be taught how to use a regular syringe or another delivery device. Each device has special instructions that you must follow. Make sure you understand all the instructions for your device before you use it.
  • Do not mix this medicine with any other insulin or with water.
  • This medicine should look clear before you use it. Do not shake the vial. If you use insulin once a day, it is best to use it at about the same time every day.
  • You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
  • Use only syringes that are specially made for insulin. It is best to always use the same brand and type of syringe and needle. Some types of insulin must be used with a certain type of syringe or needle. Ask your pharmacist if you are not sure which one to use.
  • Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
  • Do not change the brand or type of your insulin unless your doctor tells you to. If you must change the brand or type, ask your doctor before giving yourself an injection.
  • Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet. Your doctor may suggest that you follow an exercise program. You may also be taught to check your own blood sugar levels at home. Diet, exercise, medicine, and checking your blood sugar are all important to control your diabetes.

If a dose is missed:

  • Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store unopened insulin in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. If you cannot refrigerate the insulin you will use for the day, keep it in a cool place away from heat or sunlight. Do not use insulin that has been frozen or overheated.
  • If you use an Opticlik® cartridge, keep the medicine in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Once you start using a cartridge, keep it at room temperature. Never store a used pen or cartridge in a refrigerator and with the needle in place. The medicine will keep for up to 28 days if protected from heat and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using diabetes medicine that you take by mouth (such as glyburide, metformin, Actos®, Glucotrol®), ACE inhibitors (such as enalapril, lisinopril, Accupril®, Lotrel®, Zestril®), disopyramide (Norpace®), medicine to lower cholesterol or triglycerides (such as gemfibrozil, fenofibrate, Tricor®, Lopid®), fluoxetine (Prozac®), MAO inhibitors (MAOI) (such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®), propoxyphene (Darvon®), salicylates (such as aspirin), octreotide (Sandostatin®), or medicine to treat an infection (such as trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, Bactrim®, Cotrim®, Septra®).
  • Tell you doctor if you are also using steroid medicines (such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, prednisone, Medrol®), danazol (Danocrine®), diuretics or "water pills" (such as hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide, torsemide, Demadex®, Lasix®), epinephrine (Adrenalin Chloride®, Sus-Phrine®), albuterol (Ventolin®, Proventil®), terbutaline (Brethine®, Bricanyl®), isoniazid (Nydrazid®, Laniazid®), phenothiazine medicine (such as prochlorperazine, Compazine®, Mellaril®, Phenergan®, Thorazine®, Trilafon®), somatropin (Nutropin®), thyroid hormones (such as levothyroxine, liothyronine), estrogen hormones, or birth control pills that contain progestogen.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using beta-blockers (such as atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol, Toprol®), clonidine (Catapres®), lithium (Lithane®, Lithobid®, Eskalith®), pentamidine (Pentam 300®, Nebupent®), guanethidine (Ismelin®), or reserpine (Ser-ap-es®, Hydropres®).
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant. Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease or liver disease.
  • Never share insulin pens or cartridges with others under any circumstances. It is not safe for one pen to be used for more than one person. Sharing needles or pens can result in transmission of hepatitis viruses, HIV, or other blood-borne illnesses.
  • Your correct insulin dose may change slightly with changes in your diet or activity. Your dose needs may also change if you are ill (especially with vomiting or diarrhea), stressed out, pregnant, traveling, using a new medicine, or exercising more or less than usual. Follow your doctor's instructions about changes in your insulin dose.
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) may occur if you do not take enough or skip a dose of your antidiabetic medicine, overeat or do not follow your meal plan, have emotional stress or an infection, or do not exercise as much as usual.
  • Symptoms of high blood sugar include blurred vision; drowsiness; dry mouth; flushed, dry skin; fruit-like breath odor; increased urination; ketones in urine; loss of appetite; stomachache, nausea, or vomiting; tiredness; troubled breathing (rapid and deep); unconsciousness; and unusual thirst.
  • If symptoms of high blood sugar occur, check your blood sugar level and then call your doctor for instructions. Seek medical help immediately if symptoms are severe.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Anxiety, confusion, restlessness, or mood or mental changes
  • Blurred vision, or any changes in vision
  • Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
  • Headache, lightheadedness, dizziness, or drowsiness
  • Increased sweating
  • Problems with walking
  • Slurred speech
  • Tingling in your hands, feet, lips, or tongue
  • Tremors
  • Trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Nightmares or trouble sleeping
  • Redness, pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the shot is given
  • Skin itching or rash

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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