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Generic Name: insulin glargine (IN su lin GLAR gine)
Brand Name: Lantus, Lantus OptiClik Cartridge, Lantus Solostar Pen, Toujeo SoloStar

What is insulin glargine?

Insulin glargine is a man-made form of a hormone that is produced in the body. It works by lowering levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Insulin glargine is a long-acting form of insulin that is slightly different from other forms of insulin that are not man-made.

Insulin glargine is used to treat type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Insulin glargine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about insulin glargine?

You should not use this medicine if you are having an episode of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis.

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Never share an injection pen or cartridge with another person. Sharing injection pens or cartridges can allow disease such as hepatitis or HIV to pass from one person to another.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using insulin glargine?

You should not use insulin glargine if you are allergic to it, or:

  • if you are having an episode of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar); or

  • if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with a short-acting insulin).

To make sure insulin glargine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • congestive heart failure or other heart problems;

  • liver or kidney disease; or

  • if you also take oral diabetes medicine such as pioglitazone or rosiglitazone.

Tell your doctor about all other diabetes medications you use, especially pioglitazone or rosiglitazone (sometimes contained in combinations with glimepiride or metformin). Taking certain oral diabetes medications while you are using insulin may increase your risk of serious heart problems.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether insulin glargine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use insulin glargine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. If you use more than one type of insulin: Avoid accidental mix-ups by carefully checking your medicine label each time you use insulin.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

The Toujeo brand of insulin glargine contains 3 times as much insulin per milliliter (mL) as regular insulin. There are 300 units of insulin in 1 mL of Toujeo, and 100 units in 1 mL of standard insulin.

The SoloStar injection pen contains a total of 300 units of insulin. The pen is designed to deliver from 1 to 80 units with each press of the injection button. Do not press the button more than one time per injection unless your doctor has prescribed a dose greater than 80 units.

Using too much insulin glargine can cause severely low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which could lead to seizures or death.

If there are any changes in the brand, strength, or type of insulin you use, your dosage needs may change. Always check your medicine when it is refilled to make sure you have received the correct brand and type prescribed by your doctor.

Insulin glargine is injected under the skin once per day, at the same time each day. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes. Do not mix this medication with other insulins.

Your care provider will show you the best places on your body to inject insulin glargine. Use a different place each time you give an injection. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.

Never share an injection pen or cartridge with another person. Sharing injection pens or cartridges can allow disease such as hepatitis or HIV to pass from one person to another.

Use a disposable needle only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can happen to everyone who has diabetes. Symptoms include headache, hunger, sweating, confusion, irritability, dizziness, or feeling shaky. Always keep a source of sugar with you in case you have low blood sugar. Sugar sources include fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, and non-diet soda. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.

If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use a glucagon injection. Your doctor can prescribe a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to use it.

Also watch for signs of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) such as increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, and weight loss.

Check your blood sugar carefully during times of stress, travel, illness, surgery or medical emergency, vigorous exercise, or if you drink alcohol or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your dose needs may also change. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.

Insulin glargine is only part of a treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, blood sugar testing, and special medical care. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

Storing unopened vials, injection pens, or prefilled syringes: Keep in the carton and store in a refrigerator, protected from light. Throw away any unopened insulin not used before the expiration date on the label.

Once you start using an injection pen or prefilled syringe, do not keep it in a refrigerator. Store it at room temperature. Store the injection pen with its cap on.

Do not freeze insulin glargine, and throw away the medicine if it has become frozen. Throw away any insulin not used within 28 days after opening.

Storing after your first use: You may keep "in-use" vials or cartridges not yet loaded into the OptiClik in the refrigerator or at room temperature, protected from light. Use within 28 days.

Do not refrigerate an in-use OptiClik or SoloStar device, or a cartridge that has been inserted into the OptiClik device.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose. You should not use more than one dose in a 24-hour period unless your doctor tells you to.

Keep insulin glargine on hand at all times. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An insulin overdose can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia.

What should I avoid while using insulin glargine?

Do not change the brand of insulin glargine or syringe you are using without first talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It lowers blood sugar and may interfere with your diabetes treatment.

Insulin glargine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of insulin allergy: itchy skin rash over the entire body; confusion, extreme drowsiness; wheezing, trouble breathing; fast heart rate, sweating; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • itching, swelling, redness, thickening, or hollowing of the skin where you inject insulin glargine; or

  • low potassium--leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, extreme thirst, increased urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • low blood sugar;

  • swelling, weight gain;

  • skin changes where the medicine was injected; or

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect insulin glargine?

Many other medicines can increase or decrease the effects of insulin glargine on lowering your blood sugar. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about insulin glargine.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 9.05. Revision Date: 2015-04-14, 2:34:56 PM.

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