Generic Name: insulin glulisine (IN su lin GLOO lis een)
Brand Names: Apidra, Apidra SoloStar Pen
What is Apidra?
Apidra is an injection that contains insulin glulisine. Insulin is a hormone that works by lowering levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Insulin glulisine is a fast-acting insulin that starts to work about 15 minutes after injection, peaks in about 1 hour, and keeps working for 2 to 4 hours.
Apidra is used to improve blood sugar control in adults and children with diabetes mellitus. This medicine is usually given together with a long-acting insulin.
Apidra is used to treat type 2 diabetes in adults.
Apidra is also used to treat type 1 diabetes in adults and children who are at least 4 years old.
Apidra is a fast-acting insulin that begins to work very quickly. You should use it within 15 minutes before or 20 minutes after you start eating a meal.
Never share an injection pen or syringe with another person, even if the needle has been changed.
You should not use Apidra if you are having an episode of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Apidra is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, foot care, eye care, dental care, and testing your blood sugar. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. Changing any of these factors can affect your blood sugar levels.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Apidra if you are allergic to insulin glulisine, or if you are having an episode of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Apidra is not approved for use by anyone younger than 4 years old. This medicine should not be used to treat type 2 diabetes in a child of any age.
To make sure Apidra is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
liver or kidney disease;
low levels of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia); or
diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment).
Tell your doctor if you also take pioglitazone or rosiglitazone (sometimes contained in combinations with glimepiride or metformin). Taking certain oral diabetes medicines while you are using insulin may increase your risk of serious heart problems.
Follow your doctor's instructions about using Apidra if you are pregnant. Blood sugar control is very important during pregnancy, and your dose needs may be different during each trimester of pregnancy.
Ask your doctor about using Apidra if you are breast-feeding a baby. Your dose needs may be different while you are nursing.
How should I use Apidra?
Use Apidra exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Apidra is injected under the skin, or into a vein through an IV. You will be shown how to use injections at home. Do not give yourself this medicine if you do not understand how to use the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used.
Your care provider will show you the best places on your body to inject Apidra. Use a different place each time you give an injection. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.
After using Apidra, you should eat a meal within 15 minutes. You may also use this medicine within 20 minutes after you start eating.
If you use this medicine with an insulin pump, do not mix or dilute Apidra with any other insulin. Infusion pump tubing, catheters, and the needle location on your skin should be changed every 2 days. Also change the medicine in the reservoir every 2 days.
Never share an Apidra injection pen or syringe with another person, even if the needle has been changed. Sharing these devices can allow infections or disease to pass from one person to another.
Use a disposable needle and syringe 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, irritability, dizziness, nausea, fast heart rate, and feeling anxious or shaky. To quickly treat low blood sugar, always keep a fast-acting source of sugar with you such as fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, or non-diet soda.
Your doctor can prescribe a glucagon emergency injection kit to use in case you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink. Be sure your family and close friends know how to give you this injection in an emergency.
Also watch for signs of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) such as increased thirst or urination, blurred vision, headache, and tiredness.
Blood sugar levels can be affected by stress, illness, surgery, exercise, alcohol use, or skipping meals. Ask your doctor before changing your insulin dose or schedule.
Apidra 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.
Keep this medicine in its original container protected from heat and light. Do not draw insulin from a vial into a syringe until you are ready to give an injection. Do not freeze insulin or store it near the cooling element in a refrigerator. Throw away any insulin that has been frozen.
Storing unopened (not in use) Apidra:
Refrigerate and use until expiration date; or
Store at cool room temperature (below 77 degrees F or 25 degrees C) and use within 28 days.
Storing opened (in use) Apidra:
Store the vial in a refrigerator or at cool room temperature and use within 28 days.
Store the injection pen at cool room temperature (do not refrigerate) and use within 28 days. Do not store the injection pen with a needle attached.
Store a prepared infusion set or infusion bag at cool room temperature and use within 48 hours.
Do not use Apidra if it looks cloudy, has changed colors, or has any particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since Apidra is used before meals, you may not be on a timed dosing schedule. Whenever you use Apidra, be sure to eat a meal within 15 minutes. Do not use extra insulin to make up a missed dose.
Keep insulin 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. Insulin overdose can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia. Symptoms include drowsiness, confusion, blurred vision, numbness or tingling in your mouth, trouble speaking, muscle weakness, clumsy or jerky movements, seizure (convulsions), or loss of consciousness.
What should I avoid while using Apidra?
Avoid medication errors by always checking the medicine label before injecting your insulin.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It can cause low blood sugar and may interfere with your diabetes treatment.
Apidra side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Apidra: redness or swelling where an injection was given, itchy skin rash over the entire body, trouble breathing, fast heartbeats, feeling like you might pass out, or swelling in your tongue or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
fluid retention - weight gain, swelling in your hands or feet, feeling short of breath; or
low potassium - leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling.
Common Apidra side effects may include:
low blood sugar;
itching, mild skin rash; or
thickening or hollowing of the skin where you injected the medicine.
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 Apidra?
Many other medicines can affect your blood sugar, and some medicines can increase or decrease the effects of insulin. Some drugs can also cause you to have fewer symptoms of hypoglycemia, making it harder to tell when your blood sugar is low. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
More about Apidra (insulin glulisine)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Apidra.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Apidra only for the indication prescribed.
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