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Lantus

Generic name: insulin glargineIN-su-lin-GLAR-gine ]
Brand names: Lantus, Lantus SoloStar
Drug class: Insulin

Medically reviewed by Kaci Durbin, MD. Last updated on Mar 25, 2022.

What is Lantus?

Lantus is a man-made form of a hormone (insulin) that is produced in the body. Insulin is a hormone that works by lowering levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Insulin glargine is a long-acting insulin that starts to work several hours after injection and keeps working evenly for 24 hours.

Lantus is used to improve blood sugar control in adults and children with diabetes mellitus.

Lantus is for use in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and in children at least 6 years old with type 1 diabetes.

For type 1 diabetes, Lantus is used together with a short-acting insulin given before meals.

Some brands of insulin glargine are for use only in adults. Carefully follow all instructions for the brand of insulin glargine you are using.

Warnings

You should not use Lantus 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).

Never share a Lantus SoloStar 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.

Not all insulin glargine brands are equal in dosing. Follow your doctor’s instructions when changing from one brand to another. If there are any changes in the brand, strength, or type of insulin you use, your dosage needs may change.

Lantus 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 Lantus if you are allergic to insulin, or if you are having an episode of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment).

Lantus is not approved for use by anyone younger than 6 years old, and some brands are for use only in adults. Do not use this medicine to treat type 2 diabetes in a child of any age.

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

  • liver or kidney disease; or

  • heart failure or other heart problems.

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.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Follow your doctor's instructions about using this medicine if you are pregnant or you become pregnant. Controlling diabetes is very important during pregnancy.

How should I use Lantus?

Use Lantus exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Lantus is injected under the skin, usually once per day at the same time of day.

When treating type 1 diabetes, use your short-acting insulin before meals as directed by your doctor.

Lantus must not be given with an insulin pump, or mixed with other insulins. Do not inject Lantus into a vein or a muscle.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand how to use an injection.

Prepare an injection only when you are ready to give it. Call your pharmacist if the medicine looks cloudy, has changed colors, or has particles in it.

Your healthcare provider will show you where to inject Lantus. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.

Avoid injecting into skin that is damaged, tender, bruised, pitted, thickened, scaly, or has a scar or hard lump.

Your dose needs may change if you switch to a different brand, strength, or form of this medicine. Avoid medication errors by using only the medicine your doctor prescribes.

If you use a Lantus SoloStar injection pen, use only the injection pen that comes with Lantus. Attach a new needle before each use. Do not transfer the insulin from the pen into a syringe.

Never share an injection pen, even if you changed the needle. Sharing these devices can pass infections from person to person.

Blood sugar can be affected by stress, illness, surgery, exercise, alcohol use, or skipping meals.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can make you feel very hungry, dizzy, irritable, or shaky. To quickly treat hypoglycemia, eat or drink hard candy, crackers, raisins, fruit juice, or non-diet soda. Your doctor may prescribe glucagon injection in case of severe hypoglycemia.

Tell your doctor if you have frequent symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) such as increased thirst or urination. Ask your doctor before changing your medication dosage.

Keep this medicine in its original container protected from heat and light. 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) Lantus:

  • Refrigerate and use until expiration date; or

  • Store at room temperature (below 86 degrees Fahrenheit) and use within 28 days.

Storing opened (in use) Lantus:

  • Store the vial in a refrigerator or at room temperature and use within 28 days.

  • Store the Lantus SoloStar injection pen at room temperature (do not refrigerate) and use within 28 days.

Do not store an injection pen with the needle attached. Do not reuse a needle or syringe. Place them in a puncture-proof "sharps" container and dispose of it following state or local laws. Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card to let others know you have diabetes.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose. Do not use more than one dose in a 24-hour period unless your doctor tells you to.

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 severe 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 Lantus?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

Avoid medication errors by always checking the medicine label before injecting your insulin.

Avoid drinking alcohol or using medicines that contain alcohol. It may interfere with your diabetes treatment.

Lantus side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of an allergic reaction to Lantus: 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:

  • rapid weight gain, swelling in your feet or ankles;

  • shortness of breath; or

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

Common Lantus side effects may include:

  • low blood sugar;

  • swelling, weight gain;

  • allergic reaction, itching, 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.

What other drugs will affect Lantus?

Many drugs can affect your blood sugar and may also affect Lantus. 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. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use. Not all possible interactions are listed here.

Popular FAQ

Basaglar and Lantus both injections that contain insulin glargine, a long-acting form of insulin to help control blood sugar levels in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Basaglar is considered a "follow-on" to Lantus but is not a biosimilar, according to the FDA. This means your doctor will need to write a prescription for one or the other as they cannot be substituted at the pharmacy. Continue reading

Both Toujeo and Lantus are long-acting insulins that contain glargine, however Toujeo is more concentrated containing 300 units per mL of glargine, compared to Lantus’s 100 units per mL. When you take this into account the cost of Toujeo and Lantus works out approximately the same (real cost value $30.76/mL for Toujeo compared with $30.23/mL for Lantus). Continue reading

More FAQ

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Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Lantus only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.