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Basaglar and Lantus - What is the difference between them?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on April 13, 2023.

Official answer


Basaglar and Lantus are 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. They start to work several hours after injection and keep working steadily over a 24 hour period. Lantus was the original insulin glargine, approved in 2000 and is made by Sanofi Aventis. Basaglar, from Eli Lilly, is a "follow on" insulin to Lantus and was approved in 2015.

Lantus and Basaglar are typically administered once daily as an injection given under the skin (subcutaneously). Dosing is determined individually by your doctor.

  • Lantus is available as a prefilled pen injector (SoloStar) or as a multi-dose vial for injection with a syringe.
  • Basaglar comes as a prefilled pen (KwikPen or Tempo Pen), but not in a multi-dose vial.
  • Both products are U-100, which means they contain 100 units of insulin glargine per milliliter (mL).

Basaglar and Lantus are both used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with type 1 diabetes and adults with type 2 diabetes. They are not used to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.

Brand name products that contain insulin glargine:

Soliqua 100/33 is a combination long-acting diabetes injection that contains insulin glargine and lixisenatide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist.

Is Basaglar a biosimilar to Lantus?

The FDA does not consider Basaglar a biosimilar or generic to Lantus. Basaglar and Lantus are not consider biosimilars because of complicated manufacturing processes and the fact that Lantus is not considered a reference product. They cannot be automatically substituted for one another by your pharmacist. If you have been prescribed Lantus but decide you now want to change to Basaglar, contact your doctor for a new prescription.

Basaglar and Lantus are both equally effective at lowering blood sugar in patients with diabetes and they are identical structurally. Clinical studies conducted by the manufacturer showed that Basaglar is safe, effective and similar to Lantus, so you can feel comfortable using either product. You and your doctor may decide between these insulins based on your health insurance plan coverage, cost, and availability in your area.

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Basaglar is considered a "follow-on" product to Lantus. The FDA did not approve Basaglar as a biosimilar to Lantus (as they would normally do with biologics) because Lantus (and other insulins) are not approved under the Public Health Service Act. This means there is no “reference product” for Lantus to be a proposed biosimilar product.

See more with our drug comparison tool: Basaglar vs. Lantus

This is not all the information you need to know about Basaglar or Lantus for safe and effective use and does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your treatment. Review the full product information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


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