Generic name: insulin glargine (IN su lin GLAR gine)
Brand name: Basaglar KwikPen, Lantus, Lantus Solostar Pen, Toujeo SoloStar, Lantus OptiClik Cartridge, Toujeo Max SoloStar, Semglee, Semglee Prefilled Pen
Dosage forms: subcutaneous solution (100 units/mL; 300 units/mL)
Drug class: Insulin
Insulin glargine is a long-acting insulin that starts to work several hours after injection and keeps working evenly for 24 hours.
Insulin glargine is used to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes mellitus. insulin glargine is for use in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and in children at least 6 years old with type 1 diabetes.
Some brands of this medicine are for use only in adults. Carefully follow all instructions for the brand of insulin glargine you are using.
Insulin glargine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Never share an injection pen or syringe with another person, even if the needle has been changed.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use insulin glargine 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).
Insulin glargine 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.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- 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 insulin if you are pregnant or you become pregnant. Controlling diabetes is very important during pregnancy, and having high blood sugar may cause complications in both the mother and the baby.
How should I use insulin glargine?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Insulin glargine is injected under the skin. A healthcare provider may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself.
Insulin glargine must not be given with an insulin pump, or mixed with other insulins. Do not inject insulin glargine into a vein or a muscle.
Do not inject this medicine into skin that is damaged, tender, bruised, pitted, thickened, scaly, or has a scar or hard lump.
Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Do not use insulin glargine if you don't understand all instructions for proper use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions.
The Toujeo brand of insulin glargine contains 3 times as much insulin per milliliter (mL) as the Lantus or Basaglar brands. There are 300 units of insulin in 1 mL of Toujeo, and 100 units in 1 mL of Lantus or Basaglar.
If there are any changes in the brand, strength, or type of insulin you use, your dosage needs may change.
If you use an injection pen, use only the injection pen that comes with insulin glargine. Attach a new needle before each use. Do not transfer the insulin from the pen into a syringe.
Never share an 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.
You may have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and feel very hungry, dizzy, irritable, confused, anxious, or shaky. To quickly treat hypoglycemia, eat or drink a fast-acting source of sugar (fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, or non-diet soda).
Your doctor may prescribe a glucagon injection kit in case you have severe hypoglycemia. Be sure your family or 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.
Blood sugar levels can be affected by stress, illness, surgery, exercise, alcohol use, or skipping meals. Ask your doctor before changing your dose or medication schedule.
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) Basaglar or Lantus:
- Refrigerate and use until expiration date; or
- Store at room temperature and use within 28 days.
Storing unopened (not in use) Toujeo:
- Refrigerate and use until expiration date.
Storing opened (in use) Basaglar or Lantus:
- Store the vial in a refrigerator or at room temperature and use within 28 days.
- Store the injection pen at room temperature (do not refrigerate) and use within 28 days.
Storing opened (in use) Toujeo:
- Store the injection pen at room temperature (do not refrigerate) and use within 42 days.
Do not store an injection pen with the needle attached.
Do not use the medicine if it looks cloudy, has changed colors, or has any particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.
Wear a diabetes medical alert tag in case of emergency. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you have diabetes.
Use a needle and syringe only once and then place them in a puncture-proof "sharps" container. Follow state or local laws about how to dispose of this container. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of insulin glargine. You should 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 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 insulin glargine?
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how insulin glargine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.
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.
Insulin glargine side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of insulin allergy: 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 potassium--leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling.
Common 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.
What other drugs will affect insulin glargine?
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.