This medication is used to treat children who have type 1 diabetes and are aged six and over. It’s also used on adults who have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Diabetes occurs when the body is either not making enough of the insulin it needs or the insulin that’s made can’t be used properly. Apidra is the brand name for a medication called insulin glulisine. It’s used as an injection under the skin to give patients more insulin. When it’s injected, it will lower the levels of glucose in the blood.

There are several types of insulin that can be given to patients, each with its own rate of absorption. Apidra is one that’s rapid-acting. It starts working just five minutes after it’s injected, and its maximum effect is from 30 to 90 minutes after injection. After two to four hours, it stops working. This medication is supposed to be used with regular exercise and a healthy diet to keep blood sugar levels under control.

Apidra Products

It comes in a vial as well as a pre-filled pen that the patient can use to inject it just under the skin. It can also be administered by an insulin pump or through an IV injection.

Apidra SoloStar Pens

Patients can use This type of pre-filled pen to inject themselves with this fast-acting insulin. These pens are ready to use and disposable.

Apidra SoloStar Cartridges

These cartridges are used in reusable pens, where the cartridge is changed out with each use rather than being thrown away by the pen. These easily attach to a sturdy pen.

Apidra Vials

Vials of Apidra are separate containers that are used alongside a separate syringe. The syringe is used to pierce the top of the vial and is filled to the appropriate dose each time. The syringe can then be used to inject the medication.

Precautions and Warnings of Apidra Insulin

There are possible health conditions that can be caused by taking Apidra. For some risks, certain groups have higher risks than others. Before this medication is prescribed, ensure your doctor knows your health history and any health problems you have right now.

It’s essential to lower your risk of diseases and infections by never sharing your needles or pens with anybody else, even if they take the same medication. Sharing a needle can cause the risk of highly severe infections and diseases.

There’s also the risk of getting low blood sugar with this medication, called hypoglycemia. This can happen when using this medication alone or with other medicines that lower blood sugar.  You have a higher risk of these happening if you change your level of exercise or your diet, you change to Apidra from another insulin medication, you consume alcohol, you’re taking more than one diabetes medication, or you have kidney or liver problems. You may feel nervous, shaky, confused, hungry, or sweaty if you get hypoglycemia.

You could also develop low potassium levels in the blood due to this medication. If you’re taking Apidra plus any other medication that will lower your level of potassium, you have a higher chance of this happening. Some diuretics will have this effect. You’ll need to have your potassium levels monitored while you take this medication. If you develop a potassium problem, you might get twitches, weakness, nausea, muscle cramps, abnormal heartbeat, or vomiting.

Apidra can cause you to hang onto more water, and this can cause heart failure or make heart failure worse. This is more likely if you’re taking Apidra plus a type of medication known as glitazones. One of these is Actos, or pioglitazone. If you gain a lot of weight quickly, have trouble breathing, get tired easily, or get headaches, tell your doctor. You may need changes made to your medications.

If your insulin pump is having problems, this can lead to blood sugar that’s far too high or a ketone buildup. If you use an insulin pump, these are real possibilities that you need to watch for. Make sure that your pump is working properly at all times and go to your doctor right away if it isn’t. You may need to have an alternative way of getting insulin administered. If your breath smells fruity, you’re tired, or you’re vomiting, contact your doctor right away.

If you’re pregnant, make sure your doctor knows. Staying in control of diabetes is extremely important during pregnancy.

Apidra Side Effects

There are many side effects that you may have when you take Apidra, and not all are permanent. Sometimes, the side effects only last for a few days or weeks until the body adjusts to the medication.

Some of the other effects you may have include gaining weight or having a reaction at the injection or infusion site like redness, pain, itching, or swelling. It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction to this medication. This could cause trouble breathing, rash, and swelling in the throat, mouth, or face.

The side effects you have may also depend on which type of diabetes you have.

Side Effects for Type 1 Diabetes

The common side effects for type 1 diabetes include:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Common cold
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Flu
  • Seizure from low blood sugar in children
  • Headache in children

Side Effects for Type 2 Diabetes

The common side effects for type 2 diabetes include:

  • Common cold
  • Flu
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Joint pain
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, or hands

Drug Interactions of Apidra

There are many drugs that can interact poorly with Apidra. Some aren’t recommended to be used along with Apidra, and some may be used together with monitoring and caution. Tell your doctor about everything you take, even if it’s over the counter or a nutritional supplement.

Some of the drugs that generally aren’t recommended for use with Apidra include:

  • Balofloxacin
  • Enoxacin
  • Gemifloxacin
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Flumequine
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Lanreotide
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Liraglutide
  • Metoclopramide
  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
  • Moxifloxacin (Vigamox)
  • Octreotide
  • Pazufloxacin
  • Pioglitazone
  • Thioctic acid

Strengths and Dosages of Apidra

The pre-filled SoloStar pen contains 3 mL and has 100 units per mL. The injectable solution comes in a 3 mL cartridge or a 10 mL vial. The amount your doctor prescribes will depend on the type of diabetes you have, your age, the severity of your condition, and more.

SoloStar pre-filled pen:3 mL with 100 units per mL
Cartridge:3 mL with 100 units per mL
Vial10 mL with 100 units per mL

Alternatives to Apidra

There aren’t any generics, but there are other rapid-acting insulin medications that could be used in place of Apidra. If you have serious side effects from Apidra or it doesn’t work for you, you could be changed to Humalog or NovoLog. Humalog is the brand name for insulin lispro. NovoLog is the brand name for insulin aspart. Both of these alternatives are fast-acting insulins.

FAQs About Apidra

What is Apidra?

Apidra is a fast-acting type of insulin that’s injected under the skin to lower the patient’s blood sugar. It can be used for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Who makes Apidra insulin?

The manufacturer of this medication is Sanofi-aventis.

How to use an Apidra insulin pen?

Use alcohol to clean the area where it will be injected. Check the insulin to make sure it’s in date and looks good. Attach the needle to the end of the pen. Do the safety test that is outlined on the pen. Inject the dose under your skin. Remove the needle and discard it properly.

What insulin is similar to Apidra?

There are other fast-acting insulins on the market, including Humalog and NovoLog.

How long does it take for Apidra insulin to work?

It starts to work about five minutes after the injection.

How long does Apidra last?

It continues working for about two to four hours.

How long does Apidra take to act?

It will start to act on blood sugar in about five minutes.

How do I load my SoloStar pen?

These pens are already loaded with the medication, but you do have to attach the needle. Make sure your needle is kept straight and then either screw it onto the end or push it on. There are both types of SoloStar pens.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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