Lantus is a type of insulin that is injected to help treat diabetes. It’s a form of insulin that’s man-made and uses the Lantus brand name. Insulin is a kind of hormone that lowers the amount of glucose, a type of sugar, in the bloodstream. This type of insulin is called insulin glargine. It’s a long-acting type that begins working a few hours after the injection and continues to work for 24 hours. It’s used in diabetic patients in order to help them control their blood sugar levels.

It can be used by patients who are age six or older who have type 1 diabetes. It’s used in adults who have type 2 diabetes. In those who have type 1, this medication is used along with a short-acting insulin that the patient takes before meals. Insulin glargine is a type of drug called a biologic. This means that it is created from certain parts of living cells. This medication is not used to treat patients who have diabetic ketoacidosis, a type of diabetes complication.

Lantus Products

There are several types of Lantus products that may be prescribed by your doctor. These include the Lantus Solostar Pen, Lantus vials, and Lantus cartridges.

Lantus Solostar Pen

This is a disposable injection pen that comes pre-filled with Lantus. It’s made to be used by one patient, so don’t share the pen or the needles used.

Lantus Vials

The vials are a small container of this medication that is put into a syringe from the vial and injected under the skin.

Lantus Cartridges

There are cartridges that come with Lantus inside. These are attached to a reusable injection pen and injected just like with the Solostar. The pen isn’t disposable and is used for a long time.

Precautions and Warnings with Lantus

Before you take this medication, make sure your doctor knows if you’re allergic to it. It shouldn’t be taken if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Don’t take this medication at a time when your blood sugar is low. This can cause it to get even lower, and this can be dangerous.

If you have liver disease or kidney disease, make sure your doctor knows about it. Your doctor should go through your medical history before prescribing this medication. Talk to your doctor about all of your current conditions.

With this medication, your blood sugar can go to an extremely low or extremely high level. If this happens, it can cause you to have dizziness and blurry vision. You need to know how this medication affects you before you use dangerous machinery such as a vehicle. It’s also important to cut alcohol out of your diet because it can cause you to develop low blood sugar.

When you take Lantus, it can cause you to have a harder time regulating your blood sugar when your body has been stressed. This can include having surgery, getting sick, being injured, etc. If you’re going to have surgery, make sure that you tell your doctor that you take this medication. If you exercise, check your blood sugar before you start and after you’re finished. You might need to eat something before you begin.

If you’re pregnant, make sure that your doctor knows about it. It’s important to keep blood sugar under control during pregnancy to avoid complications. This medication can be taken during pregnancy as well as during breastfeeding. It does end up in breast milk, but it isn’t likely to cause harm to a baby. If you’re breastfeeding, be sure your doctor knows. You may need to have your dosage adjusted during this time.

Lantus Side Effects

Most medications have possible side effects, and Lantus is no different. There is a wide range of effects that a patient may have when taking this medication. Some side effects may be mild while others can be more serious. Some side effects go away with medication use, and others may stay longer.

Mild Side Effects

Some of the mild side effects you may have include:

  • Reactions at the area of injection such as redness or skin thickening
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Edema – a swelling from excess fluid in the legs, ankles, or feet
  • Colds or other common upper respiratory infections

Serious Side Effects

There are also more serious side effects possible. You may need to call your doctor immediately if you have them, or you may need emergency medical care. These side effects include:

  • Hypokalemia, or low potassium level, that causes an irregular heartbeat, weakness, and muscle cramps
  • Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, that causes sweating, tremors, headaches, hunger, shaking, dizziness, and blurry vision
  • Severe allergic reaction that causes swelling in the mouth, face, or throat as well as a large or particularly itchy rash, trouble breathing, and dizziness
  • Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, causing increased urination and/or thirst

Drug Interactions With Lantus

There are many medications that can interact badly with Lantus. They can change how much of it stays in your system or interfere with your blood sugar or the effects of insulin, etc. Some of these medications include:

  • Alcohol
  • Beta-blockers
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Birth control pills (such as Angeliq and Yaz)
  • Antipsychotics such as risperidone, haloperidol, etc.
  • Bismuth subsalicylate
  • Diuretics
  • Danazol
  • Clarithromycin (Biaxin)
  • Decongestants such as pseudoephedrine
  • Corticosteroids such as prednisone
  • Other diabetes medications such as insulin, metformin, etc.
  • Estrogens
  • Glucagon
  • Epinephrine
  • Hepatitis C antivirals such as sofosbuvir
  • Lithium
  • HIV protease inhibitors such as ritonavir (Norvir)
  • MAO inhibitors such as phenelzine
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • Mifepristone
  • Salicylates
  • Niacin
  • Progestins such as progesterone
  • Quinolone antibiotics such as levofloxacin (Levaquin)
  • Sirolimus
  • Tacrolimus
  • Sulfa antibiotics such as sulfadiazine
  • Tramadol
  • Thyroid replacement therapy

Strengths and Dosages of Lantus

There are a few different strengths that are available among the Lantus products. The SoloStar disposable pen contains 3 mL of the medication which has 100 units of insulin in each mL. There is also the vial form. This comes in a 10 mL vial that also has 100 units per mL. The cartridges are 3 mL with 100 units of insulin per mL.

SoloStar disposable pen:3 mL, 100 units per mL
Lantus vial:10 mL, 100 units per mL
Lantus cartridges:3 mL, 100 units per mL

Lantus Alternatives

There are two medications that are Lantus insulin biosimilar drugs.  One of these is Semglee. This is insulin glargine-ygfn, and it’s interchangeable with Lantus. There is also Rezvoglar. This biosimilar drug isn’t interchangeable with Lantus, but it’s an alternative that contains insulin glargine-aglr.

FAQs About Lantus

What is Lantus?

Lantus is a type of insulin that is injected under the skin to help diabetics lower their blood sugar.

How many units of Lantus is normal?

Up to 10 units are injected to start, and the doctor may raise the dosage from there.

How much does Lantus lower blood sugar?

This medication takes one unit of insulin in order to lower blood sugar by 50 mg/dl. The total drop in blood sugar may be anywhere from 30 to 100 mg/dl. The exact amount depends on a number of factors including the sensitivity of the patient to insulin.

When does Lantus peak?

Lantus is designed to slowly and steadily release insulin, so there is no peak time.

How long is Lantus good for after opening?

It will stay good for 28 days.

How does Lantus work?

It’s a biologic drug that releases insulin into the bloodstream. It is injected just under the skin, and the insulin goes to work in the body to lower the blood sugar.

How long does Lantus take to work?

It generally takes anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours.

What happens if I miss my Lantus dose?

You may need to take a dose of a short-acting insulin if you miss a dose. A missed dose can cause a lot of complications. Never take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose. Instead, talk to your doctor about whether or not to take the missed dose. The answer will usually depend on your current blood sugar level, the dosage that you take, the time you usually take a dose, and the current time.

Who makes Lantus?

Lantus is manufactured by Sanofi.

How long does Lantus insulin last in the fridge?

It will last about 28 days.

When to take Lantus before or after meals?

You can take this medication with or without food. Take it at a time of day that you’ll have access to the medication and that you will remember so you can keep taking it at the same time.

How to use Lantus pen?

The pen is pre-filled with the medication. To use it, you have to prime the pen according to its instructions so that the air bubbles are removed from the medication. The area where it will be injected must be cleaned with alcohol. Keep the pen straight and place the needle under the skin. Slowly push the injection button down. Last, count to 10 slowly before you pull the needle out.

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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