Lantus insulin is the brand name of Long Lasting (24 hour) insulin marketed by the pharmaceutical company Sanofi Aventis. The key advantage of Lantus is that it is the only 24 hour insulin that is approved for a once daily injection. Meaning, it is the only insulin where you have to take one injection and it lasts for a full day.
Other insulin products can last for up to 24 hours on one injection, but Lantus is the only one where the FDA has specifically approved the once daily injection.
The generic name for Lantus is insulin glargine and is of rDNA origin, meaning it is made with a type of natural hormone but is man made. The medication comes in three forms: Lantus (vile), Lantus Opticlik (cartridge) and Lantus Solostar Pen.
Key Advantages of Lantus
24 Hours on One Injection. As discussed above, this is the only long lasting insulin that is approved for only one injection per day.
No Pronounced Peak. Many insulin types peak after several hours, then drop off in effectiveness. Lantus is closer to a constant effectiveness over the 24 hour period.
Lowers A1C levels. Combined with proper diet, exercise and oral medications, Lantus has been proven to lower A1C levels than other insulin.
What You Should Know
Lantus is effective at treating both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. However, Type 1 diabetics will usually use short acting insulin as well. The medication is not appropriate for children under 6.
There are several other significant factors about Lantus insulin that you should know about before taking it.
- You should not take Lantus if you have an allergy to insulin glargine.
- Avoid allowing your blood sugar to drop too low leading to hypoglycemia. This form of insulin is not approved for treating hypoglycemia.
- You should also monitor your blood sugar for signs of high glucose levels, or hyperglycemia.
- You should always follow direct instructions on using an injection pen or cartridge and avoid sharing these with others.
- Lantus is unable to cure diabetes and it is only effective when other courses of treatment are also followed including diet, exercise, eye car, dental care, blood sugar control and weight control.
- Doctors can prescribe this medication alongside oral diabetes medications or other types of medications.
Using Lantus Insulin
Prescription and Dosage: The only way to get this form of insulin is through a prescription from your doctor. Talk to your doctor about how he or she
wants you to take the medication. You should never use larger amounts than what is prescribed and you should only use it for the time period that it is prescribed to you.
Drug Interaction: You also need to avoid mixing this insulin with other forms of insulin. Some drugs may be unsafe to use with Lantus insulin.
For example, medications that help lower blood glucose levels may lower your glucose too much. Correspondingly, other medications may block the blood glucose
lowering effect of Lantus. For a full list of medications that can negatively impact this insulin please see your doctor.
Appearance: When you look at the medication itself, it should be clear. If it is discolored or cloudy in appurtenance, this could indicate that the
medication is no longer effective or is tainted and it should not be used.
Injections: To take this form of insulin, you will need to inject the medication under the skin (subcutaneously). If this is the first time you are
taking medication like this, a nurse or your doctor will show you how to inject the medication. Your pharmacist can also provide help.
Each time that you use the medication you will need to inject it into a different location on your skin, never twice in a row at the same location.
Delivery Options: One of the most common methods for taking Lantus insulin is with a SoloStar injection pen, which will contain 300 units of the medication.
Be sure to find out from your doctor how many units you should inject before doing so. The pen is ideal because it delivers the right amount is a very simple manner.
Lantus also comes in vile and cartridge forms.
Possible Side Effects
Those you take Lantus insulin may have experience some side effects. Allergic reactions can include a skin rash, difficulty breathing or a fast heart rate.
You may have low blood sugar as a side effect as well, which generally triggers the need for medication adjustment.
This is not a complete list of side effects that could occur when you take Lantus insulin. If you experience any type of adverse reaction when taking the
medication, consult your doctor for more information and help controlling your blood sugar levels or the use of the medication.
By Erich Schultz – Last Reviewed June 2012.