What is Lantus Vial (insulin glargine)?
Lantus vial contains Lantus insulin, which is a brand name of insulin glargine, a long-acting insulin analog. Its absorption, distribution and metabolism in the body is very similar to naturally occurring human insulin produced in people who do not have diabetes.
What is Lantus vial used for?
Lantus vial is used for the control of high blood sugar levels in the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes. It is also prescribed for adults and children (aged 6 years and older) with type 1 diabetes who require a long-acting insulin. Lantus vial supplies a slow, consistent release of insulin all day to help regulate your blood sugar levels between meals and overnight.
Your treatment may also require the support of a fast-acting mealtime insulin to help control blood sugar level spikes during meals. Lantus vial is typically used as a once daily, self-administered injection. It is not used for the treatment diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
How does it work?
Lantus vial works by simulating the action of naturally occurring insulin, which normally controls blood sugar levels in the body. The primary function of insulin (including insulin glargine, the kind used in Lantus) is the regulation of sugar metabolism. It lowers blood sugar levels by stimulating blood sugar absorption from the blood into skeletal muscle and fat cells, and by blocking sugar production by the liver.
Studies have shown that insulin glargine and naturally occurring human insulin have the same effectiveness and ability to lower blood sugar levels. Compared with NPH human insulin, subcutaneously injected insulin glargine has a slightly slower onset and a longer duration of action. This is because of the microcrystals in its formulation that slowly release the insulin, giving a long duration of action of 18 to 26 hours, with a relatively steady effect profile and little peak of action.
Lantus vial side effects
Common negative effects may include:
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Other negative effects may include:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
- Injection site reactions
Hypoglycemia, otherwise known as low blood sugar, is one of the most common side effects experienced by insulin users. It can develop because of stress, illness, taking too much insulin, skipping or forgetting meals, increased exercise, using a new type of insulin and taking other medication, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, herbs, vitamins and street drugs.
Signs of severe hypoglycemia can include
- loss of consciousness
On the other hand, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) may develop if your body has too little insulin.
Symptoms of hyperglycemia may include
- increased thirst
- decreased appetite
- flushed dry skin
- quickened heart rate
- increased urination
- blurred vision
- a fruity breath odor.
If left untreated, hyperglycemia can progress into diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and result in unconsciousness and death.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) can develop from poorly controlled or uncontrolled diabetes. It occurs when your body does not have enough insulin, which can occur if you miss your insulin dose or take a smaller dose, eat too much, or develop an infection or fever.
Symptoms of DKA come on gradually and may include
- flushed face
- feeling drowsy
- loss of appetite.
If you have a rapid pulse with heavy breathing that may be a sign of a more serious condition. If left untreated, loss of consciousness, coma, or even death can result. If you think you may be experiencing any of these symptoms, get medical assistance immediately.
Possible reactions on the skin at the injection site can include lipoatrophy, the localized loss of fat around the injection site that can look like depression in the skin, and lipohypertrophy, which is the accumulation of extra fat at the injection site which may look like a small lump. Other localized skin reactions may include swelling, itching and redness at injection site.
How to take this medication
Lantus vial is taken as a subcutaneous injection, and the injection sites within each injection area (abdomen, thigh, buttock or deltoid) must be changed from one injection to the next. After injection, the area must not be massaged or rubbed. Speak to your doctor if you are not sure how to use this medication.
Lantus should only be used if the solution is clear and colorless with no particles or clumps visible. It is a clear solution, not a suspension like some other insulin products.
Many factors can affect your usual Lantus dose, which include changes in your diet, activity level, or work schedule. Other factors that may affect your dose are illness, pregnancy, medication, exercise, and travel.
Lantus is taken subcutaneously, once a day, at any time during the day as long as it is taken at the same time every day.
If you have type 2 diabetes but have not been prescribed insulin before, you may be started at a dose of 10 U, once daily, and then have your dose subsequently adjusted according to your insulin needs. If you are changing over to Lantus from treatment with another intermediate or long-acting insulin, the amount and timing of that previous dose may need to be adjusted to avoid the risk of hypoglycemia.
Warnings and Precautions
The drug should not be used:
- If you are allergic to this drug or to any ingredient in the formulation or component of the container
- If you have diabetic ketoacidosis
- For intravenous or intramuscular injections
Before you use it, talk to your doctor if:
- You are planning to have a baby, are pregnant, or are nursing a baby
- You are taking any medication
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