Insulin glargine, recombinant (Subcutaneous route)
IN-su-lin GLAR-jeen, ree-KOM-bi-nant
Insulin, Long Acting
Uses of This Medicine:
Insulin glargine is a type of insulin. Insulin is one of many hormones that help the body turn the food we eat into energy. This is done by using the glucose (sugar) in the blood as quick energy. Also, insulin helps us store energy that we can use later. When you have type 2 diabetes mellitus, your body does not produce enough insulin, or the insulin produced is not used properly. This causes you to have too much sugar in your blood. Like other types of insulin, insulin glargine is used to keep your blood sugar level close to normal. Insulin glargine is a long-acting insulin that works slowly over about 24 hours. You may have to use insulin glargine in combination with another type of insulin or with a type of oral diabetes medicine to keep your blood sugar under control.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using This Medicine:
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
This medicine has been tested in a limited number of children 6 years of age or older. In effective doses, the medicine has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems than it does in adults.
This medicine has been tested in a limited number of patients 65 years of age or older and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems—
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine:
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
Each package of insulin glargine contains a patient information sheet. Read this sheet carefully and make sure you understand:
It is best to use a different place on the body for each injection (e.g., abdomen, thigh, or upper arm). If you have questions about this, contact a member of your health care team.
Since insulin glargine lowers the blood glucose over 24 hours, it should be taken once daily at bedtime
Follow carefully the special meal plan your doctor gave you. This is the most important part of controlling your condition, and is necessary if the medicine is to work properly. Also, exercise regularly and test for sugar in your blood or urine as directed.
Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
After a cartridge has been inserted into a pen, store the cartridge and pen at room temperature, not in the refrigerator.
Precautions While Using This Medicine:
Never share insulin pens or cartridges with others under any circumstances. It is not safe for one pen to be used for more than one person. Sharing needles or pens can result in transmission of hepatitis viruses, HIV, or other blood-borne illnesses.
Your doctor will want to check your progress at regular visits, especially during the first few weeks you take this medicine.
It is very important to follow carefully any instructions from your health care team about:
In case of emergency—There may be a time when you need emergency help for a problem caused by your diabetes. You need to be prepared for these emergencies. It is a good idea to:
Too much insulin glargine can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Low blood sugar also can occur if you use insulin glargine with another antidiabetic medicine, delay or miss a meal or snack, exercise more than usual, or drink alcohol. Symptoms of low blood sugar must be treated before they lead to unconsciousness (passing out). Different people may feel different symptoms of low blood sugar. It is important that you learn which symptoms of low blood sugar you usually have so that you can treat it quickly.
Symptoms of low blood sugar include anxiety; behavior change similar to being drunk; blurred vision; cold sweats; confusion; difficulty in thinking; dizziness or lightheadedness; drowsiness; excessive hunger; fast heartbeat; headache; irritability or abnormal behavior; nervousness; nightmares; restless sleep; shakiness; slurred speech; and tingling in the hands, feet, lips, or tongue.
If symptoms of low blood sugar occur, eat glucose tablets or gel, corn syrup, honey, or sugar cubes; or drink fruit juice, nondiet soft drink, or sugar dissolved in water to relieve the symptoms. Also, check your blood for low blood sugar. Get to a doctor or a hospital right away if the symptoms do not improve. Someone should call for emergency help immediately if severe symptoms such as convulsions (seizures) or unconsciousness occur. Have a glucagon kit available, along with a syringe and needle, and know how to use it. Members of your household also should know how to use it.
Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) may occur if you do not take enough or skip a dose of your antidiabetic medicine, overeat or do not follow your meal plan, have emotional stress or infection, or do not exercise as much as usual.
Symptoms of high blood sugar include blurred vision; drowsiness; dry mouth; flushed, dry skin; fruit-like breath odor; increased urination; ketones in urine; loss of appetite; stomachache, nausea, or vomiting; tiredness; troubled breathing (rapid and deep); unconsciousness; and unusual thirst.
If symptoms of high blood sugar occur, check your blood sugar level and then call your doctor for instructions.
Side Effects of This Medicine:
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Last Updated: 6/13/2013
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