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All about: Insulin Glargine Pens

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Generic Name: Insulin Glargine Pens (IN-su-lin GLAR-jeen)
Brand Name: Lantus Solostar

Insulin Glargine Pens is used for:

Treating diabetes mellitus.

Insulin Glargine Pens is a long-acting form of the hormone insulin. It works by helping your body to use sugar properly. This lowers the amount of glucose in the blood, which helps to treat diabetes.

Do NOT use Insulin Glargine Pens if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Insulin Glargine Pens

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Insulin Glargine Pens:

Some medical conditions may interact with Insulin Glargine Pens. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you drink alcoholic beverages
  • if you have liver or kidney problems, diabetic ketoacidosis, or nerve problems
  • if you have high blood sodium levels or are on a low salt diet

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Insulin Glargine Pens. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), clonidine, guanethidine, lithium, or reserpine because they may increase the risk of high or low blood sugar or may hide the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar, if it occurs
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (eg, enalapril), disopyramide, fenfluramine, fibrates (eg, clofibrate, gemfibrozil), fluoxetine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (eg, phenelzine), oral medicine for diabetes (eg, glipizide, metformin, nateglinide), pentamidine, propoxyphene, salicylates (eg, aspirin), somatostatin analogs (eg, octreotide), or sulfonamide antibiotics (eg, sulfamethoxazole) because the risk of low blood sugar may be increased
  • Corticosteroids (eg, propranolol), danazol, diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide), estrogen, hormonal contraceptives (eg, birth control pills), isoniazid, phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine), progesterones (eg, medroxyprogesterone), somatropin, sympathomimetics (eg, albuterol, epinephrine, terbutaline), or thyroid hormones (eg, levothyroxine) because they may decrease Insulin Glargine Pens's effectiveness, resulting in high blood sugar

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Insulin Glargine Pens may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Insulin Glargine Pens:

Use Insulin Glargine Pens as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • A Lantus Solostar Instruction Leaflet and an extra patient leaflet are available with Insulin Glargine Pens. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Use Insulin Glargine Pens at the same time each day, as directed by your doctor.
  • Before the first use of a new pen, remove the pen from the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours before use. Do NOT store used pens in the refrigerator.
  • A health care provider will teach you how to use Insulin Glargine Pens. Be sure you understand how to use it. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Wash your hands before you use Insulin Glargine Pens. Always attach a new needle and perform the safety test as directed before each use.
  • Check the dose window before each use to be sure you have dialed the correct dose of insulin. Using too much or too little insulin may result in serious side effects.
  • Insulin Glargine Pens should be clear and colorless. Do not use Insulin Glargine Pens if it contains particles or is discolored, or if the container is cracked or damaged.
  • Do NOT dilute Insulin Glargine Pens or mix it with other insulin.
  • Use the proper technique taught to you by your doctor. Inject deep under the skin, NOT into a vein or muscle.
  • Injection sites within an injection area (abdomen, thigh, or upper arm) must be rotated from one injection to the next.
  • After you have injected your dose, slowly count to 10 before you take the needle out of your skin. This will help make sure that you receive the full dose.
  • Protect the insulin pen from dust and dirt. You may clean the pen by wiping it with a damp cloth. Do NOT soak, wash, or lubricate the pen.
  • Be sure you have purchased the correct insulin. Insulin comes in a variety of containers, including vials, cartridges, and pens. Make sure that you understand how to properly measure and prepare your dose. If you have any questions about measuring and preparing your dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for information.
  • The effect of Insulin Glargine Pens lasts for up to 24 hours.
  • Insulin Glargine Pens begins lowering blood sugar about 1 to 2 hours after an injection. There is no peak effect. The effect lasts for up to 24 hours.
  • Do not mix this insulin together with any other type of insulin or any other medicine in the same syringe.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • It is very important to follow your insulin regimen exactly. Do NOT miss any doses. Ask your doctor for specific instructions to follow in case you ever miss a dose of insulin.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Insulin Glargine Pens.

Important safety information:

  • Insulin Glargine Pens may cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or lightheadedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Insulin Glargine Pens with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol without discussing it with your doctor. Drinking alcohol may increase your risk of developing high or low blood sugar.
  • Do not exceed the recommended dose, use Insulin Glargine Pens more often than prescribed, or change the type or dose of insulin you are taking without checking with your doctor.
  • Proper diet, regular exercise, and regular testing of blood sugar are important for best results when using Insulin Glargine Pens. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. If your blood sugar level is often higher or lower than it should be and you are taking Insulin Glargine Pens according to directions, check with your doctor.
  • Illness, especially with nausea and vomiting, emotional problems, stress, or changes in diet or activity level, may cause your insulin requirements to change. Even if you are not eating, you still require insulin. You and your doctor should establish a sick day plan to use in case of illness. When you are sick, test your blood/urine frequently and call your doctor as instructed.
  • If you will be traveling across time zones, consult your doctor concerning adjustments in your insulin schedule.
  • An insulin reaction resulting from low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) may occur if you take too much insulin, skip a meal, or exercise too much. Low blood sugar may make you anxious, sweaty, weak, dizzy, drowsy, or faint. It may also make your heart beat faster; make your vision change; give you a headache, chills, or tremors; or make you more hungry. It is a good idea to carry a reliable source of glucose (eg, tablets or gel) to treat low blood sugar. If this is not available, you should eat or drink a quick source of sugar like table sugar, honey, candy, orange juice, or non-diet soda. This will raise your blood sugar level quickly. Tell your doctor right away if this happens. To prevent low blood sugar, eat meals at the same time each day and do not skip meals.
  • Developing a fever or infection, eating significantly more than usual, or missing your dose of insulin may cause high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). High blood sugar may make you feel confused, drowsy, or thirsty. It can also make you flush, breathe faster, or have a fruit-like breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away. If not treated, loss of consciousness, coma, or death may occur.
  • Carry an ID card at all times that says you have diabetes.
  • Lab tests, including fasting blood glucose levels or glycosylated hemoglobin levels, may be performed while you use Insulin Glargine Pens. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Insulin Glargine Pens with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially low blood sugar.
  • Insulin Glargine Pens should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 6 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Insulin Glargine Pens while you are pregnant. Insulin Glargine Pens is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Insulin Glargine Pens, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Insulin Glargine Pens:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Depression in the skin; enlargement or thickening of the skin; redness, swelling, itching, or mild pain at the injection site.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); changes in vision; chills; confusion; dizziness; drowsiness; fainting; fast heartbeat; fast, shallow breathing; headache; hoarseness; increased hunger, thirst, or urination; loss of consciousness; nervousness; seizures; slurred speech; stomach pain; sweating; sweet or fruity breath odor; swelling of the arms or legs; tremor; weakness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm) or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include chills; dizziness; drowsiness; fainting; headache; increased heartbeat; increased hunger; loss of consciousness; nervousness; seizures; shakiness; sweating; tremor; vision changes; weakness.

Proper storage of Insulin Glargine Pens:

Store new (unopened) pens in a refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C). Do not freeze Insulin Glargine Pens. Store used (open) pens at room temperature, below 86 degrees F (30 degrees C). Do NOT store used (open) pens in the refrigerator. Store away from heat and light. If Insulin Glargine Pens has been frozen or overheated, throw it away. Throw away unrefrigerated or used pens after 28 days, even if they still contain medicine.

Do not leave Insulin Glargine Pens in a car on a warm or sunny day. Do not use Insulin Glargine Pens after the expiration date stamped on the label. Keep Insulin Glargine Pens, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Insulin Glargine Pens, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Insulin Glargine Pens is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Insulin Glargine Pens. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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