Insulin Glargine

Information about Insulin Glargine

Insulin Glargine Uses

Insulin Glargine is used in the treatment of diabetes.

How Insulin Glargine works

Insulin Glargine is a long-acting insulin that provides consistent, all-day sugar control. It works like your body's natural insulin. Insulin facilitates reuptake of sugar in muscle and fat cells and also suppresses the production of sugar in the liver.

Common side effects of Insulin Glargine

High blood pressure, Peripheral edema, Severe hypoglycemia, Diarrhea, Urinary tract infection, Auto-antibody formation, Back pain, Upper respiratory tract infection, Cataract
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Written By
MMST, MBBS
Reviewed By
MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
Last updated
20 Jul 2023 | 02:26 PM (UTC)

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Available Medicine for Insulin Glargine

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Expert advice for Insulin Glargine

  • Insulin Glargine is injected under the skin. It needs to be injected once daily, at the same time every day.
  • Injection below the skin of the abdomen results in faster absorption than other injection sites.
  • Injection sites must be rotated to prevent hard lumps from developing at one site.
  • Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet and take your other diabetes medicines (if prescribed) alongside.
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level) is a common side effect. Hence, regular monitoring of blood sugar levels is required while taking this medicine.
  • Always carry some high sugar food such as sugar candy or glucose candy, fruit juice and glucose/glucon-D with you so that you can take it when you experience hypoglycemia symptoms such as cold sweats, cool pale skin, tremors, weakness, and anxiety.
  • Opened vials/cartridge stay good at room temperature for up to 4 weeks, while unopened vials must be placed in the refrigerator (2°C–8°C).
  • Do not use if the preparation is no longer clear and colorless, or if it contains particles.

Frequently asked questions for Insulin Glargine

Insulin Glargine

Q. What kind of insulin is Insulin Glargine?

Insulin Glargine is a man-made insulin, which is very similar to human insulin. It has a long and steady (constant) effect on the blood sugar levels and the action lasts for an entire day. This makes it suitable to be used once daily. It is used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults and type 1 diabetes mellitus in adults and children.

Q. What should I know before using Insulin Glargine?

Insulin Glargine is injected under the skin (subcutaneously) with a pen-like device or an insulin syringe and needle. There are various areas on the body where insulin can be injected such as abdomen (stomach area), thighs (upper portion of legs), upper arms, hips or buttocks. Your doctor will show you the area of your skin where you should inject it. Never inject it directly into a vein or a muscle. Before using Insulin Glargine, make sure that the solution is colorless and free of any particles. It should strictly be taken in the dose that has been prescribed to you. Follow your doctor’s instructions on how to administer Insulin Glargine correctly and monitor your blood sugar levels regularly.

Q. How is Insulin Glargine administered?

Insulin Glargine is injected just below the skin (subcutaneously). Your doctor will train you on the correct method and the areas (abdomen or stomach, thighs, arms, hips or buttocks) where you should inject it. It is advised that the site of injection should be changed within the chosen area of skin, for every dose. For example, if you have been advised to inject it into the skin of your stomach, avoid puncturing the same point on your stomach every day. Rather, inject the needle at a site that is slightly away, say around 1cm, from the previous injection. You can also consider switching sides while injecting, like choosing the right side on one day and the left side on the next day. This way, you can reduce the complications associated with repeated injections in the same site such as thickening of the fat tissue below the skin known as lipodystrophy, irritation, pain etc. After one to two weeks, you should move to another area of your body (eg. from the stomach to the arms or thighs) as advised by your doctor. Consult your doctor if you face any problems while injecting Insulin Glargine.

Q. Can I take Insulin Glargine twice a day?

Insulin Glargine is long-acting and is usually prescribed to be taken once a day. It can be taken at any time of the day, but try to take it at the same time each day.

Q. What will happen if I accidentally inject more than the prescribed dose of Insulin Glargine?

If you have accidentally taken more than the prescribed dose of Insulin Glargine, your blood sugar levels may become too low (hypoglycemia). This hypoglycemia may be mild or severe. Monitor your blood sugar levels more frequently for the next 24 hours. Mild episodes of hypoglycemia (with symptoms like anxiety, sweating, weakness, tremors, fast heartbeat) can usually be corrected with the help of sugary foods such as sugary candy, fruit juice, and glucose/glucon-D. However, it is important to consult your doctor to decide the further course of treatment. More severe episodes of hypoglycemia may even lead to a seizure (fit) or unconsciousness. This can be life-threatening and the patient should be rushed to an emergency.

Q. How should Insulin Glargine be stored?

Keep this medication out of the reach of children in the container it came in. Store unopened vials and pens in the refrigerator, but do not freeze them. An unopened, Insulin Glargine can be stored in the refrigerator until the date shown on the company's label. Moreover, never use Insulin Glargine that has been frozen or defrosted. If a refrigerator is unavailable, the vials can be stored at room temperature and away from direct sunlight and extreme heat. It should appear as a clear, colorless solution that is free from any particles.

Q. In what circumstances will the dose of Insulin Glargine need to be changed?

You should consult your doctor about the scenarios where you may need to adjust your insulin dose. For example, in case you are ill, you should monitor your blood sugar levels more closely. You must tell your doctor about all the medicines that you are taking because many medicines can affect the way insulin acts and you may need dose modification. Your eating habits may also affect your dose, for example, if you eat less someday, skip a meal or eat more than what you usually eat. Your blood sugar level may alter depending upon your exercise regime, alcohol consumption or stress. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should consult their doctor before taking Insulin Glargine as they may need to change their dose.

Q. What are the serious side effects of Insulin Glargine?

Serious side effects are rare with Insulin Glargine. Sometimes, severe allergic reaction may be seen with it. This can lead to rash, hives, itching all over the body, trouble breathing (wheezing), fast heart rate, and low blood pressure. Get medical help right away if you develop any of these symptoms. Other side effects include severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels), that can cause dizziness, sweating, anxiety, confusion, headache, blurred vision, slurred speech, shakiness, fast heartbeat, seizure (fit), and unconsciousness. Taking certain medicines such as TZDs (thiazolidinediones) may cause heart failure in some people, even if they have never had any heart problems before. Some people may also notice sudden weight gain and swelling (edema) of ankles or feet. Consult your doctor immediately if you notice any of these side effects.

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