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Generic Name:

Insulin glargine, Prefilled injectable pen

All Brands

  • Lantus SoloStar
  • Toujeo SoloStar
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for Insulin glargine

Prefilled injectable pen
1

Insulin glargine is an injectable drug that’s used to control high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

2

This drug is a long-acting insulin. It comes in a prefilled pen (SoloStar). It’s important to know which dosage, form, and strength you’re taking.

3

You should inject insulin glargine under your skin in your upper arm, stomach area, or upper leg. Never inject it into a vein or muscle. Change (rotate) injection sites with each dose, but try to stay within the same body part.

4

Insulin glargine is usually injected once per day to lower your blood sugar.

5

The main side effect is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Signs of low blood sugar include hunger, nervousness, shakiness, sweating, chills, clamminess, dizziness, fast heart rate, lightheadedness, sleepiness, confusion, blurred vision, headache, feeling confused or not like yourself, and irritability.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Low blood sugar warning

You may have mild or severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) while taking insulin glargine. Severe low blood sugar can be dangerous. It can harm your heart or brain, and cause unconsciousness, seizures, or even be fatal.

Low blood sugar can happen very quickly and come on without symptoms. This is why it’s important to check your blood sugar as often as your doctor says to. Symptoms may include:

  • anxiety, irritability, restlessness, trouble concentrating, or feeling confused or not like yourself
  • tingling in your hands, feet, lips, or tongue
  • dizziness, lightheadedness, or drowsiness
  • nightmares or trouble sleeping
  • headache
  • blurred vision
  • slurred speech
  • fast heart rate
  • sweating
  • shaking
  • unsteady walking

Low blood potassium warning

You may have low blood potassium (hypokalemia) while taking insulin glargine. This is because it helps your body use more potassium. If you’re using potassium-lowering medicines or taking potassium concentration sensitive medicines, you should be monitored very closely.

Heart failure warning

Taking diabetes pills called thiazolidinediones (TZDs) with insulin glargine may cause heart failure. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new or worse symptoms of heart failure, including:

  • shortness of breath
  • swelling of your ankles or feet
  • sudden weight gain

Your doctor may adjust your TZD dose if you have these symptoms.

What is insulin glargine?

Insulin glargine is a prescription drug. It’s available as a prefilled disposable pen. This drug is self-injectable. 

If you have type 1 diabetes, insulin glargine must be used in combination with short- or rapid-acting insulin. If you have type 2 diabetes, insulin glargine may be used alone or with other medicines.

Why it's used

The brand of insulin glargine called Lantus SoloStar is used to reduce blood sugar levels in adults and children with type 1 diabetes and blood sugar levels of adults with type 2 diabetes.

The brand of insulin glargine called TouJeo, is used to reduce blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

How it works

Insulin glargine belongs to a drug class called long-acting insulin. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They are often used to treat similar conditions.

Insulin glargine works by controlling how sugar is broken down in your body.

More Details

How it works

Insulin glargine belongs to a drug class called long-acting insulin. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They are often used to treat similar conditions.

Insulin glargine works by controlling how sugar is broken down in your body. It increases the amount of sugar your muscles use, helps store sugar in your fat and muscle, and stops your liver from making sugar. Insulin glargine stops fat and protein from being broken down, and helps your body make protein.

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SECTION 2 of 4

Insulin glargine Side Effects

Prefilled injectable pen

More Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with insulin glargine include:

  • injection site reactions, such as:

    • increase or decrease in fatty tissue under the skin from using the injection site too much
    • itching, burning, swelling, or skin rash 
  • unexplained weight gain

  • low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • allergic reactions. Symptoms may include:

    • skin rash
    • itching or hives
    • swelling of your face, lips, or tongue
    • breathing problems
  • swelling in your arms, legs, feet, or ankles (edema)

  • severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms may include:

    • intense hunger
    • nervousness
    • shakiness
    • sweating, chills, and clamminess
    • dizziness
    • fast heart rate
    • lightheadedness
    • sleepiness
    • confusion
    • blurred vision
    • headache
    • depression
    • irritability
    • crying spells
    • nightmares and crying out in your sleep

If you don’t treat low blood sugar, you can have a seizure, pass out, and possibly develop brain damage. Low blood sugar can even be fatal. If you pass out because of a low sugar reaction or cannot swallow, someone will have to give an injection of glucagon to treat the low sugar reaction. You may need to go to the emergency room.

Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug will decrease your blood sugar levels. Insulin glargine can cause your blood sugar level to drop too low (hypoglycemia). If you have a low blood sugar reaction, you need to treat it.

  • For mild hypoglycemia (55–70 mg/dL), treatment is 15–20 grams of glucose (a type of sugar). You need to eat or drink one of the following:
    • 3–4 glucose tablets
    • a tube of glucose gel
    • ½ cup of juice or regular, non-diet soda
    • 1 cup of nonfat or 1% cow’s milk
    • 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, or corn syrup
    • 8–10 pieces of hard candy, such as lifesavers
  • Test your blood sugar 15 minutes after you treat the low sugar reaction. If your blood sugar is still low, then repeat the above treatment.

Once your blood sugar level is back in the normal range, eat a small snack if your next planned meal or snack is more than 1 hour later.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

Insulin glargine May Interact with Other Medications

Prefilled injectable pen

Insulin glargine can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. 

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Food interactions

The amount and type of food you eat can affect how much insulin glargine that you need. Talk to your healthcare provider if you change your diet. They may need to adjust your insulin glargine dose.

Alcohol interaction

Alcohol may make it more difficult to control your blood sugar while you’re taking insulin glargine. Limit alcohol while taking this drug.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Oral medicines for diabetes
  • pioglitazone
  • rosiglitazone 

These medicines should be used with caution with insulin glargine. Using them together may increase your risk of water retention and heart problems, such as a heart failure.

Injectable medicine for diabetes
  • exenatide

Taking these drugs together can increase your risk of low blood sugar. Your doctor may reduce your dose of insulin glargine. 

Blood pressure and heart drugs (beta blockers)
  • acebutolol (Sectral)
  • atenolol (Tenormin)
  • bisoprolol (Zebeta)
  • esmolol (Brevibloc)
  • metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
  • nadolol (Corgard)
  • nebivolol (Bystolic)
  • propranolol (Inderal LA) 

These drugs change how your body manages blood sugar. Taking them with insulin glargine can cause high or low blood sugar. These medications may also mask your symptoms of low blood sugar. Your doctor will watch you closely if you take these drugs with insulin glargine. 

Blood pressure drugs (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor antagonists)

Examples are:

  • benazepril (Lotensin)
  • captopril (Capoten)
  • enalapril (Vasotec)
  • fosinopril (Monopril)
  • lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril)
  • quinapril (Accupril)
  • ramipril (Altace)
  • candesartan (Atacand)
  • eprosartan mesylate (Teveten)
  • irbesartan (Avapro)
  • losartan potassium (Cozaar)
  • telmisartan (Micardis)
  • valsartan (Diovan) 

These medicines may make you more sensitive to insulin glargine. This may raise your risk of low blood sugar. If you’re taking these drugs with insulin glargine, you should be monitored closely for blood sugar control.

Irregular heart rate medication
  • disopyramide

This drug may increase the blood sugar lowering effect of insulin glargine. This may raise your risk of low blood sugar. Your doctor may decrease your dose of insulin glargine.

Drug that lowers your cholesterol
  • fibrates

This drug may increase the blood sugar lowering effect of insulin glargine. This may raise your risk of low blood sugar. Your doctor may decrease your dose of insulin glargine.

Medications to treat depression
  • fluoxetine
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) 

These drugs may increase the blood sugar lowering effect of insulin glargine. This may raise your risk of low blood sugar. Your doctor may decrease your dose of insulin glargine.

Pain medications
  • propoxyphene
  • salicylates

These drugs may increase the blood sugar lowering effect of insulin glargine. This may raise your risk of low blood sugar. Your doctor may decrease your dose of insulin glargine.

Sulfonamide antibiotics
  • sulfamethoxazole
  • mafenide 

These drugs may increase the blood sugar lowering effect of insulin glargine. This may raise your risk of low blood sugar. Your doctor may decrease your dose of insulin glargine.

Blood thinner medication
  • pentoxifylline 

This drug may increase the blood sugar lowering effect of insulin glargine. This may raise your risk of low blood sugar. Your doctor may decrease your dose of insulin glargine.

Drug used to treat inflammation
  • corticosteroids 

These drugs may decrease the blood sugar effect of insulin glargine. This may raise your risk of high blood sugar. Your doctor may increase your insulin glargine dose if you take these medicines together.

A medicine that lowers cholesterol
  • niacin 

This drug may decrease the blood sugar effect of insulin glargine. This may raise your risk of high blood sugar. Your doctor may increase your insulin glargine dose if you take these medicines together.

Medicines used to treat asthma
  • epinephrine
  • albuterol
  • terbutaline 

These drugs may decrease the blood sugar effect of insulin glargine. This may raise your risk of high blood sugar. Your doctor may increase your insulin glargine dose if you take these medicines together. 

Medication used to treat infections
  • isoniazid

This drug may decrease the blood sugar effect of insulin glargine. This may raise your risk of high blood sugar. Your doctor may increase your insulin glargine dose if you take these medicines together.

Thyroid hormones

These drugs may decrease the blood sugar effect of insulin glargine. This may raise your risk of high blood sugar. Your doctor may increase your insulin glargine dose if you take these medicines together.

Female hormones

Hormones commonly used in birth control, such as:

  • estrogen
  • progestogens 

These drugs may decrease the blood sugar effect of insulin glargine. This may raise your risk of high blood sugar. Your doctor may increase your insulin glargine dose if you take these medicines together.

Drugs used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • protease inhibitors 

These drugs may decrease the blood sugar effect of insulin glargine. This may raise your risk of high blood sugar. Your doctor may increase your insulin glargine dose if you take these medicines together.

Medicines to treat psychotic disorders
  • olanzapine
  • clozapine 

These drugs may decrease the blood sugar effect of insulin glargine. This may raise your risk of high blood sugar. Your doctor may increase your insulin glargine dose if you take these medicines together.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Insulin glargine warnings
liver disease
People with liver disease

Your liver may not be able to make glucose and break down insulin glargine as well as it should. Your doctor may lower your dose of this medication. 

kidney disease
People with kidney disease

Your kidneys may not be able to break down insulin glargine as well as they should. Your doctor may lower your dose of this medication.

low blood sugar
People with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

You need to use insulin glargine with caution if you get low blood sugar often. Insulin glargine stays in your body for a long time and it may take longer to treat low blood sugar. Your risk may be higher if you’re 65 years or older or if you don’t eat on schedule.

low blood potassium
People with low blood potassium (hypokalemia)

You may have hypokalemia while on insulin glargine because it helps your body use more potassium. If you’re using potassium-lowering medicines, taking potassium concentration sensitive medicines, or have other risk factors for hypokalemia, your doctor should watch you very closely.

heart failure
People with heart failure

Taking diabetes pills called thiazolidinediones (TZDs) with insulin glargine may cause heart failure. TZDs can cause you to retain fluid, which may cause heart failure if it gets severe. Taking insulin along with a TZD puts you at higher risk for this side effect. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new or worse symptoms of heart failure, including:

  • shortness of breath
  • swelling of your ankles or feet
  • sudden weight gain

Your doctor may adjust your TZD dose if you have these symptoms.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

The brand of insulin glargine called Lantus Solostar is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things: 

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. The amount of insulin your body needs changes while you’re pregnant. Talk to your doctor about adjusting your dose of insulin glargine. Insulin glargine should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. 

The brand of insulin glargine called Toujeo has no pregnancy category.

breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if insulin glargine passes through breast milk. 

You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll take insulin glargine or breastfeed. If you do both, your insulin glargine dose may need to be adjusted and your blood sugar levels may be closely monitored.

seniors
For seniors

Insulin glargine should be used with caution if you’re over 65 years of age, because it may be more difficult to spot signs of low blood sugar.

children
For children

Toujeo: The safety and effectiveness of Toujeo haven’t been established in people younger than 18 years old.

Special Kid Safety:

  • Keep insulin glargine and all equipment needed for injections out of the reach of children.
  • An accidental injection can cause a severe low blood sugar reaction that can be fatal.
  • An accidental needle stick can spread infection.
  • Follow your healthcare provider’s advice for throwing away used needles, syringes, and devices. 
  • Don’t put the caps back on used needles or use them again. 
  • Used needles, syringes, and other devices should be placed in a safe needle disposal container.
  • If you’re throwing the container in the trash, label it “do not recycle”.  
  • Don’t throw out individual needles into trashcans or recycling bins. Never flush them down the toilet.
  • Ask your pharmacist for a container for disposing used needles and syringes.
  • Your community may have a program for disposing used needles and syringes safely.
Contact with drug
Contact with drug

Don’t share insulin glargine with others even if they have the same medical condition. It can harm them.

Needles are used to inject this medicine. Don’t share needles or use them again after they’ve been used. Don’t share the SoloStar pens even if you change the needle.

call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your healthcare provider if you have questions about your insulin pen.

Tell your doctor if you’re sick, throwing up, or have changed your eating or exercise habits. Your insulin glargine dose may need to be adjusted or you may need to be checked for complications of diabetes. 

Tell your doctor before you start any new prescription or over-the-counter medicines, herbal products, or supplements.

Allergies
Allergies

Sometimes severe, life-threatening allergic reactions happen with insulin glargine. If you think you’re having a severe allergic reaction, seek medical help right away.  Signs of insulin glargine allergy include:

  • rash all over your body
  • shortness of breath
  • trouble breathing (wheezing)
  • fast pulse
  • sweating
  • itching or hives
  • swelling of your face, lips, or tongue 
SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take Insulin glargine (Dosage)

Prefilled injectable pen

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on: 

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Improve glucose control in adults and children with type 1 diabetes

Brand: Lantus SoloStar

Form: 100 unit/mL in 3-mL SoloStar disposable insulin device
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • You doctor will calculate your starting dose. Your dose depends on the type of diabetes you have, your weight, and if you’ve received insulin before.
  • You should inject insulin glargine once per day, at the same time every day.
  • After your first dose, your doctor will adjust your other doses based on your blood sugar measurements.  
Child dosage (ages 6–17 years)
  • You doctor will calculate your starting dose. Your dose depends on your weight, and if you’ve received insulin before.
  • Your starting dose should be about one-third of your total daily insulin needs. You should use short-acting insulin before meals for the rest of your insulin needs.
  • You should inject insulin glargine once per day, at the same time every day.
  • After your first dose, your doctor will adjust your other doses based on your blood sugar measurements.  
Child dosage (ages 0–5 years)

The safety and effectiveness haven’t been established for people younger than 6 years old.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Insulin glargine should be used with caution if you’re over 65 years of age, because it may be more difficult to spot signs of low blood sugar. Your doctor may start you with a lower dose and increase your dose more slowly.

Special considerations

Liver disease: Your liver may not be able to make glucose and break down insulin glargine as well as it should. Your doctor may lower your dose of this medication.

Kidney disease: Your kidneys may not be able to break down insulin glargine as well as they should. Your doctor may lower your dose of this medication.

Improve glucose control in adults with type 1 diabetes

Brand: Toujeo SoloStar

Form: 300 units/mL in 1.5-mL SoloStar disposable prefilled pen
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

You doctor will calculate your starting dose. Your dose depends on the type of diabetes you have, your weight, and if you’ve received insulin before.

If you haven’t been taking insulin:

  • The recommended starting dose is about one-third to one-half of your total daily insulin dose. You should use short-acting insulin before meals for the rest of your insulin needs.
  • It may take 5 days to see the maximum glucose lowering effect if insulin glargine. 
  • After your first dose, your doctor will adjust your other doses based on your blood sugar measurements. 

If you’re already taking insulin:

  • If you were taking a long-acting insulin (Lantus or Levemir) or intermediate-acting insulin (NPH) one time per day, your starting dose of Toujeo may be the same dose you were taking of the other insulin.
  • If you’re switching from a twice-daily NPH insulin to Toujeo, the recommended starting dose of Toujeo is 80% of your total daily NPH dose.
  • After your first dose, your doctor will adjust your other doses based on your blood sugar measurements. 
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

The safety and effectiveness haven’t been established for people younger than 18 years old

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Insulin glargine should be used with caution if you’re over 65 years of age, because it may be more difficult to spot signs of low blood sugar. Your doctor may start you with a lower dose and increase your dose more slowly.

Special considerations

Liver disease: Your liver may not be able to make glucose and break down insulin glargine as well as it should. Your doctor may lower your dose of this medication.

Kidney disease: Your kidneys may not be able to break down insulin glargine as well as they should. Your doctor may lower your dose of this medication.

Improve glucose control in adults with type 2 diabetes

Brand: Lantus SoloStar

Form: 100 unit/mL in 3-mL SoloStar disposable insulin device

Brand: Toujeo SoloStar

Form: 300 units/mL in 1.5-mL SoloStar disposable prefilled pen

Lantus SoloStar and Toujeo SoloStar are different strengths of insulin glargine. Don’t switch between these products, unless your doctor has switched you. Taking a stronger insulin at the same dose can cause a low sugar reaction that may be fatal.

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

Lantus SoloStar:

  • If you aren’t taking insulin, the recommended starting dose is 10 units (or 0.2 units/kg) taken once per day. 
  • Your dose may be adjusted based on your blood glucose levels. 
  • You should inject insulin glargine once per day and at the same time every day.

Toujeo SoloStar:

  • If you aren’t taking insulin:
    • The recommended starting dose is 0.2 units/kg taken once per day. 
    • Your dose of other diabetes medicines may need to be changed to avoid having low blood sugar reactions.
    • You should inject Toujeo once per day and at the same time every day.
  • If you’re already taking insulin:
    • If you were taking a long-acting insulin (Lantus or Levemir) or intermediate-acting insulin (NPH) one time per day, your starting Toujeo dose may be the same dose you were taking of the other insulin.
    • If you’re switching from twice-daily NPH insulin to Toujeo, the recommended starting dose of Toujeo is 80% of your total daily NPH dose.
    • After your first dose, your doctor will adjust your other doses based on your blood sugar measurements.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

The safety and effectiveness haven’t been established for people younger than 18 years old

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Insulin glargine should be used with caution if you’re over 65 years of age, because it may be more difficult to spot signs of low blood sugar. Your doctor may start you with a lower dose and increase your dose more slowly.

Special considerations

Liver disease: Your liver may not be able to make glucose and break down insulin glargine as well as it should. Your doctor may lower your dose of this medication.

Kidney disease: Your kidneys may not be able to break down insulin glargine as well as they should. Your doctor may lower your dose of this medication.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Insulin glargine comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you don’t take it at all

You may have high blood glucose, which may lead to serious health effects.

If you skip or miss doses

You may have high blood glucose, which may lead to serious health effects.

If you take too much

If you take too much, you may have mild or life-threatening low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Carry a quick source of sugar with you in case you have symptoms of mild low blood sugar. Follow your low blood sugar treatment plan as prescribed by your doctor. Symptoms of more serious low blood sugar include:

  • passing out
  • seizures
  • nerve problems

Seek medical help right away if you think that you’ve taken too much insulin glargine.

What to do if you miss a dose

Your healthcare provider should discuss a plan for missed doses with you. If you miss a dose, follow that plan. 

How to tell if the drug is working

You may be able to tell if this drug is working if your blood sugar level is lower.

Insulin glargine is a long-term drug treatment.

Important considerations for taking insulin glargine

Store this drug carefully

Unopened pen:

Store new (unopened) pen in the refrigerator. Keep it at 36–46°F (2–8°C).

Don’t freeze this medication. If it’s been frozen, don’t use it.

Keep insulin glargine out of direct heat and light.

Throw it away after its expiration date.

Open (in use) pen:

Once a pen is opened, keep it at room temperature below 86°F (30°C), not in the refrigerator.

Keep it away from direct heat and light.

The opened pen should be thrown out 28 days after the first use.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s label to clearly identify the medication. Keep the original prescription label with you when traveling.
  • Unopened pens need to be refrigerated. Use an insulated bag with a cold pack to maintain the temperature when traveling. Follow the storage instructions mentioned on the medication.
  • Don’t leave this medicine in the car, especially when the temperature is hot or freezing.
  • Needles and syringes need to be used to take this medicine. Check for special rules about traveling with medicine, needles, and syringes.

Self-management

Your healthcare provider will teach you how to: 

  • prepare and inject insulin glargine
  • adjust doses for activities and illness
  • check your blood sugar
  • spot the symptoms of low and high blood sugar
  • manage symptoms of low and high blood sugar

In addition to your medication, you’ll also need:

  • needles
  • safe needle disposal container
  • alcohol swabs
  • lancets to prick your finger to test your blood sugar
  • blood sugar test strips
  • blood glucose monitor

Taking your medicine:

  • Take insulin glargine at the same time each day. 
  • Take it exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Insulin glargine should never be mixed with other insulin in the same syringe. 
  • Your doctor, pharmacist, nurse, or diabetes educator will show you how to use the pen, attach needles, and give the insulin glargine injection to yourself. They will also teach you how to use this medicine and how to adjust doses for activities and illness.
  • Inject insulin glargine into the fatty part or your skin (subcutaneous fat). The best places include your upper thighs, stomach, and the outer part of your upper arm.
  • Injecting insulin glargine can cause reactions at the injection site. You can reduce the chance of getting an injection site reaction if you change (rotate) the injection site each time.
  • Don’t give the injection on irritated or red skin.
  • Always check the appearance of insulin glargine before using it. Insulin glargine should be clear and colorless like water. Don’t use it if it’s cloudy, thickened, colored, or has particles in it.
  • Don’t share disposable or reusable insulin devices or needles with others. Doing so may spread diseases.

Disposing of used needles:

  • Don’t throw out individual needles into trashcans or recycling bins, and never flush them down the toilet.
  • Ask your pharmacist for a safe container for disposing used needles and syringes.
  • Your community may have a program for disposing used needles and syringes.
  • If disposing the container in the trash, label it “do not recycle”.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor may do blood tests before you begin and during treatment with insulin glargine to make sure it’s safe for you to take. These include:

  • blood sugar levels
  • glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C) levels. This test measures your blood sugar control over the last 2–3 months.
  • Liver function test
  • Kidney function test
  • Blood potassium levels

Your doctor may need to adjust your dose of insulin glargine based on the following:

  • blood sugar levels
  • kidney function
  • liver function
  • other medications that you’re taking
  • your exercise habits
  • your eating habits

Your doctor may also do other tests to check for complications of diabetes:

  • eye exam
  • foot exam
  • dental exam
  • tests for nerve damage
  • cholesterol levels
  • blood pressure and heart rate

Your diet

During treatment with insulin glargine:

  • don’t skip meals.
  • ask your doctor if you should avoid alcohol. 
  • be careful with over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines. Many OTC products contain sugar or alcohol that can affect your blood sugar.

Hidden costs

Besides the medicine, you’ll need to purchase:

  • needles
  • safe needle disposal container
  • alcohol swabs
  • lancets to prick your finger to test your blood sugar
  • blood sugar test strips
  • blood glucose monitor

Insurance

Insurance companies may require prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for Lantus or Toujeo SoloStar.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.


Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on July 13, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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