Basaglar is a brand-name prescription drug that’s used to improve blood sugar levels in:

Basaglar contains the drug insulin glargine, which is a long-acting form of insulin.

Basaglar comes as a liquid solution that’s given as an injection under your skin (a subcutaneous injection). The drug comes in the Basaglar KwikPen, which holds 3 mL of solution. Each mL of solution contains 100 units of insulin glargine.

Effectiveness

Basaglar has been found effective in improving blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

A person’s response to diabetes treatment is often measured by testing hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). This measurement shows your average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months. The American Diabetes Association recommends a HbA1c goal of less than 7.0% for most adults.

For type 1 diabetes

In a six-month clinical study, adults with type 1 diabetes took Basaglar in combination with mealtime insulin. (In people with type 1 diabetes, Basaglar is always used with a mealtime insulin.) At the end of this study, HbA1c was reduced by an average of 0.35% in people taking Basaglar and mealtime insulin. In this group, 34.5% of people had reached a HbA1c level of less than 7%.

In the study, another group of people with type 1 diabetes took a different insulin glargine (the active drug in Basaglar) medication and a mealtime insulin. These people had similar improvements in their blood sugar levels, as did the people using Basaglar.

For type 2 diabetes

In another clinical study, Basaglar was tested in adults with type 2 diabetes. These people weren’t able to improve their blood sugar levels enough with other insulin glargine products or diabetes medications that are taken by mouth.

In this study, people took Basaglar with an oral diabetes medication for six months. (In people with type 2 diabetes, Basaglar is sometimes used with other diabetes drugs.) At the end of this study, HbA1c was reduced by an average of 1.3% in people taking Basaglar with an oral drug.

In the study, another group of people with type 2 diabetes took a different insulin glargine (the active drug in Basaglar) medication and a mealtime insulin. These people had similar improvements in their blood sugar levels, as did the people using Basaglar.

Basaglar is available only as a brand-name medication. It’s not currently available in a generic form.

Basaglar contains the active drug insulin glargine.

You may wonder how Basaglar compares to other medications that are prescribed for diabetes treatment. Here we look at how Basaglar and Lantus are alike and different.

Effectiveness and safety

Basaglar and Lantus contain the same active drug: insulin glargine.

Basaglar is called a follow-on drug to Lantus. This means it’s very similar to Lantus, which is a biologic drug. Biologic drugs are made in a lab from living cells. Follow-on drugs are highly similar forms of the original biologic drug.

Even though Basaglar is a follow-on to Lantus, it’s not a generic drug. Generics contain exact copies of the active ingredient of the brand-name drug. This is possible for drugs that are made from chemicals. But since the process to make biologic drugs is very complex, it’s not possible to make an exact copy of an original biologic drug.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers follow-on insulins to be just as safe and effective as the original drug. This means that Basaglar improves blood sugar levels just like Lantus does. It also means that Basaglar and Lantus cause similar side effects.

Costs

Basaglar and Lantus are both brand-name drugs. There are currently no generic forms of either drug. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

According to estimates on GoodRx.com, Basaglar may cost less than Lantus. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your dose, your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Basaglar can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Basaglar. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of Basaglar, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothersome.

More common side effects

The more common side effects of Basaglar can include:

  • allergic reaction
  • edema (swelling) in your legs, ankles, or feet
  • hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • injection site reactions (pain, redness, itchiness, or swelling around the area of your injection)
  • itchy skin
  • changes in the thickness of your skin near your injection site
  • skin rash
  • infections, such as the common cold
  • weight gain

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

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Basaglar aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Severe hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar). Symptoms can include:
    • headache
    • confusion
    • anxiety
    • drowsiness
    • hunger
    • irritable mood (being easily upset)
    • sweating
    • fast heartbeat
    • seizures
    • coma
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium levels). Symptoms can include:
    • fatigue (lack of energy)
    • feeling weak
    • muscle cramps
    • abnormal heart rhythm (a heartbeat that’s too fast, too slow, or uneven)
    • respiratory failure (your lungs can’t deliver oxygen to your blood)
    • paralysis (being unable to move certain parts of your body)
  • Severe allergic reaction (described in more detail below)

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug, or whether certain side effects pertain to it. Here’s some detail on a few of the side effects this drug may or may not cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Basaglar. It’s not known how often people using Basaglar have allergic reactions to the drug. Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth and redness in your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing
  • sweating

Call your doctor right away if you have a severe allergic reaction to Basaglar. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Weight loss or weight gain

Weight loss wasn’t reported as a side effect of Basaglar during clinical studies. However, weight gain is one of the most common side effects caused by Basaglar.

In a clinical study, people with type 1 diabetes who took Basaglar gained less than 1 pound over six months of treatment. They gained about 1.5 pounds over one year of using the drug. In another clinical study, people with type 2 diabetes who took Basaglar gained about 4 pounds over six months of treatment.

In fact, weight gain is a common side effect of all insulins (not just Basaglar). It’s actually a normal, healthy process because insulin helps your body store sugar (which you use for energy at a later time). The stored sugar can add to weight gain over time.

If you’re concerned about weight gain while using Basaglar, talk with your doctor. They can suggest diet and exercise tips to help you maintain a healthy weight.

Side effects in children

Side effects of Basaglar in children are similar to the drug’s side effects in adults. Two of the more common side effects seen in children are discussed below.

Runny nose

During studies, one of the most common side effects of insulin glargine (the active drug in Basaglar) seen in children was runny nose (rhinitis). In a clinical study, 5% of children with type 1 diabetes who took insulin glargine had rhinitis.

If you’re caring for a child who’s using Basaglar, and you’re concerned about episodes of runny nose, talk with your doctor. They’ll be able to recommend medical treatment if any is needed.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) was also a common side effect seen in children during studies. In a 26-week clinical study, 23% of children with type 1 diabetes who took a different brand of insulin glargine (not Basaglar) had episodes of severe hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar).

If you care for a child who’s using Basaglar, you should be familiar with the symptoms of hypoglycemia. This will help you to recognize if the child is experiencing this condition. If they’re having an episode of hypoglycemia, you’ll want to give them some food or drink to quickly raise their blood sugar levels. By increasing their blood sugar levels right away, you can help prevent a medical emergency.

As with all medications, the cost of Basaglar can vary. To find current prices for Basaglar in your area, check out GoodRx.com:

The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Basaglar, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Eli Lilly and Company, the manufacturer of Basaglar, offers a program called Lilly Diabetes Solution Center. This service offers discount programs, savings cards, and information on charitable funds available. To learn more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 833-808-1234 or visit the program website.

The Basaglar dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the severity of the condition you’re using Basaglar to treat
  • your weight
  • your blood sugar level goals
  • your history of blood sugar control
  • your past insulin dosages (if you’ve used insulin before)

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to suit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Basaglar comes in a disposable, prefilled pen called the KwikPen. Each KwikPen holds 3 mL of drug solution. Each mL of solution contains 100 units of insulin glargine. This means the KwikPen contains a total of 300 units of insulin glargine.

However, the KwikPen will only inject up to 80 units of insulin in each injection. If you need more than 80 units for your dose, you’ll need to have more than one injection.

For example, if your doctor prescribes a dosage of 100 units of Basaglar per day, you’ll need to have two injections at the same time to get your full dose. The first injection could give 80 units, and the second injection could give 20 units.

Sometimes you might need to use more than one pen for a single dose if your pen doesn’t have enough Basaglar left inside. In this case, you’d use up the insulin in your existing pen, and then use a new pen to reach your full insulin dose.

Dosage for type 1 diabetes

The typical starting dose of Basaglar for type 1 diabetes is about one-third of your total daily insulin dose. (The rest of the total daily dose will generally be given as mealtime insulin.)

Your total daily insulin dose is based on your body weight measured in kilograms (kg). The dose will range from 0.4 units/kg to 1 unit/kg each day.

For example, a 175-lb. woman weighs about 80 kg. If her doctor prescribes 0.7 units/kg per day, her total daily insulin dose would be about 56 units of insulin a day. Her starting dose of Basaglar would be about one-third of that, which is around 18 units.

Basaglar is typically used once each day. It’s taken as a subcutaneous injection (an injection under your skin). Basaglar can be injected in your upper arms, thighs, buttocks, or belly (staying at least 2 inches away from your belly button).

Basaglar is used one time each day. It can be injected at any time of the day, but it needs to be injected at the same time every day.

Dosage for type 2 diabetes

The typical starting dose of Basaglar for type 2 diabetes is 0.2 units of insulin per kilogram (kg) of body weight. The maximum starting dosage is 10 units of Basaglar per day.

Basaglar is typically used once each day. It’s taken as a subcutaneous injection (an injection under your skin). You can inject it in your thighs, upper arms, buttocks, or belly (staying at least 2 inches away from your belly button).

Basaglar is used one time each day. It can be injected at any time of the day, but it needs to be injected at the same time every day.

Pediatric dosage

The usual starting dose of Basaglar for children with type 1 diabetes is decided the same way it is for adults. The starting dosage of Basaglar for children is about one-third of their total daily insulin dose. (The rest of their total daily dose will generally be given as mealtime insulin.)

The total daily dose is based on the child’s weight in kilograms (kg). The dosage can range from 0.4 units/kg to 1.0 units/kg per day.

For example, a 50-lb. child weighs about 23 kg. If their doctor prescribes 0.6 units/kg a day, the total daily insulin dose would be about 13 units. The starting dose of Basaglar is about one-third of the total daily insulin dose. This means the child would start taking about 4 units of Basaglar daily.

Basaglar is typically used once each day. It’s given as a subcutaneous injection (an injection under your skin). You can inject the drug into the thighs, upper arms, buttocks, or belly (staying at least 2 inches away from the belly button).

Basaglar can be injected at any time of the day, but it needs to be injected at the same time every day.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Basaglar, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, just skip the missed dose. You can wait to take Basaglar until it’s time for your next scheduled dose.

Make sure that you don’t take more than one dose of Basaglar within 24 hours, unless recommended by your doctor. Doing this could increase your risk of serious side effects, including hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try setting a reminder in your phone. A medication timer may be useful, too.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Basaglar is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Basaglar is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Basaglar to treat certain conditions.

Basaglar for type 1 diabetes

Basaglar is FDA-approved to improve blood sugar levels in adults and children (ages 6 years and older) with type 1 diabetes.

If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t make the hormone called insulin. This hormone helps your body move sugar from your blood into your cells. Once sugar has moved into your cells, it’s processed and used for energy.

Without insulin, the sugar doesn’t enter your cells, affecting how well they function. This also leads to high blood sugar levels, which can cause serious problems if not treated.

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic (long-term) condition. If not treated, it can lead to serious problems like nerve damage. Because insulin is so important for your body to function well, people with this condition need to use insulin-medications in order to survive.

Effectiveness for type 1 diabetes

In clinical studies, Basaglar was found effective to treat type 1 diabetes in adults. During studies, people’s response to diabetes treatment is often measured by testing hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). This measurement shows your average blood sugars over the past two to three months. The American Diabetes Association recommends a HbA1c goal of less than 7.0% for most adults.

In a six-month clinical study, adults with type 1 diabetes took Basaglar in combination with mealtime insulin. (In people with type 1 diabetes, Basaglar is always used with a mealtime insulin.) At the end of this study, HbA1c was reduced by an average of 0.35% in people taking Basaglar and mealtime insulin. In this group, 34.5% of people had reached a HbA1c level of less than 7%.

In the study, another group of people with type 1 diabetes took a different insulin glargine (the active drug in Basaglar) medication and a mealtime insulin. These people had similar improvements in their blood sugar levels, as did the people using Basaglar.

Basaglar for type 2 diabetes

Basaglar is FDA-approved to improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

If you have type 2 diabetes, your cells don’t respond to insulin as well as they should. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body move sugar from your blood into your cells.

When your cells don’t respond to insulin normally, sugar can’t move into the cells. Instead, it stays in your bloodstream. This leads to high blood sugar levels (which can cause serious problems if not treated) and can also affect how well your cells function.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic (long-term) condition. If not treated, it can lead to serious problems like nerve damage. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body may stop making insulin on its own. In that case, you would then need to take an insulin medication to replace the insulin your body no longer makes.

Effectiveness for type 2 diabetes

In clinical studies, Basaglar was found effective to treat type 2 diabetes in adults. During studies, people’s response to diabetes treatment is often measured using hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). This measurement shows your average blood sugars over the past two to three months.

In a clinical study, Basaglar was tested in adults with type 2 diabetes. These people weren’t able to improve their blood sugar levels enough with other insulin glargine products or diabetes medications that are taken by mouth. (In people with type 2 diabetes, Basaglar is used with other diabetes drugs).

In this study, people took Basaglar with an oral diabetes medication for six months. At the end of the study, HbA1c was reduced by an average of 1.3% in people taking Basaglar with an oral drug.

In the study, another group of people with type 2 diabetes took a different insulin glargine (the active drug in Basaglar) medication and a mealtime insulin. These people had similar improvements in their blood sugar levels as did the people using Basaglar.

Basaglar for children

Basaglar is FDA-approved to improve blood sugar levels in children with type 1 diabetes. It’s approved for use in children ages 6 years and older.

A medication called Lantus (which is also made from insulin glargine) has been found effective in studies to improve blood sugar levels in children with type 1 diabetes. Basaglar was determined to be effective for use in children based on how similar Basaglar is to Lantus. (See the “Basaglar vs. Lantus” section above.)

Many people with type 1 diabetes are diagnosed in childhood. To learn more about how Basaglar treats type 1 diabetes in children, see the section “Basaglar for type 1 diabetes” above.

Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Basaglar, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed here are used off-label to treat these specific conditions. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.

Several types of diabetes medications can be used to lower blood sugar levels in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Your doctor will prescribe the best medication for you depending on several factors, including:

  • the type of diabetes you have (type 1 or type 2)
  • other medications you’re taking
  • other health conditions you have
  • your blood sugar control in the past
  • your goals for blood sugar levels

Alternatives for type 1 or type 2 diabetes

People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin since their bodies don’t make insulin. People with type 2 diabetes may also need to take insulin. This generally happens when other diabetes drugs they’re taking aren’t effective enough, or if their bodies stop making insulin.

Examples of insulins that may be used to improve blood sugar levels in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes include:

  • Long-acting insulin, which helps control blood sugar levels over about 24 hours:
  • Intermediate-acting insulin, which helps control blood sugar levels for about 12 to 18 hours:
    • insulin NPH (Humulin N, Novolin N)
  • Short-acting insulin, which helps control blood sugar levels for about three to six hours:
  • Rapid-acting insulin, which helps control blood sugar levels for about two to four hours:
    • insulin lispro (Admelog, Humalog)
    • insulin aspart (Fiasp, Novolog)
    • insulin glulisine (Apidra)

There are also several premixed insulin drugs available, which can be used in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. These drugs contain a mixture of a long- or intermediate-acting insulin and a short- or rapid-acting insulin. They’re used to control both baseline blood sugar levels between meals and any blood sugar spikes that happen after meals.

Several non-insulin drugs, which can help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, are also available. Examples of these drugs include:

Alternatives for type 2 diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes may also use combination medications, which contain a form of insulin and a non-insulin diabetes drug. These include:

  • lixisenatide and insulin glargine (Soliqua)
  • liraglutide and insulin degludec (Xultophy 100/3.6)

You may wonder how Basaglar compares to other medications that are prescribed to improve blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Below are comparisons between Basaglar and two other medications that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat diabetes.

Basaglar vs. Levemir

Basaglar contains insulin glargine, while Levemir contains insulin detemir. Basaglar and Levemir are both long-acting insulins. This means they work the same way in your body. They help control your blood sugar levels for up to 24 hours or longer.

Uses

Basaglar and Levemir are both FDA-approved to improve blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Basaglar is approved to treat type 1 diabetes in adults and children (ages 6 years and older). Levemir is approved to treat type 1 diabetes in adults and children (ages 2 years and older).

Both drugs are also approved for use in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Drug forms and administration

Basaglar and Levemir are both liquid solutions that contain insulin.

Basaglar and Levemir each come in a disposable, prefilled pen. Basaglar comes as a KwikPen, and Levemir comes as a FlexTouch pen.

The pens contain the following amounts of insulin:

  • Basaglar KwikPen: 3 mL of solution containing 300 units of insulin glargine
  • Levemir FlexTouch: 3 mL of solution containing 300 units of insulin detemir

Levemir also comes in vial, which holds 10 mL of drug solution. Each vial contains 1,000 units of insulin detemir.

Basaglar and Levemir are each taken as a subcutaneous injection (an injection under your skin). Basaglar is typically used once each day. Levemir is used once or twice a day.

Side effects and risks

Basaglar and Levemir both contain a long-acting insulin. Therefore, both medications can cause very similar side effects. Below are examples of these side effects.

More common side effects

These lists contain examples of more common side effects that can occur with Basaglar, with Levemir, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Basaglar:
    • few unique side effects
  • Can occur with Levemir:
    • back pain
    • headache
    • gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
  • Can occur with both Basaglar and Levemir:
    • hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
    • allergic reaction
    • injection site reactions (itchiness, redness, pain, or swelling around the area of your injection)
    • skin rash
    • itchy skin
    • changes in the thickness of your skin near your injection site
    • infections, such as the common cold
    • edema (swelling) in your legs, ankles, or feet
    • weight gain

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Basaglar, with Levemir, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Basaglar:
  • Can occur with Levemir:
    • few unique serious side effects
  • Can occur with both Basaglar and Levemir:
    • severe hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar)
    • severe allergic reaction

Effectiveness

Basaglar and Levemir are both used to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

In a pooled analysis of several clinical studies, insulin glargine (the active drug in Basaglar) and Levemir were compared. These drugs were equally effective in improving blood sugar levels in adults with type 1 diabetes. Another analysis found that these drugs were equally effective, and also showed that Levemir may cause fewer episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) than insulin glargine causes.

One clinical study compared the effectiveness of insulin glargine and Levemir in children with type 1 diabetes. The two drugs were equally effective when used in combination with mealtime insulin. However, to control their blood sugar levels, children needed higher doses of Levemir than insulin glargine.

Another pooled analysis looked at adults with type 2 diabetes. This analysis found that insulin glargine and Levemir were equally effective to lower blood sugar levels. In this analysis, the two drugs were taken in combination with diabetes medications that are taken by mouth.

Costs

Basaglar and Levemir are both brand-name drugs. There are currently no generic forms of either drug. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

According to estimates from GoodRx.com, Basaglar may cost less than Levemir. The actual price you would pay for either drug depends on your dose, your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Basaglar vs. Toujeo

Basaglar and Toujeo both contain the drug insulin glargine. Here we look at how Basaglar and Toujeo are alike and different.

Uses

Both Basaglar and Toujeo are FDA-approved to improve blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Basaglar is approved for use in adults and children (ages 6 years and older) with type 1 diabetes. It’s also approved for use in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Toujeo is approved for use in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Drug forms and administration

Basaglar and Toujeo both contain the active drug insulin glargine, but these drugs come in different strengths.

Basaglar is available in a disposable, prefilled KwikPen. The pen holds 3 mL of liquid solution, which contains a total of 300 units of insulin glargine.

Toujeo is available in these two forms:

  • Toujeo SoloStar: a disposable, prefilled pen that holds 1.5 mL of solution and contains 450 units of insulin glargine
  • Toujeo Max SoloStar: a disposable, prefilled pen that holds 3 mL of solution and contains 900 units of insulin glargine

Each drug is taken as a subcutaneous injection (an injection under your skin). They’re each typically used once a day.

Side effects and risks

Basaglar and Toujeo both contain insulin glargine. Therefore, both medications can cause very similar side effects. Below are examples of these side effects.

More common side effects

More common side effects that can occur with both Basaglar and Toujeo include:

  • hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • skin rash
  • edema (swelling) in your legs, ankles, or feet
  • itchy skin
  • changes in the thickness of your skin near your injection site
  • weight gain
  • allergic reaction
  • infections, such as the common cold
  • injection site reactions (pain, redness, itchiness, or swelling around the area of your injection)

Serious side effects

Serious side effects that can occur with both Basaglar and Toujeo include:

Effectiveness

Basaglar and Toujeo are both used to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

A review of several studies looked at people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who took either insulin glargine or Toujeo. This review found that insulin glargine (the active drug in Basaglar) and Toujeo were equally effective in controlling blood sugar levels when they were used in combination with other diabetes drugs. However, some of these studies found that Toujeo caused fewer episodes of hypoglycemia and less weight gain than insulin glargine caused.

Costs

Basaglar and Toujeo are both brand-name drugs. There are currently no generic forms of either drug. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

According to estimates from GoodRx.com, Basaglar may cost less than Toujeo. The actual price you would pay for either drug depends on your dose, insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Basaglar may be used with other diabetes medications. This could include oral drugs (drugs taken by mouth) or other injectable drugs (drugs given through a needle).

Basaglar with other drugs for type 1 diabetes

If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to take Basaglar with a mealtime insulin. This is because Basaglar is a basal insulin (also called a background insulin), which helps control your blood sugar levels overnight and in between your meals. You’ll need a mealtime insulin to prevent spikes in your blood sugar that happen after you eat a meal.

Mealtime insulins that may be taken along with Basaglar include:

  • insulin regular human (Afrezza)
  • insulin aspart (Novolog, Fiasp)
  • insulin glulisine (Apidra)
  • insulin lispro (Admelog, Humalog)

If you have type 1 diabetes, your doctor may also prescribe certain oral medications, such as metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza). These drugs can work with insulin to help lower your blood sugar levels.

Basaglar with other drugs for type 2 diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes and are taking Basaglar, you’ll probably also need to take other diabetes drugs. There are several types of oral drugs or injectable drugs that your doctor may prescribe for you. These drugs work together with insulin to help lower your blood sugar levels.

Examples of oral medications that your doctor may prescribe with Basaglar include:

Examples of injectable medications that your doctor may prescribe with Basaglar include:

  • pramlintide (Symlin)
  • liraglutide (Victoza)
  • exenatide (Byetta)
  • dulaglutide (Trulicity)

There’s no known interaction between Basaglar and alcohol. However, drinking too much alcohol while using Basaglar can increase your risk of serious side effects, such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Hypoglycemia may be more likely to happen because Basaglar and alcohol can each lower your blood sugar levels on their own.

Ask your doctor about how much alcohol is safe for you to drink while you’re using Basaglar.

Basaglar can interact with several other medications. It can also interact with certain supplements as well as certain foods.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Basaglar and other medications

Below are lists of medications that can interact with Basaglar. These lists do not contain all the drugs that may interact with Basaglar.

Before taking Basaglar, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Basaglar and diabetes medications

Basaglar can interact with certain diabetes medications in different ways. These interactions can increase your risk of different side effects.

Basaglar and thiazolidinediones

Taking Basaglar with a thiazolidinedione (a class of diabetes drugs) can cause heart failure. If you already have heart failure, taking the two drugs together can worsen your condition.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you take a thiazolidinedione before you start using Basaglar. If you take Basaglar with a thiazolidinedione, your doctor will monitor you closely for signs and symptoms of heart failure. Or, they may recommend that you take different medication altogether.

Examples of thiazolidinedione drugs include rosiglitazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (Actos).

Basaglar and certain other diabetes medications

Taking Basaglar with certain other diabetes medications can increase your risk for serious side effects, such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

If you take Basaglar with another diabetes drug, your doctor may adjust the dosage of one or both drugs. This will help reduce your risk of hypoglycemia. Your doctor may ask you to monitor your blood sugar levels more often so that you know how the combination of drugs is affecting those levels.

Examples of other diabetes drugs that can increase your risk for hypoglycemia if taken with Basaglar include:

  • metformin (Glumetza, Glucophage)
  • pramlintide (Symlin)
  • mealtime insulins, including insulin glulisine (Apidra) and insulin aspart (Fiasp, Novolog)

Basaglar and corticosteroids

Taking Basaglar with a corticosteroid can decrease the ability of Basaglar to lower your blood sugar levels. This can cause ongoing high blood sugar levels, increasing your risk for serious complications.

If you need to take a corticosteroid with Basaglar, your doctor may increase your Basaglar dose for a certain amount of time. They may also recommend that you check your blood sugar levels more often.

Examples of corticosteroids that can reduce how well Basaglar works include:

Basaglar and certain blood pressure medications

Taking Basaglar with certain blood pressure medications can hide the symptoms caused by hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This can make you unaware that you’re having hypoglycemia, which might prevent you from treating it. Untreated hypoglycemia can lead to serious complications.

If you take Basaglar with one of these blood pressure medications, your doctor may recommend that you check your blood sugar levels more often. Examples of blood pressure medications that can hide the symptoms of hypoglycemia include:

When you get Basaglar from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the box of insulin pens. This date is typically one year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee the effectiveness of the medication during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk to your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

Storing unopened Basaglar KwikPens

Unopened Basaglar KwikPens can be stored:

  • in the refrigerator (at temperatures of 36⁰F to 46⁰F/2⁰C to 8⁰C) until their expiration date
  • for up to 28 days at room temperature (up to 86⁰F/30⁰C), away from light and heat

Storing opened Basaglar KwikPens

Opened, in-use Basaglar KwikPens should be stored at room temperature (up to 86⁰F/30⁰C) for up to 28 days. Don’t store opened Basaglar pens in the refrigerator.

Disposal

After you use the Basaglar KwikPen to inject your dose, discard the needle right away. Never reuse a needle. This can cause infections.

Place the used needle in a hard-sided container, such as a sharps disposal container. FDA-approved sharps containers are available for purchase at most pharmacies, medical supply companies, and some online retailers.

If you don’t have a sharps container, you can discard your used needles in a puncture-resistant container. Choose a container that the needles can’t poke through. Examples of puncture-resistant containers include used laundry detergent bottles and metal coffee cans. Keep a lid on the container at all times so that children and pets can’t reach inside. Place a label on the container to warn people that sharp needles are inside the container.

If you no longer need to take Basaglar and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

The FDA website provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information on how to dispose of your medication.

You should take Basaglar according to your doctor or healthcare provider’s instructions.

Basaglar is taken as an injection under your skin (a subcutaneous injection). It’s typically used once a day. When you first get your Basaglar prescription, your healthcare provider or pharmacist will explain how you’ll inject the medication.

The manufacturer of Basaglar provides step-by-step instructions that show you how to inject the Basaglar KwikPen. They also provide a video with instructions for use. There’s also an app called Beginning Basaglar, which is available on iPhone/iPad and Android devices. This app lets you download medication instructions and helpful tips for using Basaglar.

KwikPens and needles

Basaglar comes in a prefilled, disposable KwikPen. The KwikPen comes in packages that contain five pens.

You’ll inject your dose of Basaglar using the KwikPen and a needle. Needles aren’t included with the KwikPen. The manufacturer recommends using BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) brand needles with your pen. Needles will be available for purchase at your local pharmacy.

The KwikPen is meant to be used more than once. The number of times you use your pen will depend on your dosage. You can use the KwikPen up to 28 days after you first open it. After 28 days, you should throw away the opened pen, even if it still contains medication.

Unopened Basaglar KwikPens should be stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them. Once you’ve opened a pen, it should be stored at room temperature, for up to 28 days. For more details on storing Basaglar KwikPens, please see the “Basaglar expiration, storage, and disposal” section above.

Needles are meant to only be used once. You’ll need to use a new needle for each injection of insulin.

Always use a new needle each time you inject Basaglar. Never share needles with someone else. Using new needles helps prevent the spread of germs, which decreases your risk of infection.

When to take

You can take Basaglar any time of day. However, you should take it at the same time each day. Your doctor will recommend the best time of day for you. They’ll base this on how your blood sugar levels change throughout the day and night.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try setting a reminder in your phone. A medication timer may be useful, too.

Taking Basaglar with food

You don’t need to eat food when you take Basaglar.

Basaglar is a long-acting insulin that improves blood sugar levels in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It’s made in a lab, but it’s designed to work just like your body’s natural insulin.

Insulin is a hormone made in your pancreas. This hormone regulates your blood sugar levels by doing the following:

  • helps sugar move from your bloodstream into your cells, which allows your cells to use the sugar for energy
  • helps your muscles use sugar for energy
  • prevents your liver from making and releasing more sugar into your bloodstream
  • helps your body make proteins and store sugar as fat

Each of these actions helps keep your blood sugar at safe, normal levels.

If you have type 1 diabetes, your body doesn’t make insulin. This means you have to take insulin as a medication so that your body can function normally.

If you have type 2 diabetes, you may need to take insulin. This is because your body doesn’t respond to insulin the way it should. Your pancreas might even stop making insulin over time. You may also need to take insulin because other diabetes drugs aren’t working to lower your blood sugar levels enough.

If you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, Basaglar will replace your naturally occurring insulin.

How long does it take to work?

Basaglar starts lowering your blood sugar levels within a few hours after you take it. However, it doesn’t start working right away, like rapid-acting mealtime insulins do. This is because it’s a long-acting insulin, which helps to control your blood sugar levels over 24 hours or longer.

Once you inject Basaglar, it forms a cluster underneath your skin. The cluster breaks down slowly, releasing insulin into your bloodstream. This release is spread out over the whole day. However, each person’s body will respond differently to Basaglar.

Because Basaglar doesn’t enter your bloodstream right away, it shouldn’t be used in emergency situations.

Using more than the recommended dosage of Basaglar can lead to serious side effects.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of an overdose can include:

  • severe hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar), which can cause anxiety, shakiness, confusion, seizures, and coma
  • hypokalemia (low potassium level), which can cause weakness, constipation, muscle cramping, and heart palpitations (feeling fluttering in your chest or having extra heartbeats)

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

There aren’t enough studies of Basaglar use during human pregnancies to know exactly how safe it is. However, having untreated diabetes during pregnancy can be unsafe for you and your baby.

Insulin therapy, like Basaglar, is recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) as a first-choice option for treating diabetes during pregnancy. The ADA recommends insulin therapy for women who have pregestational diabetes (diabetes that started before pregnancy). The ADA also recommends insulin for women with gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy).

If you’re already taking insulin when you become pregnant, your doctor may recommend a different insulin dosage during your pregnancy. This will help keep your blood sugar levels in a safe range for you and your baby.

If you develop gestational diabetes while you’re pregnant, your doctor will recommend the right treatment. They may have you begin insulin therapy.

It’s not known if Basaglar is safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re able to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Basaglar.

Insulin therapy (including Basaglar) is generally considered safe to use while breastfeeding.

However, many changes happen in your body and to your daily schedule after your pregnancy and delivery. These changes can affect your blood sugar levels. Because of this, you may need a different insulin dosage after you’ve given birth.

If you plan to breastfeed while taking Basaglar, talk with your doctor about the best dosage plan for your insulin.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Basaglar.

If I’m taking Basaglar, will I still need to use my mealtime insulin?

You might. Basaglar is a long-acting insulin. It’s also called background or basal insulin. This means it’s meant to work over the course of the entire day. Long-acting insulins help control your blood sugar levels overnight while you sleep and during the day in between your meals.

Basaglar isn’t considered a mealtime insulin (prescribed to control blood sugar spikes that happen after you’ve eaten). To control blood sugar spikes after you’ve eaten, you may need to use a rapid-acting insulin, a short-acting insulin, or an intermediate-acting insulin. These types of insulins help fine-tune the control of your blood sugar level.

It’s common to use a long-acting insulin like Basaglar in combination with a rapid-acting or short-acting insulin. This lets you control insulin levels throughout the day and after meals.

If your doctor prescribes Basaglar with a mealtime insulin, don’t mix the two insulins together. This can change how well they work. Always double-check the insulin labels to make sure you’re taking the correct insulin at the appropriate time.

If you have any questions about when or how to take your insulins, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

I’ve never taken insulin before. Is Basaglar an option for me?

It might be. Your doctor will explain the different types of insulin to you. They may recommend Basaglar if they decide that you need to use a long-acting insulin to control your blood sugar levels. Basaglar is safe to use in people who haven’t used insulin before.

Is Basaglar ever used twice daily?

Yes, some people’s doctors may prescribe Basaglar twice a day for them. However, this would be considered off-label use. Off-label use is when a drug is used for a different condition than it was FDA-approved to be used for.

Basaglar is sometimes prescribed for twice-daily dosing if once-daily dosing doesn’t improve your blood sugar levels enough.

A small clinical study included people with type 2 diabetes who weren’t able to lower their blood sugar levels enough using once-a-day insulin glargine (the active drug in Basaglar) and mealtime insulin. When they switched from taking insulin glargine once a day to using it twice a day, their hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) decreased from 10.3% to 8.4% after about eight months. HbA1c is an average measurement of blood sugars.

If I’m taking Lantus, can I switch to Basaglar?

Yes, you’d be able to make the switch if your doctor recommends that you change treatment from Lantus to Basaglar.

Lantus and Basaglar contain the same type of insulin: insulin glargine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that Basaglar is a “follow-on” insulin glargine to Lantus. This means that Basaglar is very similar to Lantus and that it’s just as safe and effective as Lantus.

Basaglar and Lantus are both available in the same strength: 100 units of insulin per mL of drug solution. If you switch from Lantus to Basaglar, your dosage will probably stay the same.

If you’re interested in switching from Lantus to Basaglar, talk with your doctor to see if that’s a good option for you.

Before taking Basaglar, talk with your doctor about your health history. Basaglar may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions. These include:

  • Current episode of hypoglycemia. Don’t take Basaglar during an episode of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This can increase your risk of serious side effects. You should wait until your blood sugar has returned to normal before taking Basaglar.
  • Allergic reaction to Basaglar. You shouldn’t use Basaglar if you’ve had an allergic reaction to the drug or to any of its inactive ingredients. If you’re not sure whether you’ve had an allergic reaction to Basaglar in the past, talk with your doctor before using Basaglar.
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium levels). Basaglar can cause low potassium levels in your blood. If you already have low potassium levels, taking Basaglar can lower them even more. This can increase the risk of serious side effects. If you have low potassium, or are at risk for this condition, your doctor may monitor your potassium levels while you take Basaglar.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Basaglar, see the “Basaglar side effects” section above.

The following information is provided for clinicians and other healthcare professionals.

Indications

Basaglar (insulin glargine) is indicated to improve blood glucose control in:

  • adults and children (ages 6 years and older) with type 1 diabetes
  • adults with type 2 diabetes

Mechanism of action

Basaglar is a long-acting insulin, which is designed to enter serum in a slow, prolonged manner over 24 hours.

Blood glucose-lowering effects occur via hepatic gluconeogenesis inhibition and peripheral glucose uptake enhancement. In addition, Basaglar prevents protein and fat degradation and promotes protein synthesis.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism

Basaglar absorption is relatively constant, with no pronounced peaks, over 24 hours. The drug is partly metabolized via to two active metabolites, with similar activity to human insulin. Concentrations declined to baseline after approximately 24 hours.

Contraindications

Basaglar is contraindicated during periods of hypoglycemia. It is also contraindicated in people with a history of hypersensitivity to insulin glargine or inactive ingredients in the product.

Storage

Basaglar KwikPen should be protected from light and heat and should never be frozen. Basaglar KwikPen can be stored:

  • if unopened, up to 28 days at room temperature (up to 86⁰F/30⁰C) , or until the expiration date at a refrigerated temperature (36⁰F to 46⁰F/2⁰C to 8⁰C)
  • if opened/in-use, up to 28 days at room temperature (up to 86⁰F/30⁰C)

Basaglar should not be refrigerated once opened.

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.