Lantus® (insulin glargine): long-acting insulin

Lantus® is the brand name for insulin glargine, a medicine prescribed for lowering blood sugar levels in people diabetes--both type 1 and type 2. Lantus insulin is a human insulin analog, meaning it structurally very similar -- but not identical -- to natural human insulin. This synthetic insulin can provide up 24 hours of blood glucose control.

How Lantus insulin works

Lantus insulin works by stimulating the body, particularly fat and bone tissue, to remove glucose from the blood, as well as preventing the liver from producing glucose. By inducing glucose to leave the blood, and preventing glucose from entering the blood, Lantus insulin effectively lowers blood glucose for up to 24 hours. Clinical studies have shown that Lantus is as effective as natural human insulin in lowering blood glucose. Its formulation causes a slow, steady introduction of Lantus insulin into the blood stream, making it longer lasting than natural human insulin.

Types of Lantus products

Sanofi-Aventis, the maker of this medicine, produces three Lantus insulin products. Each of these products is produced at a concentration of 100 U/mL.

  • Vial: Medicine is drawn into and administered with a syringe
  • Cartridge: Medicine is administered in conjunction with the OptiClik® insulin delivery device
  • SoloStar®: Medicine is administered through a disposable insulin delivery device

Possible Lantus side effects

Hypoglycemia. Severe hypoglycemia may cause one or more symptoms, including the following:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • Brain function impairment, such as poor ability to concentrate

Allergic Reaction. As with all medicines, Lantus insulin has the potential to cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms may include the following:

  • Throat swelling
  • Wheezing and/or difficulty breathing
  • Fast heart rate
  • Skin rash

Peripheral Edema. Lantus insulin may cause the retention of fluid, resulting in the swollen hands and feet of peripheral edema.

If allergy or severe hypoglycemia is suspected, the FDA recommends emergency medical treatment.

Latus Patient Safety Information

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About Leah DiPlacido

Leah DiPlacido, PhD is a freelance medical writer with expertise in immune system-mediated diseases (e.g., lupus) and metabolic disorders (e.g., diabetes). Dr. DiPlacido spent 10 years in the laboratory and, after earning her doctoral degree in Immunology from Yale University in 2009, now writes full time about disease prevention, treatment, and quality-of-life issues for people with non-science background, as well as for medical doctors and scientists.

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