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Drug Guide    I   Insulin Glargine SubQ

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   Insulin Glargine SubQ

Insulin Glargine SubQ

Insulin glargine is used along with a proper diet and exercise program to control high blood sugar. It is used in people with type 1 (insulin-dependent) or type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes. Effectively controlling high blood sugar helps prevent heart disease, strokes, kidney disease, blindness, circulation problems, and decreased sexual ability. Insulin glargine is a man-made, long-acting type of insulin that is similar to human insulin. It starts working more slowly and lasts for a longer time than regular insulin. Insulin is a natural substance that allows the body to properly use sugar from the diet. Insulin glargine replaces the insulin that your body no longer produces, thereby lowering your blood sugar.

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OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions

Insulin Glargine SubQ

Insulin glargine is used along with a proper diet and exercise program to control high blood sugar. It is used in people with type 1 (insulin-dependent) or type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes. Effectively controlling high blood sugar helps prevent heart disease, strokes, kidney disease, blindness, circulation problems, and decreased sexual ability. Insulin glargine is a man-made, long-acting type of insulin that is similar to human insulin. It starts working more slowly and lasts for a longer time than regular insulin. Insulin is a natural substance that allows the body to properly use sugar from the diet. Insulin glargine replaces the insulin that your body no longer produces, thereby lowering your blood sugar.
  • Do not share this medication, needles, or syringes with others.It is recommended you attend a diabetes education program to understand diabetes and all the important aspects of its treatment, including meals/diet, exercise, personal hygiene, medications, and getting regular eye, foot and medical exams.Keep all medical appointments.
  • Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., liver and kidney function tests, fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1C, complete blood counts) will be performed to monitor for side effects and response to therapy.Wear or carry identification stating that you have diabetes and are using this drug.

  • See also the How to Use section.Store all unopened insulin containers in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C).
  • Do not freeze, and do not use insulin that has been frozen.
  • If you are using the vials, store open vials in the refrigerator or at room temperature below 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from direct heat and light.
  • Store in the carton to protect from light.
  • Do not refrigerate cartridges or syringes that are currently in use.
  • Discard cartridges and vials in use after 28 days, even if there is insulin left.
  • Also discard all insulin products after the expiration date on the package.
  • Do not store in the bathroom.
  • Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

  • Symptoms of overdose may include: very fast heartbeat, vision changes, unexplained heavy sweating, agitation, fainting, seizures.

How To Use
  • Read the patient information leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill.
  • If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Your health care professional will teach you how to properly inject this medication.
  • If any of the information is unclear, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Do not inject cold insulin because this can be painful.
  • The insulin container you are currently using can be kept at room temperature (see also Storage section).
  • Wash your hands before measuring and injecting insulin.
  • Before rolling and turning the container, check the product visually for particles, thickening, or clumps.
  • If any are present, discard that container.To avoid damaging the insulin, do not shake the container.
  • Gently roll and turn it between your palms at least 10 times.
  • If using a cartridge, turn it upside down so that the glass ball moves from one end to the other.
  • Gently mix the insulin before injecting.
  • After mixing, the insulin should be colorless.
  • Inspect this product visually for particles or discoloration.
  • If either is present, do not use the insulin.Before injecting each dose, make sure the injection site is clean and dry.
  • Inject this medication under the skin of the abdomen, upper arms, or thighs, usually once daily or as directed by your doctor.
  • Insulin glargine may be injected before breakfast, before dinner, or before bedtime.
  • No matter what time you choose to inject this insulin, inject it at the same time each day.
  • Do not inject into a vein.
  • Change the location of the injection site daily and do not reuse the same site for two weeks to avoid problem areas under the skin.If you are using the cartridge form of this insulin and a special injecting device with a digital display, take care to read the display right-side up.
  • If you read the display upside-down, you may inject the wrong amount of insulin.
  • Ask your pharmacist if you are unsure how to properly use this type of injecting device.Do not mix this product with other insulins or use it in an insulin pump.The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
  • Measure each dose carefully, and use exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Even small changes in the amount of insulin may have a large effect on your blood sugar levels.Use this medication regularly as directed by your doctor in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Carefully follow the insulin treatment plan, meal plan, and exercise program your doctor has recommended.
  • Monitor your blood sugar on a regular basis.
  • Keep track of the results, and share them with your doctor.
  • This is very important in order to determine the correct insulin dose.
  • Inform your doctor if your blood sugar measurements are too high or too low.
  • Your dosage may need to be changed.Use disposable needles and syringes only once.
  • Learn how to discard needles and medical supplies safely.
  • Consult your pharmacist for more information.

Side Effects
  • See also the How to Use section.Redness, swelling or itching at the injection site may occur.
  • These effects usually go away after a few days or weeks.
  • If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
  • Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Too much insulin can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
  • This effect may also occur if you do not consume enough calories.
  • The symptoms include chills, cold sweats, blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness, shaking, fast heartbeat, weakness, headache, fainting, tingling of the hands/feet, or hunger.
  • It is a good habit to carry glucose (sugar) tablets or gel to treat low blood sugar.
  • If you don't have these reliable forms of glucose, raise your blood sugar quickly by eating a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, candy, or drinking a glass of fruit juice or non-diet soda.
  • Tell your doctor immediately about the reaction.
  • To help prevent low blood sugar, eat meals on a regular schedule and do not skip meals.Too little insulin can cause high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).
  • Symptoms of high blood sugar include thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, flushing, rapid breathing, or fruity breath odor.
  • If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor immediately.
  • Your medication dosage may need to be increased.This medication may cause low potassium levels in the blood (hypokalemia).
  • Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: muscle cramps, weakness, irregular heartbeat.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs.
  • Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other insulins; or if you have any other allergies.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: adrenal or pituitary gland problems, thyroid problems, kidney or liver disease, nerve problems (e.g., diabetic neuropathy), infections, inability to eat due to appetite loss, nausea/vomiting.Use only the insulin product that your doctor has prescribed for you.
  • Do not change the insulin you use unless your doctor has given you instructions on how to do so.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
  • Following a change in insulin, you may need a dosage change.
  • Know the symptoms of low blood sugar and high blood sugar (see Side Effects section).
  • Tell your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms of high or low blood sugar.Do not use this medication when you have low blood sugar.You may experience blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness due to extremely low or high blood sugar levels; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery.Limit alcohol while taking this medication because it can increase the risk of developing low blood sugar.During times of stress, such as fever, infection, injury, surgery, or quitting smoking, it may be more difficult to control your blood sugar.
  • Consult your doctor because a change in your dose may be required.Changes in your lifestyle or activity level may affect the amount of insulin your body needs to control blood sugar levels.
  • If you notice an unusual change in your insulin needs, tell your doctor.Check your blood sugar before and after exercise.
  • You may need a snack before exercising.If traveling across more than two time zones, ask your doctor about how to adjust your insulin schedule.Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.
  • If you are planning pregnancy, discuss a plan for managing your blood sugars with your doctor before you become pregnant.
  • Your doctor may switch the type of insulin you use during pregnancy.
  • Consult your doctor for more details.It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk.
  • Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
  • Your insulin needs may change while breast-feeding.

Missed Dose
  • It is very important to follow your insulin regimen exactly.
  • Do not miss any doses of insulin.
  • Keep extra supplies of insulin and an extra syringe and needle on hand.
  • Discuss specific instructions with your doctor now in case you miss a dose of insulin in the future.

Drug Interactions
  • Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring your for it.
  • Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: ACE inhibitors (e.g., lisinopril, fosinopril), birth control pills, bupropion, calcium channel blockers (e.g., nifedipine, verapamil), clonidine, corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone, hydrocortisone), danazol, other drugs for diabetes (e.g., glyburide, metformin, pioglitazone, other insulins), diet pills, disopyramide, estrogens, fenugreek, fibrates (e.g., gemfibrozil), fluoxetine, ginseng, guanethidine, Gymnema sylvestre, isoniazid, lithium, MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, isocarboxazid, linezolid, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, selegiline, tranylcypromine), niacin, octreotide, pentamidine, certain psychiatric medicines (e.g., phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, fluphenazine), atypical antipsychotics (e.g., clozapine, olanzapine), propoxyphene, reserpine, salicylates (e.g., aspirin), somatropin, sympathomimetics (e.g., albuterol, terbutaline, pseudoephedrine, epinephrine), sulfa antibiotics (e.g., sulfamethoxazole), thyroid medications (e.g., levothyroxine), water pills/diuretics (e.g., hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide), drugs containing alcohol or sugar.Beta-blocker medications (e.g., metoprolol, propranolol, glaucoma eye drops such as timolol) may prevent the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar level falls too low (hypoglycemia).
  • Other symptoms of low blood sugar such as dizziness, hunger, or sweating are unaffected by these drugs.Check the labels on all your nonprescription medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that could affect your blood sugar.
  • Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products.Other medications can affect the action of insulin or can affect the results of urine tests for sugar or ketones.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

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