Precautions and Warnings With Insulin Glargine
It is important to be aware of precautions and warnings with insulin glargine before starting the medication. For example, insulin glargine can cause dangerously low blood sugar, so you and those around you should know the signs and symptoms of this condition. Precautions and warnings with insulin glargine also apply to people with certain health conditions and to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Insulin Glargine: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?Talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking insulin glargine (Lantus®) if you have:
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- An insulin pump
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Precautions and Warnings With Insulin GlargineWarnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking insulin glargine include the following:
- The medication should not be used in insulin pumps. Also, it should not be mixed with other insulins in the same syringe. Insulin glargine should never be diluted.
- Insulin glargine must be given as a subcutaneous injection (just under the skin). It should never be injected into a vein, given by IV, or injected into a muscle.
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is the most common (and usually most serious) side effect of insulin medications, including insulin glargine. Make sure you and those around you know how to identify the warning signs of low blood sugar and how to respond. You must test your blood sugar levels regularly while taking insulin glargine or any other insulin. Low blood sugar levels can be a life-threatening problem.
- Any time you start, stop, or change your insulin glargine dosage, you may need to monitor your blood sugar more closely than usual.
- Liver and kidney problems may affect your insulin glargine dosage. Also, changes in diet or exercise, illness, or stress may affect your blood sugar levels in such a way that your dosage needs to be adjusted.
- Make sure your healthcare provider shows you exactly how to inject insulin glargine, how to store the drug, and how to dispose of your used needles.
- This diabetes medication can potentially interact with several other medications (see Drug Interactions With Insulin Glargine).
- Insulin glargine is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Lantus and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if insulin glargine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Lantus and Breastfeeding).