Lantus

(lant-us)

insulin glargine (in-sue-lin glar-jeen)
Consumer Medicine Information (CMI)
 

NOTICE: This Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) is intended for persons living in Australia. This page contains answers to some common questions about Lantus. It does not contain all the information that is known about Lantus. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist. All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risk of you using this medicine against the benefits he/she expects it will have for you. If you have any concerns about using this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Bookmark or print this page, you may need to read it again.

What Lantus is used for

Lantus is used to reduce high blood sugar (glucose) levels in people with diabetes mellitus.
Lantus is a modified insulin that is very similar to human insulin. It is a substitute for the insulin produced by the pancreas.
Lantus is a long-acting insulin. Your doctor may tell you to use a rapid-acting human insulin or oral diabetes medication in combination with Lantus.
Lantus is not addictive.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Lantus has been prescribed for you.

Before you use Lantus

When you must not use Lantus

Do not use Lantus:
If you have an allergy to:
any medicine containing insulin
any of the ingredients contained in Lantus listed at the end of this leaflet
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
redness, swelling, rash and itching at the injection site
rash, itching or hives on the skin
shortness of breath
wheezing or difficulty breathing
swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
If you are experiencing low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia - a "hypo" ).
If you have a lot of hypos discuss appropriate treatment with your doctor.
After the expiry date printed on the pack or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
If you use Lantus after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well. If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
If the product appears cloudy, discoloured or contains particles, or if the injection pen/cartridge/vial appears damaged.
If you are not sure whether you should start using this medicine, talk to your doctor.
Do not give Lantus to children less than 2 years of age.
There is no experience with the use of Lantus in children less than 2 years.

Before you start to use Lantus

Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
kidney problems
liver problems
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Pregnancy may make managing your diabetes more difficult.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
Tell your doctor if:
you drink alcohol
you do not eat regular meals
you do a lot of exercise
you are ill or feeling unwell
Alcohol, diet, exercise and your general health all affect the control of your diabetes.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you start using Lantus.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Medicines that may increase the blood sugar lowering effect of Lantus include:
oral antidiabetic medicines that are used to treat type 2 diabetes
blood pressure, blood flow, cholesterol and heart medications
medications for pain and inflammation
some antidepressants
sulfonamide antibiotics
Medicines that may reduce the blood sugar lowering effect of Lantus include:
corticosteroids, glucagon and other hormonal therapies
oral contraceptives and gynaecological medications
fluid and glaucoma medications
tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS treatments
some psychiatric medications
adrenaline and asthma medications such as salbutamol, terbutaline
Certain heart medications, especially beta-blockers, may mask the symptoms of hypoglycaemia.
Your doctor and pharmacist have a full list of medicines with which you must be careful or avoid while using Lantus. Please check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new medicines or over the counter products.

How to use Lantus

Lantus is a clear solution that does not require shaking before use.
Your doctor, pharmacist or diabetes educator will have shown you how to use Lantus.
Carefully follow all the directions.
Do not dilute Lantus.
Do not mix Lantus with any other insulin or solution.
Do not inject Lantus into a vein.
Lantus is intended for injection under the skin.
Any change in this medicine should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision.
If you do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor, pharmacist or diabetes educator for help.

How much to use

Your doctor will tell you how much Lantus you need to use each day. Your doctor may increase or decrease the dose, depending on your blood sugar levels.
It is very important that you manage your diabetes carefully. Too much or too little insulin can cause serious effects.

When to use Lantus

Your doctor will tell you when to use Lantus.
Lantus should be used once a day, at the same time every day.

How to use Lantus

ALWAYS CHECK YOUR LANTUS INJECTION PEN, CARTRIDGE OR VIAL
Do not use Lantus if it is no longer clear and colourless or if it contains particles.
Make sure you are using the correct injection pen, cartridge or vial.
Always check the insulin label on the cartridge, reusable pen or vial before each injection to make sure you are using the right insulin.
Keep the cartridge, injection pen or vial at room temperature for 1 or 2 hours before use. Cold insulin is more painful to inject.

For Lantus cartridges or injection pens

PREPARING A DOSE FOR INJECTION
Always do a safety test before use.
The safety test may highlight a problem with your injection pen. The safety test also removes any air bubbles and helps indicate whether or not a needle is bent or broken.
Becton Dickinson (BD Micro-Fine™+) needles should be used with injection pens.

Reusable pens

Lantus cartridges should only be used with the ClikStar reusable pen.
Carefully follow the instructions provided with the pen, for loading a cartridge, attaching a needle, performing a safety test and administering the insulin injection.
If the reusable injection pen does not work properly, Lantus may be withdrawn from the cartridge into a syringe. Ask your doctor, pharmacist or diabetes educator for help.

Pre-filled disposable pens

Lantus SoloStar disposable pens are pre-filled and ready to use. Once all the insulin is used you cannot replace the cartridge.
Carefully follow the instructions provided with the Lantus SoloStar pen for attaching a needle, performing a safety test and administering the insulin injection.
Never use an injection pen if it is damaged or you are not sure that it is working properly. Use a new pen. 
INJECTING A DOSE
Lantus should be injected under the skin, being careful not to inject it into a muscle or vein.
Choose a site for injection.
Inject Lantus into the abdomen, thighs or upper arms.

1. With one hand, stabilise the skin by spreading it or pinching up a large area, as recommended by your healthcare professional.

2. Insert the needle into the skin as recommended by your healthcare professional.

3. Inject the full dose of Lantus by pushing the plunger as far as it will go.

4. Slowly count to 10 before removing the needle from the skin.

Use a different injection site each injection so that the same site is not used more often that once a month.
This will reduce the chance of local skin reactions developing. 
AFTER INJECTING
Using the outer needle cap, unscrew the needle and dispose of it safely into a sharps container.
Do not share needles, cartridges or injection devices. Do not reuse needles.
Leave the cartridge in the reusable pen until it needs to be replaced.
Do not attempt to replace the cartridge in a pre-filled disposable pen.
Empty disposable pens must never be reused and must be properly discarded.

For Lantus vials

PREPARING A DOSE FOR INJECTION

1. Wash your hands.

2. Draw air into a U100 insulin syringe equal to the dose of Lantus to be injected.

3. Push the needle through the rubber top of the vial and inject the air into the vial.

4. Leave the needle in the vial. Hold the vial and syringe firmly in one hand, with the vial above the syringe.

5. Make sure the tip of the needle is in the insulin and withdraw the correct dose into the syringe.

6. Before removing the needle from the vial, check the syringe for air bubbles. If bubbles are present, hold the syringe vertically (needle pointed upwards) and tap firmly until the bubbles float to the top. Push the bubbles out with the plunger and then withdraw the correct dose. Remove the needle from the vial.

7. If you need to put the syringe down, make sure the needle does not touch anything.

INJECTING A DOSE
Lantus should be injected under the skin, being careful not to inject it into a muscle or vein.
Choose a site for injection.
Inject Lantus into the abdomen, thighs or upper arms.

1. With one hand, stabilise the skin by spreading it or pinching up a large area, as recommended by your healthcare professional.

2. Insert the needle into the skin as recommended by your healthcare professional.

3. Inject the full dose of Lantus by pushing the plunger as far as it will go.

4. Slowly count to 10 before removing the needle from the skin.

Use a different injection site each injection so the same site is not used more often than once a month.
This will reduce the chance of local skin reactions developing. 
AFTER INJECTING
Dispose of your insulin syringes safely into a sharps container.
Do not share vials, needles or syringes. Do not reuse needles.

How long to use Lantus

Continue using Lantus for as long as your doctor recommends.
Make sure you keep enough Lantus to last over weekends and holidays.

If you take too much (overdose) - Hypoglycaemia, a "Hypo"

If you accidentally use too much Lantus your blood sugar level may become too low (hypoglycaemia).
Immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (13 11 26 in Australia; 0800 POISON or 0800 764 766 in New Zealand) if you think that you or anyone else may have used too much Lantus.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
The risk of hypoglycaemia is increased if you:
accidentally use too much Lantus
have too much or unexpected exercise
delay eating meals or snacks
eat too little food
are ill
The first symptoms of mild to moderate hypoglycaemia can come on suddenly. They may include:
cold sweat, cool pale skin
fatigue, drowsiness, unusual tiredness and weakness
nervousness, anxious feeling, tremor, rapid heart beat
confusion, difficulty concentrating
excessive hunger
vision changes
headache, nausea
Always carry some sugary food or drink with you.
If you experience any of these symptoms of hypoglycaemia, you need to raise your blood sugar urgently. You can do this by taking one of the following:
5-7 jelly beans
3 teaspoons of sugar or honey
1/2 can of a sugar-containing soft drink (not a diet soft drink)
2-3 concentrated glucose tablets
Follow up with extra carbohydrates, e.g. plain biscuits, fruit or milk, when over the initial symptoms.
Taking this extra carbohydrate will prevent a second drop in your blood sugar level.
If not treated quickly, the initial symptoms of hypoglycaemia may progress to loss of co-ordination, slurred speech, confusion, loss of consciousness and seizures.
If severe hypoglycaemia is not treated, it can cause brain damage and death.
Tell your relatives, friends, close workmates or carers that you have diabetes.
It is important that they recognise the signs and symptoms of a "hypo".
Make sure they know to turn you on your side and get medical help immediately if you lose consciousness.
Make sure they know not to give you anything to eat or drink if you are unconscious.
This is because you could choke.
Provide them with the telephone number for your doctor, the Poisons Information Centre (13 11 26 in Australia; 0800 POISON or 0800 764 766 in New Zealand) and Emergency Services.
An injection of the hormone glucagon may speed up recovery from unconsciousness. This can be given by a relative, friend, workmate or carer who knows how to give it.
If glucagon is used, have some sugary food or drink as soon as you are conscious again.
If you do not feel better after this, contact your doctor, diabetes educator, or the closest hospital.
If you do not respond to glucagon treatment, you will have to be treated in a hospital.
See your doctor if you keep having "hypos" or if you have ever become unconscious after using Lantus.
Your dose of Lantus or other medicines may need to be changed.

If you miss a dose - Hyperglycaemia

If you forget to take your insulin dose, test your blood sugar level as soon as possible.
Lantus is a long-acting insulin that works for 24 hours and should be taken regularly at the same time each day. If you miss taking your dose at the regular scheduled time, your blood sugar levels may become high (hyperglycaemia).
However, taking a dose of Lantus at another time may increase your risk of having a hypo. You should therefore plan in advance with your doctor or healthcare professional so that you know what to do in case you miss a dose.
If you have missed a dose and are not sure what you should do, contact your doctor or healthcare professional for specific advice.
Do NOT use a double dose of your insulin.
If you double a dose, this may cause low blood sugar levels.
The risk of hyperglycaemia is increased if you:
miss doses of Lantus or other insulin, or use less Lantus than you need
have uncontrolled diabetes
exercise less than usual
eat more carbohydrates than usual
are ill or stressed
take certain other medications
High blood sugar levels over a period of time can lead to too much acid in the blood (diabetic ketoacidosis).
Contact your doctor immediately if your blood sugar level is very high or you experience any of the following symptoms.
Symptoms of mild to moderate hyperglycaemia include:
drowsy feeling
flushed face
thirst, loss of appetite
fruity odour on the breath
blurred vision
passing larger amounts of urine than usual
getting up at night more often than usual to pass urine
high levels of glucose and acetone in the urine
Symptoms of severe hyperglycaemia include:
heavy breathing
fast pulse
nausea, vomiting
dehydration
loss of consciousness
Severe hyperglycaemia can lead to unconsciousness and, in extreme cases, death if untreated.
Discuss any worries you may have about this with your doctor, pharmacist or diabetes educator.

While you are using Lantus

Things you must do

Measure your blood sugar level regularly.
This is the best way to tell if your diabetes is being controlled properly. Your doctor or diabetes educator will show you how and when to do this.
It is important to keep using Lantus even if you feel well.
Lantus helps to control your condition, but does not cure it.
Tell your doctor if you often have hypoglycaemia or if you have ever become unconscious after using Lantus.
Your doctor may need to adjust your dose of Lantus or of other medicines you are taking.
Always carry some sugary food or drink with you.
If you experience any of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia, immediately eat some sugary food or have a drink, e.g. jelly beans, sugar, honey, sugar-containing soft drink, glucose tablets. Diet and low calorie soft drinks do NOT contain sugar and are unsuitable to take for hypoglycaemia.
Make sure that you tell every doctor, dentist, pharmacist or other healthcare professional who is treating you that you have diabetes and are using Lantus.
Tell your doctor, pharmacist or diabetes educator if you are travelling.
Ask your doctor for a letter explaining why you are taking injecting pens and needles with you. Each country you visit will need to see this letter, so you should take several copies.
You may need to inject Lantus and eat your meals at different times because of time differences in and between countries.
If you are travelling, it is a good idea to:
wear some form of identification showing you have diabetes
carry some form of sugar to treat hypoglycaemia if it occurs, e.g. sugar sachets or jelly beans
carry emergency food rations in case of a delay, e.g. dried fruit, biscuits or muesli bars
keep Lantus readily available; take enough Lantus for your expected needs whilst travelling - you may not be able to get Lantus in the country you are visiting
Your doctor, pharmacist or diabetes educator can provide you with some helpful information.
Tell your doctor if you are having trouble or difficulty with your eyesight.
Visit your doctor for regular checks of your eyes, feet, kidneys, heart, circulation, blood and blood pressure.
Carefully follow your doctor's and/or dietician's advice on diet, drinking alcohol and exercise.

Things you must not do

Do not stop using Lantus unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not skip meals while using Lantus.
Do not use Lantus if you think it has been frozen or exposed to excessive heat (temperatures above 25°C).
Do not reuse empty cartridges.
Do not give Lantus to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.

Things to be careful of

Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Lantus affects you. Be careful not to let your blood sugar levels fall too low.
Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol.
Alcohol may mask the symptoms of hypoglycaemia.
Tell your doctor if you are ill.
Illness, especially with nausea and vomiting, may cause your insulin needs to change. Even if you are not eating, you still require insulin. You and your doctor should design an insulin plan for those times when you are sick.
If you become sick with a cold or flu, it is very important to continue using Lantus, even if you feel unable to eat your normal meal. If you have trouble eating solid foods, use sugar-sweetened drinks as a carbohydrate substitute or eat small amounts of bland food.
Your diabetes educator or dietician can give you a list of foods to use for sick days.
Tell your doctor if you are exercising more than usual.
Exercise may lower your need for Lantus. Exercise may also speed up the effect of a dose of Lantus, especially if the exercise involves the area of the injection site (e.g. the thighs should not be used for injection prior to jogging or running).
Tell your doctor if your diet changes.
Changes in diet may cause your insulin needs to change.

Side effects

Tell your doctor, pharmacist or diabetes educator as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are using Lantus.
Lantus helps most people with diabetes, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical attention if you get some of the side effects.
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor, pharmacist or diabetes educator to answer any questions you may have.
The most common side effect when using insulin is low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia - a "hypo").
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
hypoglycaemia (mild to moderate)
redness, swelling or itching at the injection site; usually these symptoms disappear within a few weeks during continued use
a depression or thickening of the skin around the injection site (lipodystrophy); this can often occur if you inject too often at the same injection site
The above list includes the more common side effects of your medicine. They are usually mild and short-lived.
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:
More severe symptoms of hypoglycaemia, including:
disorientation
seizures, fits or convulsions
loss of consciousness
Signs of a serious allergic reaction, including:
skin rashes over a large part of the body
shortness of breath, wheezing
swelling of the face, lips or tongue
fast pulse
sweating
The above list includes some very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. These side effects are very rare.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some people.

After using Lantus

Storage

All medicines should be kept where children cannot reach them.
CARTRIDGES
Keep unopened cartridges of Lantus in a refrigerator where the temperature is between 2-8°C. Do not allow it to freeze. Discard if frozen.
When the cartridge has been inserted into the injection pen, the cartridge-pen combination should not be put in the refrigerator and should be kept below 25°C. Do not leave it near heat or in direct light. Discard the cartridge within 28 days of first use. Cartridges that are first carried as a spare for a while must also be discarded 28 days after being removed from the refrigerator.
PRE-FILLED DISPOSABLE PENS
Before use, keep unopened Lantus pre-filled pens in a refrigerator where the temperature is between 2-8°C. Do not allow it to freeze. Discard if frozen.
Before first use, store the pre-filled pen at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. Once in use, the pre-filled pen should not be put in the refrigerator and it should be kept below 25°C. Do not leave it near heat or in direct light. Discard the pre-filled pen within 28 days of first use. Pre-filled pens that are first carried as a spare for a while must also be discarded 28 days after being removed from the refrigerator.
VIALS
Keep unopened Lantus vials in a refrigerator where the temperature is between 2-8°C. Do not allow it to freeze. Discard if frozen.
Once opened, the vial should be refrigerated between 2-8°C, but may be kept unrefrigerated for up to 28 days as long as it is kept below 25°C. Do not leave it near heat or in direct light. Discard the vial within 28 days of first use. Vials that are first carried as a spare for a while must also be discarded 28 days after being removed from the refrigerator.

Disposal

Dispose of your insulin syringes, needles and disposable injection devices safely into a sharps container.
If your doctor tells you to stop using Lantus or the expiry date has passed, ask your pharmacist what to do with any medicine that is left over.

Product description

What it looks like

Lantus is a clear, colourless solution available in 3mL cartridges and 10mL vials.
Lantus SoloSTAR is a pre-filled disposable pen containing a 3mL cartridge of Lantus.

Ingredients

Active Ingredient:
insulin glargine (100IU/mL)
Inactive Ingredients:
meta-cresol
glycerol
zinc chloride
polysorbate 20 (10mL vial only)
hydrochloric acid
sodium hydroxide
water for injections

Supplier

Lantus is supplied in Australia by:
sanofi-aventis australia  pty ltd
12-24 Talavera Road
Macquarie Park NSW 2113
Freecall No: 1800 818 806
 
Lantus is supplied in New Zealand by:
sanofi-aventis new zealand limited
Level 8 ,James & Wells Tower
56 Cawley Street
Ellerslie,Auckland
Freecall No: 0800 283 684
® = Registered Trademark
 
Lantus SoloSTAR 3mL injector pen AUST R 128468
Lantus 3mL cartridge AUST R 77737
Lantus 10mL vial AUST R 122335
 
This leaflet was prepared in
March 2014.

Further information

You can get more information about diabetes and insulin from:
Diabetes Australia:
freecall helpline 1300 136 588
www.diabetesaustralia.com.au
Diabetes NZ:
freecall helpline: 0800 369 636
www.diabetes.org.nz
 
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