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Insulin and Type 2 Diabetes

By Burgo, Kate
Content provided by: Better Medicine from Healthgrades

If you have type 2 diabetes and your health care provider recently put you on insulin, you may feel disappointed that lifestyle changes and diabetes pills weren’t enough. Or, you may think that you should have tried harder to manage your diabetes. But you shouldn’t blame yourself. Many people with diabetes need to change their treatment plan at some point. There are advantages to this. For example, taking insulin can make it easier to manage your blood sugar.

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Indications and Usage for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)

Prescription Lantus® is a long-acting insulin used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes and adults and children (6 years and older) with type 1 diabetes for the control of high blood sugar. It should be taken once a day at the same time each day to lower blood glucose.

Do not use Lantus® to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.

Important Safety Information for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)

Do not take Lantus® if you are allergic to insulin or any of the inactive ingredients in Lantus®.

You must test your blood sugar levels while using insulin, such as Lantus®. Do not make any changes to your dose or type of insulin without talking to your healthcare provider. Any change of insulin should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision.

Do NOT dilute or mix Lantus® with any other insulin or solution. It will not work as intended and you may lose blood sugar control, which could be serious. Lantus® must only be used if the solution is clear and colorless with no particles visible. Do not share needles, insulin pens or syringes with others.

The most common side effect of insulin, including Lantus®, is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which may be serious. Some people may experience symptoms such as shaking, sweating, fast heartbeat, and blurred vision. Severe hypoglycemia may be serious and life threatening. It may cause harm to your heart or brain. Other possible side effects may include injection site reactions, including changes in fat tissue at the injection site, and allergic reactions, including itching and rash. In rare cases, some allergic reactions may be life threatening.

Tell your doctor about other medicines and supplements you are taking because they can change the way insulin works. Before starting Lantus®, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions including if you have liver or kidney problems, are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed.

Lantus® SoloSTAR® is a disposable prefilled insulin pen. Please talk to your healthcare provider about proper injection technique and follow instructions in the Instruction Leaflet that accompanies the pen.

Please click here or the link below for the full prescribing information for Lantus®

US.GLA.13.04.225 © 2014 sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC, A SANOFI COMPANY

Why do I need insulin now?

It’s important to understand that diabetes changes over time. When people first develop type 2 diabetes, their pancreas is usually making plenty of insulin, but their body is not using the insulin well. This is called insulin resistance, and it can lead to a buildup of glucose in the blood. A healthy diet, regular exercise and weight loss may help improve insulin resistance. When these steps aren’t enough, diabetes pills can often help.

Even so, after a few years, things can change. The pancreas may stop making enough insulin. And even if you eat right, exercise regularly and take your diabetes pills, it can be harder to reach your blood sugar goals. At this point, your provider may switch you to a different diabetes pill or have you take more than one type. Or, you may need to take insulin shots. These shots replace the insulin that your pancreas is no longer making.

What should I know about insulin?

There are several types of insulin, including long-acting, regular-acting and rapid-acting. Your provider will work with you to select the insulin that’s right for you. He or she will show you how to inject it and tell you how to store it. You’ll probably need to take at least two shots a day to reach your blood sugar goals.

The insulin will lower your blood sugar. How quickly this happens depends on the type of insulin and where on your body you inject it. Your provider will work with you so that you understand how much insulin to take and how close to a meal or snack you should take it.

Once you start taking insulin, you may still need to take diabetes pills. And you should stick with your healthy diet and get exercise on most days. Your medication, diet and exercise all work together to keep your blood sugar controlled and to keep you at your healthy best.

Medical Reviewer: Gaskin, Kelley RN, MSN, CPNP, Godsey, Cynthia M.S., M.S.N., APRN, Lambert, J.G. M.D., Louise Akin, RN, BSN Last Annual Review Date: April 27, 2011 Copyright: © Health Ink & Vitality Communications

Reference: Diabetes section on Better Medicine

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