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insulin glargine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using insulin glargine (Lantus, Lantus OptiClik Cartridge, Lantus Solostar Pen)?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to insulin glargine.

To make sure you can safely take insulin glargine, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether insulin glargine is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether insulin glargine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use insulin glargine (Lantus, Lantus OptiClik Cartridge, Lantus Solostar Pen)?

Insulin glargine is injected under the skin. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes. You should not mix this medication with other insulins.

Insulin glargine should be thin, clear, and colorless. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has any particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

Use a different place in your injection skin area each time you give the injection. Your care provider will show you the best places on your body to inject the medication. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.

Use a disposable needle only once. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

The SoloStar injection pen contains a total of 300 units of insulin. The pen is designed to deliver from 1 to 80 units with each press of the injection button. Do not press the button more than one time per injection unless your doctor has prescribed a dose greater than 80 units.

Never share an injection pen or cartridge with another person. Sharing injection pens or cartridges can allow disease such as hepatitis or HIV to pass from one person to another.

Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor's office. Visit your doctor regularly.

Your dose needs may change if you become ill, have a fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency. Your doctor may want you to stop taking insulin glargine for a short time if any of these situations affect you. Ask your doctor how to adjust your insulin glargine dose if needed. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.

Know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how to recognize them: headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, or trouble concentrating.

Always keep a source of sugar available in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar. Sugar sources include orange juice, glucose gel, candy, or milk. If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use an injection of glucagon. Your doctor can give you a prescription for a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to give the injection.

Also watch for signs of blood sugar that is too high (hyperglycemia). These symptoms include increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, and weight loss.

Check your blood sugar carefully during a time of stress or illness, if you travel, exercise more than usual, drink alcohol, or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your dose needs may also change.

Insulin glargine is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, foot care, eye care, dental care, and testing your blood sugar. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. Changing any of these factors can affect your blood sugar levels.

Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you use insulin. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you are diabetic.

Storing unopened vials, OptiClik, or SoloStar devices: Keep in the carton and store in a refrigerator, protected from light. Throw away any insulin not used before the expiration date on the medicine label. Store the injection pen with its cap on.

Unopened vials, OptiClik, or SoloStar devices may also be stored at room temperature for up to 28 days, away from heat and bright light. Throw away any insulin not used within 28 days.

Storing after your first use: You may keep "in-use" vials or cartridges not yet loaded into the OptiClik in the refrigerator or at room temperature, protected from light. Use within 28 days.

Do not refrigerate an in-use OptiClik or SoloStar device, or a cartridge that has been inserted into the OptiClik. Keep it at room temperature and use within 28 days.

Do not freeze insulin glargine, and throw away the medication if it has become frozen.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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