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Lantus: Long-Acting Insulin for Diabetes

Brand Name: Lantus
Active Ingredient: insulin glargine (rDNA origin) injection
Indication: Treatment of adults and children with type 1 diabetes mellitus, and adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus who require long-acting insulin for control of hyperglycemia
Company Name: Aventis Pharmaceuticals
Availability: FDA approved Lantus for marketing on April 24, 2000; may be available in late 2000

LantusLantus: Introduction

For many diabetics, each day is structured around the administration of multiple insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels. Now a new form of insulin will soon be available that may make life easier for many diabetics who require these daily injections. Called Lantus, it is the first once-a-day manmade insulin injection to be approved by the FDA. Aventis Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Lantus, received FDA approval for the drug on April 24, 2000.

Lantus (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection) is indicated for the treatment of adults and children with type 1 diabetes mellitus, and adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus who require long-acting insulin for control of hyperglycemia. Just one injection a day provides control of blood sugar (glucose) levels for a full 24 hours.

Lantus: How Does It Work?

Lantus is a “recombinant human insulin analog” — a manmade insulin that closely mimics human insulin. The chemical structure of Lantus regulates its release from the tissue under the skin into the bloodstream, providing a glucose-lowering effect that lasts for 24 hours. The longer duration of action of Lantus is directly related to its slower rate of absorption.

Lantus: Clinical Study Results

Several controlled clinical trials showed that Lantus was as effective as human insulin for controlling blood sugar levels. Moreover, the incidence of hypoglycemia – low blood sugar – was lower in patients who used Lantus than in those who took regular insulin. Lantus was effective in adults and children with type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes, as well as adults with type 2 diabetes who need insulin injections to control their blood sugar.

Lantus: Long-Acting Insulin for DiabetesLantus: What You Should Know

Human insulin therapy may be associated with hypoglycemia, worsening of diabetic retinopathy (a disorder of the retina of the eye), skin reactions (such as injection-site reaction, itching, and rash), allergic reactions, and retention of fluid. Hypoglycemia is the most common adverse effect of insulins, including Lantus. As with all insulins, the timing of hypoglycemia may differ among various insulin formulations. Glucose monitoring is recommended for all patients with diabetes.

Any change in insulin should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision. In clinical studies of adult patients, there was a higher incidence of injection-site pain in patients who used Lantus than in those who took regular insulin. However, pain at the injection site was usually mild and did not result in discontinuation of therapy.

Lantus must not be diluted or mixed with any other insulin or solution, as it may result in a delayed onset of action. You should inform your health care provider about any other medications you may be taking, since they may alter the way Lantus works in your body.

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