Glargine is a long-acting insulin. It is used to reduce high blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes mellitus.
Low blood sugar (Hypoglycaemia)
The most common side effect with the use of insulin is low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia).
Low blood sugar may occur if you:
Alcohol and some medicines can also affect your blood sugar levels.
Symptoms of low blood sugar are weakness, dizziness, hunger, sweating, trembling, blurred vision, walking unsteadily or fast heartbeat.
If you experience any of these low blood sugar symptoms, do the following immediately:
Step 1: Check your blood sugar with a home blood sugar meter (glucometer) if available. If your blood sugar level is less than 4 mmol/L, take 15 grams of sugar such as:
Step 2: You should feel better after 15 minutes. If you have a home blood sugar meter, you should check your blood sugar level again.
Step 3: If your blood sugar level is still less than 4 mmol/L or you still have symptoms of low blood sugar, you should take another 15 grams of sugar.
If your symptoms still do not get better, see a doctor or go to the hospital immediately.
Other side effects
See a doctor or go to the hospital immediately if your blood sugar level is always low and experience symptoms even after taking amounts of sugar (see instructions below for management of low blood sugar).
Inform your doctor if:
If your doctor has informed you that you need to do a fasting blood test, do not inject insulin until after you have your blood taken and are ready to eat.
Avoid taking alcohol with this medication.
Insulin Glargine is usually given once a day without regards to food as an injection into the fatty tissue under the skin. Use the injection technique advised by your doctor or nurse and as described in the manual. Ensure that your insulin appears clear and colourless before use. Do not use if it appears cloudy, grainy or if particles are seen.
How to select an injection site
How to inject insulin
If you miss a dose, inject the next dose at the usual time. Do not inject two doses to make up for a missed dose.
If you forget to inject your insulin, your blood sugar may get too high (hyperglycemia). Check your blood sugar with a home blood sugar meter (glucometer). When your blood sugar is high for too long, you may experience increased urination, feeling thirsty, feeling sick (nausea or vomiting), feeling drowsy or tired, abdominal pain, flushed face and a fruity (acetone) smell of the breath. These may be signs of a very serious condition called diabetic ketoacidosis where there is a build-up of acid in the blood because the body is breaking down fat instead of sugar. Please see the doctor immediately if you have the above symptoms.
If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately.
Please refer to the product insert which can be found in the medication box, for instructions for use of your specific insulin pen / penfill.
Store unopened insulin in a refrigerator between 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. Do not freeze. Do not keep insulin in a hot place (e.g. in a hot, closed vehicle, on top of a television set) or expose it to heat or sunlight. Insulin that is exposed to direct sunlight for too long may give it a yellow-brown colour. Do not use the insulin if this happens.
Once the insulin is in use, it no longer has to be refrigerated, but should be thrown away after 4 weeks (Lantus) and 6 weeks (Toujeo).
Keep this medication out of reach of children. Throw away all expired medicines.
If used at home, you may throw this injection away along with the used needles, into a metal tin, or glass jar or thick plastic container (e.g. detergent bottles) to prevent any needle stick injury.