August 30, 2016
Recommended Topic Related To:


"Miriam E. Tucker
Medscape Medical News

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will now require a "for single patient use only" warning on all multidose pen devices used for injectable diabetes medications.

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Included as part of the "PRECAUTIONS" Section


Never Share A LANTUS SoloStar Prefilled Pen, Syringe, Or Needle Between Patients

LANTUS SoloStar prefilled pens must never be shared between patients, even if the needle is changed. Patients using LANTUS vials must never reuse or share needles or syringes with another person. Sharing poses a risk for transmission of blood-borne pathogens.

Hyperglycemia Or Hypoglycemia With Changes In Insulin Regimen

Changes in insulin strength, manufacturer, type, or method of administration may affect glycemic control and predispose to hypoglycemia [see Hypoglycemia] or hyperglycemia. These changes should be made cautiously and only under close medical supervision, and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring should be increased. For patients with type 2 diabetes, dosage adjustments of concomitant oral and anti-diabetic products may be needed.


Hypoglycemia is the most common adverse reaction associated with insulin, including LANTUS. Severe hypoglycemia can cause seizures, may be life-threatening or cause death. Hypoglycemia can impair concentration ability and reaction time; this may place an individual and others at risk in situations where these abilities are important (e.g., driving or operating other machinery).

Hypoglycemia can happen suddenly and symptoms may differ in each individual and change over time in the same individual. Symptomatic awareness of hypoglycemia may be less pronounced in patients with longstanding diabetes, in patients with diabetic nerve disease, in patients using medications that block the sympathetic nervous system (e.g., betablockers) [see DRUG INTERACTIONS], or in patients who experience recurrent hypoglycemia.

Risk Factors For Hypoglycemia

The risk of hypoglycemia after an injection is related to the duration of action of the insulin and, in general, is highest when the glucose lowering effect of the insulin is maximal. As with all insulin preparations, the glucose lowering effect time course of LANTUS may vary in different individuals or at different times in the same individual and depends on many conditions, including the area of injection as well as the injection site blood supply and temperature [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY] . Other factors which may increase the risk of hypoglycemia include changes in meal pattern (e.g., macronutrient content or timing of meals), changes in level of physical activity, or changes to co-administered medication [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]. Patients with renal or hepatic impairment may be at higher risk of hypoglycemia [see Use In Specific Populations].

Risk Mitigation Strategies For Hypoglycemia

Patients and caregivers must be educated to recognize and manage hypoglycemia. Self-monitoring of blood glucose plays an essential role in the prevention and management of hypoglycemia. In patients at higher risk for hypoglycemia and patients who have reduced symptomatic awareness of hypoglycemia, increased frequency of blood glucose monitoring is recommended.

The long-acting effect of LANTUS may delay recovery from hypoglycemia.

Medication Errors

Accidental mix-ups among insulin products, particularly between longacting insulins and rapid-acting insulins, have been reported. To avoid medication errors between LANTUS and other insulins, instruct patients to always check the insulin label before each injection [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Hypersensitivity And Allergic Reactions

Severe, life-threatening, generalized allergy, including anaphylaxis, can occur with insulin products, including LANTUS. If hypersensitivity reactions occur, discontinue LANTUS; treat per standard of care and monitor until symptoms and signs resolve [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. LANTUS is contraindicated in patients who have had hypersensitivity reactions to insulin glargine or one of the excipients [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].


All insulin products, including LANTUS, cause a shift in potassium from the extracellular to intracellular space, possibly leading to hypokalemia. Untreated hypokalemia may cause respiratory paralysis, ventricular arrhythmia, and death. Monitor potassium levels in patients at risk for hypokalemia if indicated (e.g., patients using potassium-lowering medications, patients taking medications sensitive to serum potassium concentrations).

Fluid Retention And Heart Failure With Concomitant Use Of PPARgamma Agonists

Thiazolidinediones (TZDs), which are peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-gamma agonists, can cause dose-related fluid retention, particularly when used in combination with insulin. Fluid retention may lead to or exacerbate heart failure. Patients treated with insulin, including LANTUS, and a PPAR-gamma agonist should be observed for signs and symptoms of heart failure. If heart failure develops, it should be managed according to current standards of care, and discontinuation or dose reduction of the PPAR-gamma agonist must be considered.

Patient Counseling Information

Advise the patient to read FDA-approved patient labeling (Patient Information and Instructions for Use).

Never Share a LANTUS SoloStar Prefilled Pen or Syringe between Patients

Advise patients that they must never share a LANTUS SoloStar prefilled pen with another person, even if the needle is changed. Advise patients using LANTUS vials not to reuse or share needles or syringes with another person. Sharing carries a risk for transmission of blood-borne pathogens [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Hyperglycemia or Hypoglycemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Inform patients that hypoglycemia is the most common adverse reaction with insulin. Inform patients of the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Inform patients that the ability to concentrate and react may be impaired as a result of hypoglycemia. This may present a risk in situations where these abilities are especially important, such as driving or operating other machinery. Advise patients who have frequent hypoglycemia or reduced or absent warning signs of hypoglycemia to use caution when driving or operating machinery

Advise patients that changes in insulin regimen can predispose to hyperor hypoglycemia.

Advise patients that changes in insulin regimen should be made under close medical supervision.

Medications Errors


Instruct patients to always check the insulin label before each injection.



Advise patients that LANTUS must NOT be diluted or mixed with any other insulin or solution and that LANTUS must only be used if the solution is clear and colorless with no particles visible.

Management of Hypoglycemia and handling of Special Situations

Instruct patients on self-management procedures including glucose monitoring, proper injection technique, and management of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.

Instruct patients on handling of special situations such as intercurrent conditions (illness, stress, or emotional disturbances), an inadequate or skipped insulin dose, inadvertent administration of an increased insulin dose, inadequate food intake, and skipped meals.


Advise patients to inform their health care professional if they are pregnant or are contemplating pregnancy.

Refer patients to the LANTUS "Patient Information" for additional information about the potential side effects of insulin therapy, including lipodystrophy (and the need to rotate injection sites within the same body region), weight gain, allergic reactions, and hypoglycemia.

FDA Approved Patient Labeling


Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

In mice and rats, standard two-year carcinogenicity studies with insulin glargine were performed at doses up to 0.455 mg/kg, which was for the rat approximately 10 times and for the mouse approximately 5 times the recommended human subcutaneous starting dose of 10 Units/day (0.008 mg/kg/day), based on mg/m2 . The findings in female mice were not conclusive due to excessive mortality in all dose groups during the study. Histiocytomas were found at injection sites in male rats (statistically significant) and male mice (not statistically significant) in acid vehicle containing groups. These tumors were not found in female animals, in saline control, or insulin comparator groups using a different vehicle. The relevance of these findings to humans is unknown.

Insulin glargine was not mutagenic in tests for detection of gene mutations in bacteria and mammalian cells (Ames- and HGPRT-test) and in tests for detection of chromosomal aberrations (cytogenetics in vitro in V79 cells and in vivo in Chinese hamsters).

In a combined fertility and prenatal and postnatal study in male and female rats at subcutaneous doses up to 0.36 mg/kg/day, which was approximately 7 times the recommended human subcutaneous starting dose of 10 Units/day (0.008 mg/kg/day), based on mg/m2 , maternal toxicity due to dose-dependent hypoglycemia, including some deaths, was observed. Consequently, a reduction of the rearing rate occurred in the high-dose group only. Similar effects were observed with NPH insulin.

Use In Specific Populations


There are no well-controlled clinical studies of the use of LANTUS in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defects, loss, or other adverse outcome regardless of drug exposure. This background risk is increased in pregnancies complicated by hyperglycemia and may be decreased with good metabolic control. It is essential for patients with diabetes or history of gestational diabetes to maintain good metabolic control before conception and throughout pregnancy. In patients with diabetes or gestational diabetes, insulin requirements may decrease during the first trimester, generally increase during the second trimester, and rapidly decline after delivery. Careful monitoring of glucose control is essential in these patients. Therefore, female patients should be advised to tell their physicians if they intend to become, or if they become pregnant while taking LANTUS.

Subcutaneous reproduction and teratology studies have been performed with insulin glargine and regular human insulin in rats and Himalayan rabbits. Insulin glargine was given to female rats before mating, during mating, and throughout pregnancy at doses up to 0.36 mg/kg/day, which is approximately 7 times the recommended human subcutaneous starting dose of 10 Units/day (0.008 mg/kg/day), based on mg/m2 . In rabbits, doses of 0.072 mg/kg/day, which is approximately 2 times the recommended human subcutaneous starting dose of 10 Units/day (0.008 mg/kg/day), based on mg/m2 , were administered during organogenesis. The effects of insulin glargine did not generally differ from those observed with regular human insulin in rats or rabbits. However, in rabbits, five fetuses from two litters of the high-dose group exhibited dilation of the cerebral ventricles. Fertility and early embryonic development appeared normal.

Nursing Mothers

Endogenous insulin is present in human milk; it is unknown whether insulin glargine is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs, including human insulin, are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when LANTUS is administered to a nursing woman. Use of LANTUS is compatible with breastfeeding, but women with diabetes who are lactating may require adjustments of their insulin doses.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of LANTUS have been established in pediatric patients (age 6 to 15 years) with type 1 diabetes [see Clinical Studies]. The safety and effectiveness of LANTUS in pediatric patients younger than 6 years of age with type 1 diabetes and pediatric patients with type 2 diabetes have not been established.

The dosage recommendation when changing to LANTUS in pediatric patients (age 6 to 15 years) with type 1 diabetes is the same as that described for adults [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and Clinical Studies]. As in adults, the dosage of LANTUS must be individualized in pediatric patients (age 6 to 15 years) with type 1 diabetes based on metabolic needs and frequent monitoring of blood glucose.

In the pediatric clinical trial, pediatric patients (age 6 to 15 years) with type 1 diabetes had a higher incidence of severe symptomatic hypoglycemia compared to the adults in trials with type 1 diabetes [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Geriatric Use

Of the total number of subjects in controlled clinical studies of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, who were treated with LANTUS, 15% were =65 years of age and 2% were =75 years of age. The only difference in safety or effectiveness in the subpopulation of patients =65 years of age compared to the entire study population was a higher incidence of cardiovascular events typically seen in an older population in the LANTUS and NPH treatment groups.

Nevertheless, caution should be exercised when LANTUS is administered to geriatric patients. In elderly patients with diabetes, the initial dosing, dose increments, and maintenance dosage should be conservative to avoid hypoglycemic reactions. Hypoglycemia may be difficult to recognize in the elderly.

Hepatic Impairment

The effect of hepatic impairment on the pharmacokinetics of LANTUS has not been studied. Frequent glucose monitoring and dose adjustment may be necessary for LANTUS in patients with hepatic impairment [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Renal Impairment

The effect of renal impairment on the pharmacokinetics of LANTUS has not been studied. Some studies with human insulin have shown increased circulating levels of insulin in patients with renal failure. Frequent glucose monitoring and dose adjustment may be necessary for LANTUS in patients with renal impairment [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].


In controlled clinical trials, subgroup analyses based on BMI did not show differences in safety and efficacy between LANTUS and NPH.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 8/1/2016


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