Lantus Users Beware

Doctors Warn That Vials of Lantus May Be Confused With Rapid-Acting and Short-Acting Insulin

| Jun 1, 2002

People who inject insulin can confuse Lantus (insulin glargine) with short-acting Regular insulin or rapid-acting Humalog (insulin lispro) or NovoLog (insulin aspart) because they are all clear in color, warn doctors from the Yale University School of Medicine.

In a letter published in the February 2002 issue of Diabetes Care, Marcy A. Adlersberg, MD, and colleagues report two cases of Lantus users who injected rapid-acting Humalog instead of Lantus at bedtime. Both cases resulted in severe low blood glucose, and one user required hospitalization after nausea prevented her from ingesting enough carbohydrates to counteract falling blood-glucose levels.

Although Lantus comes in a vial that is taller and thinner than other insulin vials available in the United States and has purple print on the label to distinguish it from other insulins, the users mistook it nonetheless, the researchers note.

"We recommend that patients should be made aware of the potential danger of confusing glargine with their [rapid-acting and] short-acting insulins and educated in strategies to help avoid such accidents," they further state. "We also recommend that the manufacturer of glargine insulin, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration, consider further alternative packaging or perhaps even solution tinting to more easily distinguish it from the widely used short-acting preparations."


Clinical adviser's note: Here is one more reason that insulin pens may be "your best shot" (see "Your Best Shot?" April 2002, p. 44). Many people who inject a rapid-acting insulin analog (Humalog or NovoLog) for mealtime bolus needs use the convenient, portable, discreet insulin pen delivery systems. Many of these same people use Lantus at bedtime for their basal, background insulin needs and inject the Lantus with a traditional insulin syringe. No confusion here between the mealtime pen delivery and the bedtime vial/syringe delivery systems. But stay tuned, because Aventis, the maker of Lantus, plans to introduce a Lantus prefilled insulin pen in the future. Let's hope it will look distinctly different from all other insulin pens.

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Blood Glucose, Diabetes, Diabetes, Food, Insulin, Lantus, Pens, Syringes


Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Latest
Popular
Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Comments


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...


Username: Password:
Comment:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.