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August 21, 2001

Insulin Analogs

Question from New Jersey, USA:

I recently was told about the new insulin called Lantus. I am a little nervous to start my son on it because I feel it is too new to know of any serious side affects. What are the pros and cons of Lantus? How long has it been on the market?

Answer:

Lantus (insulin glargine) is a new semi-synthetic insulin. Essentially, it is regular insulin that has had some rearranging of its molecules to allow it last a long, long time. It is being touted as being the basal insulin that you can give once daily. You would still need to provide a short-acting insulin such as Regular or Humalog with meals.

Lantus has only been commercially marketed for the past year or so. There are no long-term studies in humans, and the human clinical studies did not involve children under the age of six. A major drawback is that you cannot mix it with another insulin in the same syringe. Other longer acting insulins, such as NPH, Lente, and Ultralente can be mixed with other insulins.

DS