Lantus Side Effects
Lantus is a prescription strength medication that has success in regulating the insulin of diabetes patients, but it also has a variety of side effects. These side effects are most likely common, and they can include confusion, irritability, and headache. However, serious side effects may also be experienced, most of which are associated with an allergic reaction. Special populations are also cautioned about use of Lantus, as side effects can be more prevalent when Lantus is taken by pregnant women or elderly patients. Information about these Lantus side effects and usage is discussed below.
Common Lantus Side Effects
Lantus side effects can vary depending on whether the patient is experiencing low blood sugar or high blood sugar.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) symptoms when taking Lantus may include:
- Shaking / Fast Heartbeat
- Blurred vision
Too little insulin can cause a condition known as hyperglycemia or high blood sugar. Symptoms of high blood sugar when taking Lantus may include:
- Dry mouth
- Fruity breath
- Dry skin
- Stomach ache
- Loss of appetite
- Unusual thirst
- Frequent urination
Lantus may also cause lower levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalemia). Symptoms of this include:
- muscle weakness
- muscle cramps
- muscle aches and pains
- irregular heartbeat
Additionally, patients may also experience pain, swelling and/or itching at the injection site. These side effects will typically subside after a few days.
Serious Lantus Side Effects
Some of the most frequently experienced serious side effects of Lantus are due to an allergic reaction to this medication. If this occurs, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Some of the most common serious side effects include:
- Swelling of the skin
- Swelling of the tongue, lips, face, and mouth
- Tightness in the chest
- Difficulty breathing
Lantus injections can also cause the body to produce antibodies to insulin, and this can change the efficiency of the body in making use of injected insulin. This could in turn cause blood sugar levels to either become too high or too low, which could require modification in terms of dosage.
Other medications that can be found in prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, herbal products, or vitamins, can also decease or increase the effects of Lantus on lowering blood sugar. These medications should not be started without the advice of a doctor.
Lantus In Elderly Patients
Elderly patients using Lantus are likely to experience the same Lantus side effects as younger patients. However, a difference in effectiveness and safety has been noted in patients over the age of 65. Patients in this age group that use Lantus see a higher incidence of cardiovascular events. Caution should be used with prescribing Lantus to elderly patients. Conservative dosages of the medication should be used in order to avoid hypoglycemic reactions, which can often be difficult to recognize in elderly patients.
Lantus has been extremely successful in the regulation of blood sugar, but this medication also has a history of causing side effects in patients. Common side effects are not a cause for concern unless they fail to go away or worsen, but serious side effects and allergic reactions may also occur. These side effects can be more prevalent when this medication is used by elderly patients or pregnant women, and alcohol can also cause side effects in patients with diabetes that are using it to control their blood pressure. Additionally, Lantus users should be sure to discuss the other medications they are taking and any other health concerns before using this medication, as other drugs and medical conditions can also influence the efficiency of the drug.