Lantus for Emergencies

Hi All: I finally got my dr. to give me a prescription for long acting insulin. Just in case.
Never have been on any of the newer ones, only Ultralente (years ago, how many remember that one?).
Anyway, in the event of needing to ever use the stuff, how do you figure how much to use?
What’s the comparison, basal to Lantus?
Just curious.

Hi Laura. I’m not sure what you mean by “basal to Lantus”. Lantus IS a basal insulin. But I assume you mean pump to Lantus. I just started pumping in January so I can remember my basal doses pretty clearly. I had switched to Levemir which is the newer of the two basal insulins, but not terribly different. Right before I went on my pump I was taking 16 units of Levemir split in two doses. My current total basal is 10.73 so I decreased my basal by about 35% which is fairly typical. If you are getting insulin pens for your backup, don’t forget you need pen needles too.

When a lot of people start the pump, they reduce it by 25%. When I went back to MDI, I looked at the basal on my pump & added 25% to it – that worked out pretty good. Prior to going on the pump, I took Levemir 3 times a day so I added up the basals for each set of 8 hours to get the right ratios.

Thanks Zoe, for deciphering my message!
Kelly, hey you are a good one to ask!
Dr told me about what you said, so I guess that is accurate.
Your calculations have me five units below what he told me I would take.

Laura, my daughter is untethered so she gets Lantus daily. Moving from strictly doing basal through the pump to Lantus I would say err on the side of caution and reduce the Lantus by about 25% until you see how you “react.” You can always use your bolus to compensate for a high, but there’s no temp basal feature, kwim?

Before I started the pump last summer, I did a lot of reading about how they came up with your starting rates and it seemed 25% reduction was the magic number. Are you planning on splitting your Lantus dose twice a day or once?

I’m not planning to use it at all.
Just keeping the bottle in the fridge for emergencies.
Pump is going out of warranty and I dont think I can buy a new one right now.

Thanks! If needed, I was going to aim low.

It is good to have a backup plan! I hope your pump holds in there - I know you really like it.

Hey, I wish I did good on injections sometimes. I loved my insulin pens!
But for me, the main thing the pump does is let me shut down the basal insulin for exercise etc.
I’m one who never stabilizes at 100 or 90.
MY BG plummets whenever I even go shopping or walking or anything.
So the ability to turn my dose down, is the key thing I have to have.
I’ll say one thing, I used to dress up a whole lot more when I had no pump!

Wouldn’t it be the other way around, Barbara? Most people take more Lantus than they do basal rates through the pumps.

Be careful with that insulin. I used it and it crashed me down sooo hard that I almost had to give myself glucagon and had to call a neighbor over b/c I couldn’t intake anymore carbs but was still crashing. We had gone down from a 18 to 20 unit basal to 12 unit Lantus and it was the scariest thing I have ever done. I tried it 2 more times with less and the same happened both times. My hospital told me to never use it again. I had a bad reaction. I know not everyone has but when you do have to use it I would slash it by atleast 50% and give correction if you need instead of going to high. Once it’s in there is nothing you can do anymore.

Wow, makes sense to use caution doesnt it?
I would think a split dose would definitely be the way to go if needed, and even that should be kept to a minimum.
This is precisely why I need my pump!

That stuff scared me soo bad that I will NEVER take another pump vacation. lol