Lantus Insulin side effects

About a year ago I started experiencing episodes of hypoglycemia immediately after taking Lantus in the morning. I aspirate to make sure I have not injected in blood. But quite frequently, these episodes occur. There is a feeling of adrenalin rush almost immediately when I take the insulin, sometimes a few minutes afterward and then my sugar crashes. Depending on how much insulin I'm taking, the crashes can be severe and prolonged. I've been to the ER 6 times for this. First time this happened, I thought I took the wrong insulin (Novolog). But my two vials are kept in different areas of the frig, so that I do not mix them up by accident.
My Dr has no explanation. I have found only one incident documented online similar to what I'm experiencing.
Has any forum members had the same issues with Lantus...this has been going on for nearly a year. Three times this week alone. I need answers. I don't feel safe taking insulin at all. My dose should be around 18 units Lantus in the AM. I have to take 3 or 4 units at a time and wait to see if there will be a reaction before trying to take more. Up to five shots to get my full dose. Some days this is okay, some days my sugars crash. I have had a couple similar incidents with Novolog, but not with the same frequency as Lantus.
Linda R
Wooster, Ohio

I had issues with Lantus, not exactly the same, but close. I had been on Lantus for about a week. I woke up one morning and couldn't stand, felt so dizzy I fell down and was not able to get up. I was also sweating. Thinking I was having a sever low, I crawled to the fridge, spilled juice everywhere (I couldn't hold it I was shaking so bad) and drank a ton of orange juice. I laid on the floor, waiting to feel better. I didn't, so I crawled to get my finger poker and was 300 (from all the juice because I was never actually low). I still couldn't stand up and was having trouble breathing.

When it all passed, I called my endo. He said I was having a protein deficiency problem and that I was more or less 'allergic' to Lantus. I immediately switched to NPH and it never happened again. Years later, when it became available, I switched to Levemir. I never had a problem on Levemir either.

Hope that's helpful. Maybe ask about Levemir if you don't think Lantus is working well for you.

What do you mean that you aspirate to avoid injecting into a vein? I don't think breathing will have any effect on whether you properly inject Lantus subcutaneously. The prescribing information is very clear, you should not inject Lantus into muscles or veins. And the reason is that when this happens Lantus is immediately released and acts as a rapid insulin, this adverse effect has been repeatedly reported.

You should carefully examine your injection technique, perhaps with your doctor or CDE. You should select injection sites with adequate subcutaneous body fat and you should pinch a safe amount to assure proper subcutaneous injection. If you feel like you have done everything correctly then perhaps you should talk to your doctor about switching insulins. It is my understanding that Levemir does not suffer from this problem (or not nearly as bad).

ps. Injection of rapid insulins such as Novolog into muscles or veins can also accelerate the action time, you can search recent discussions for Intramuscular (IM) Injections for more on that topic.

Brian, I have on many occasions aspirated and drawn back blood...thus I always check before injecting...the places on my stomach I use are always subcutaneous, not muscle. I am not making mistakes such as injecting into muscle or blood. Yet rapid absorption is occurring. I will consider the Levemir. Oddly that insulin as never been suggested to me by my Dr.
Linda R

Micarey, I can use Lantus without problems at times and other times I have what appears to be rapid absorption without cause. I don't think I could use it as long as I have without noticing whether I was allergic to it. I've been on Lantus for many years. But I will check out the Levemir.
Linda R

I also had lots of irregular absorption problems (on other insulins, not Lantus) and my doctor said it could just be because of scar tissue build up or bruising. Ask you doctor first, but maybe try injecting somewhere else like the thigh or arm.