Lantus OptiClik versus Lantus SoloStar

Hi all,

I’ve been recently diagnosed with diabetes and my doc wants me to go on Lantus. Just one shot a day for now, until my pancreas completely gives up the goat. I’m a type 2, but my insulin production is about as low as it can go and still be in “normal” range, so I’m gearing up to a lifetime of insulin.

He’s prescribed the SoloStar for me, but after talking to my pharmacist I’m curious about the OptiClik, primarily because of costs. One solostar is $186, the similar refill for the OptiClik is $42. I don’t have a cost for the pen, but even if it’s a few hundred bucks, it’s reusable so it seems the savings would be substantial over time.

I do have insurance, but being self-employed, it’s got a very high deductible, so I’m paying for this out of pocket for at least a few months out of the year. I figured I’d need at least 4 pens a month for the dosage my doctor wants (50 units a day) so at $186/per, that adds up!

A quick web search brought up a lot of people saying they hated the OptiClik, but no real description why.

Does anyone here have experience with both? Is the OptiClik a pain or is it OK?

I’m posting this in Type 1 because it seems that there might be more people on Lantus here… but if it should be in another forum let me know!

i’ve used both, and people just like the convenience of the solostar is all. there is no difference in the insulin.

OK, thanks for the reply.

I just called and talked to the pharmacy again, and the forgot to tell me one important detail when they first gave me prices - the $180 is for 5 pens, not 1! So the prices are just about identical.

I was not looking forward to $800/month out of pocket for several months!

Dear Barbraw. Ask the pharmacy what would be the cost of a 1000 IU vial of Lantus and just use 100 IU seringes. Here it is only $62.00 in funny money ($ canadian worth 82 cents US) for 1000 units for 20 days worth. No doubt more expensive in the US but may be worth an equiry.

Hi Barbara,

I use syringes, not pens, because they’re much cheaper. Doctors love suggesting whatever is the latest from their pharm reps, which tends to be the most expensive route.

I have syringes with half units for more precision & it’s a bonus that these have shorter needles. Doesn’t hurt at all.

Next time you’re at your doctor (or stop by), ask for samples of Lantus, test strips & any other meds you take. They usually have tons of freebies.

I was on Lantus & now am on Levemir. A couple of things about Lantus that I’ve noticed. It really does lose potency after 28 days. It also doesn’t tend to last 18-20 hours for most people. If your fasting morning reading is still high after starting Lantus, talk to your doc about taking two basal doses–one in the morning & the other right before bed. Basal taken overnight only lasts 8 hours–don’t ask me why:) I suffered with horrible fasting numbers until I found out here that most people take their basal in two doses. This helped me tremendously.

Don’t know if this is true for your insurance, but Levemir was less expensive than Lantus for me. It also lasts past 28 days so this saved money, too. Lantus stings a bit, but I’ve had no problem with Levemir stinging. My endo thinks that Levemir is more stable also.

Dear Gerri.

In my case it last more than 24 hours making it unsafe to inject before bedtime. With a dose of 50 units the 28 day life time is not a problem if you buy a 1000 unit vial. Use longer needles for such a high dosage or it may bleed out more. Wait a few seconds after injection to also minimize it oozing out.

That’s a large dose. I only take 4 units in the morning & 4 units before bed. Interesting on how we’re all different. When I was taking a single basal dose, it was 10 units. I’m actually taking less with two doses. Thankfully, I never go through a whole vial before it’s time is up.

Are your fasting numbers good?

Dear Gerri.

Fasting BG ok but still a bit on the high side. Presently trying a high dosage of Lantus and minimizing the rapid insulin to see if this will help curb the uncontrollable hunger. Also restricting carbs to a very low level. Not sure if this is logical but so desperate as to be willing to try anything reasonable. Several smaller doses may be a good idea then you dont have to worry if the stuff last 18 hours or 30 hours. Also you wonder if oozing out will be reduced with a smaller dosage. I did try to see if this had an effect but cant really tell. Injections dont bother me in the least so 1, 2, 3 or 4 per day not an issue except maybe more you are likely to forget one.

Yes it is bewildering how different all of us are, no wonder the good Doctors dont give you precise instructions. My endo said injecting insulin is like driving a car, turn when you have to and dont when it is not necessary.

I don’t mind injections either. The thought of a pump, however, gives me the creeps.

Am so sorry to hear about your hunger. How awful that must be. Hoping low carb helps you. With sufficient lean protein, maybe you won’t be ravenous. How many carbs per meal are you eating?

I’m a small person, so naturally I take less insulin, but I’ve never had a problem with insulin leaking out when I was at my highest basal dose of 35 units. This was the over-the-top dosage I was told to take to when I left the hospital with their absurd ADA dietary recommendations. Still, this isn’t close what you take. Best thing for me was taking two separate doses.

Indeed, it sure does take a lot of tweaking doses & types of insulin to find what works best. And of course, just when we think we do have it semi worked out, everything changes again!