What is Insulin Glargine Used for and What are Its Side Effects?
What is insulin glargine?
It is a long-acting insulin analog that is manufactured by chemically modifying the structure of the regular human insulin. Due to this modification, it begins to precipitate from a soluble solution when injected into fat tissues. The precipitation is why insulin glargine is so useful. It contributes to the delay in action and it is able to release insulin at a consistent rate for at least 24 hours, which allows for a convenient once-daily administration.
What is insulin glargine used for?
Insulin glargine functions similarly to regular human insulin, as it can increase the sugar uptake of muscles, and fat cells, and reduce the sugar production by the liver. It is used mainly for patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus, and also for neonates (babies less than 4 weeks old) with diabetes mellitus. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas to help regulate blood sugar levels. It was first discovered in 1889, and the first biosynthetic human insulin was approved by the FDA in 1982.
It closely resembles the natural rate of insulin secretion of the human body. Due to this, insulin glargine is found to have a lower risk of causing dangerously low levels of blood sugar, which is more commonly known as hypoglycemia. If you experience hypoglycemia, you may experience symptoms such as tremors, fatigue, sweating, hunger, and blurry vision. This added advantage of insulin glargine is crucial in the treatment plan of some patients. Additionally, due to the constant release of insulin glargine, cases of severe hypoglycemia are also reduced.