I Forgot to Take My Lantus Last Night: Coping with a Missed Insulin Dose

Have you forgotten to take Lantus? Are you frightened about what may happen next? Hold on for a second!

First, please be absolutely sure that you did actually miss your dose. Next, please check your blood sugar level.

Lantus is a long-acting insulin. If you remember soon after forgetting a dose, you can take that dose immediately. Since it is long-acting, make sure that the time between doses is at least 8-9 hours, or the timing that your doctor recommends.

Is it ok to miss the dose? Does it affect me if I forget to take my Lantus shot? What could be the consequences? How can you remember to take Lantus on time? If these things keep your mind spinning, keep reading!

Table of Content

Is it Ok To Miss a Dose of Insulin (Lantus)?

Having said that, we all forget. It’s human nature. So, we understand that people will miss doses. However, people who are insulin-dependent diabetics quite literally depend on their insulin. It is a life-saving medication for them, because people cannot live without insulin.

Lantus

So if you do forget, it is important to take your prescribed dose as soon as you remember. Be careful that you do not double the dose to make up for the missed one.

You are taking insulin to keep the sugar spike in your blood under control. When you miss a dose, the sugar level rises in your blood. In medical terms, this is called hyperglycemia. If you miss a dose of Lantus, you may develop symptoms of hyperglycemia.

The best approach, in that case, is to consult with your healthcare provider immediately. He or she can advise you on the appropriate next steps.

In general, if you ever have a question about your insulin dosing, and whether or not you should alter your dose, please contact your medical team immediately. They can give you recommendations that will help prevent either hyper-or hypoglycemia.

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What Happens if You Miss An Insulin Dose?

You may experience the following symptoms if you miss an insulin dose:

In the case of mild-moderate hyperglycemia, the symptoms are:

  • Increased thirst and appetite
  • Increased urination
  • Drowsiness
  • Blurring of vision
  • Flushing of face
  • Increased level of glucose and ketones in the urine

Others,

  • Fast pulse
  • Heavy Breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of consciousness

In case of severe hyperglycemia, the symptoms are:

  • Fast pulse
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe hyperglycemia
  • Unconsciousness and even death

Things Not to Do After Missing A Dose of Insulin

Some diabetic patients may panic and take a double-dose insulin to “make up for” the missed dose. This can lead to hypoglycemia – which can also be a life-threatening condition! So, be careful. Please refer to any instructions your physician provided you regarding what to do in the event of a missed dose.

Apart from that, a diabetic should not do the following thing if he or she misses a dose:

  • Neglecting to consult with his or her doctor
  • Not taking any dose before going to bed
  • Hiding the fact from family members or caregivers. Alerting a family member is helpful, because that person can look out for symptoms of hyper- or hypoglycemia which the patient may not be able to recognize.

What Happens To A Diabetic in Case of a Missed Lantus Dose?

Diabetes TypeEffects of Missed Lantus Dose
Type 1 DiabetesHyperglycemia (Due to lack of insulin, blood sugar level rises above the normal range)Ketoacidosis (Insulin helps glucose enter the body’s cells. When there is no insulin present, the cells are deprived of energy. To compensate for that, cells use fat for energy, which is broken down into ketones in the liver.)
Type 2 DiabetesHyperglycemia Ketoacidosis

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Getting Back to Normal Dose of Lantus [For Type 1 Diabetes]

A person’s Lantus dosing is based on that individual’s metabolic demand, body weight, and glycemic control goal. Here, I am going to give a rough calculation of the lantus dose.  PLEASE see this as just a reference, and defer to your own physician for the proper dosing for you.

Lantus® SoloStar® pen

For type 1 diabetes, the usual range of Lantus dose is around 0.4-1 unit per kg of body weight. So, for a person weighing 60 kg (133 pounds), the typical starting daily dose will be around 24 units. This is just a rough calculation. You should consult with your healthcare provider to get the best schedule for Lantus for your unique situation.

Getting Back to Normal Dose of Lantus [For Type 2 Diabetes]

The dosage schedule for type 2 is quite distinct from type 1. Based on a body weight of 60 kg, a type 2 diabetic should receive 0.2 units per kg of Lantus, or about 12 units per day.  Again, we urge you to talk to your doctor before starting or changing any new medications, particularly insulin.

Correct Dose and Timing to Take Lantus

It’s difficult to say an exact dose of Lantus as it varies significantly from person to person. Your doctor only can suggest the correct dose by evaluating your health. Usually, they start with a lower dose. The dose may gradually increase as you work towards achieving optimal glycemic control.

You may ask how often you have to take it.  The FDA recommends taking Lantus once a day. Some individuals may need different dosing for their unique needs. Only your physician can advise you on this.

Now, what is the best time to take latus? You should try to take Lantus at a consistent time each day. This will maintain the blood sugar at as steady a level as possible.

How To Remember Taking Insulin TImely: 5 Tips!

Here, you will get some easy tips to remember taking insulin on time.

Tip 1:

You can use sticky notes and attach them to the most common places in your home or work. Or, you can maintain a task list where you will tick a mark after every time getting the shot.  

Tip 2:

Take insulin at a consistent time every day. Try to make it part of another daily habit such as brushing your teeth each evening.

Tip 3:

Set an alarm 

Tip 4:

Accept help from your partner or other family members to remind you about this. 

FAQs

When to take Lantus before or after a meal?

Lantus is a long-acting form of insulin. This is not the type of insulin that diabetics use in conjunction with eating carbohydrates. Lantus dosing is typically independent of meal timing.

What happens if you miss a dose of Lantus?

You will face the features of hyperglycemia & later ketoacidosis if you miss a dose. For example, you may experience:

  • Increased thirst, appetite
  • Increased urination
  • Drowsiness
  • Blurring of vision
  • Flushing of face
  • Fruity-scented breath
  • Confusion

How many doses of Lantus are normal?

Lantus is a long-acting medication, and it is typically given just one time per day.

Conclusion

I hope I have been able to answer your question of, “Is it ok if I forgot to take my Lantus shot last night?” Frankly speaking, it may cause mild to severe health issues due to hyperglycemia. But, the adverse effects may be even worse if you simply double your dose to match up the missed dose.

If such an incident happens to you, please reach out to your medical providers. They will be able to advise you about how much Lantus to take, and when, and how to continue your schedule of blood sugar monitoring and insulin dosing.

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