It is human to make mistakes. That applies to drug dosing as well. So, you’re not alone if you’ve taken your Lantus twice. But, should you be worried? And what happens if you take it twice? Those are the questions we’ll be answering today. So, stick around to find out.
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What Happens If You Take Lantus Twice?
The doctor told you to take Lantus only once before bedtime. However, you forgot if you’ve taken your Lantus. And when you’ve already taken that injection, you realize that you’ve taken it twice. So, what will happen now?
You may have some symptoms if you’ve taken Lantus twice. These include sweating, chills, lightheadedness, dizziness, mild confusion, anxiety, or nervousness.
If you do suffer from these symptoms, you should call your doctor or pharmacist. Also, it is essential to monitor your blood glucose repeatedly.
So, why do these happen in case of Lantus overdose? Before we tell you what happens, let’s see what exactly Lantus is and what it does.
Lantus is the trademark name of insulin glargine. It is a slow-release long-acting variety of insulin used for treating type-1 diabetes and type-2 diabetes.
Insulin glargine was among the first insulin produced through biotechnology. This drug molecule is slightly different from human insulin. It contains glycine and two arginines in other spots when compared to human insulin.
Lantus is administered subcutaneously once per day. The timing of the shots should be the same every day. You can use the fatty subcutaneous tissue for administration. They include the back of the upper arm, the outer side of the thighs, or the belly (just not around the umbilicus).
How Does Lantus work?
Lantus is a form of long-acting insulin. So, its effects are similar to that of the hormone insulin.
Your pancreas releases this hormone. There is a cluster of cells in your pancreas called islets of Langerhans. These cells secrete the hormone insulin.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when these cells can’t synthesize insulin. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body is resistant to insulin.
Effects of Lantus (insulin)
So, what does insulin, aka Lantus, do to the body? Its main functions are given below:
1. Glucose uptake:
Many cells of your body can’t take glucose on their own. Cells like fat cells, liver cells, and skeletal muscles depend on insulin for glucose intake.
Insulin opens up channels through which glucose enters into these cells. So, when insulin is taken, glucose moves from blood to these cells. And what happens if you take Lantus twice, it simply enhances the glucose intake of the cells.
2. Decrease of glucose synthesis:
In the absence of insulin, liver cells make their glucose. They do this by converting other molecules into glucose. If there’s insulin in the blood, liver cells, don’t make this glucose.
Insulin also affects other metabolic processes. It increases the synthesis of fatty acids. Insulin also inhibits the breakdown of glycogen. Thus, it decreases glucose production.
Effects of taking too much Insulin
Insulin has a variety of effects on your body. However, you’ll notice that most of these effects are aimed at one thing. And that is decreasing the blood glucose concentration.
So, the main danger of taking Lantus twice is hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is a condition where blood glucose levels are lower than normal. This can have harmful effects on your body. That is what you have to watch out for.
You can see the same outcomes if the insulin is taken directly into the vein.
Glucose is one of the primary sources of energy. The maximum of the carbs is broken down into glucose in your small intestines. It is the universal fuel for the cells of your body. So, lower glucose levels can be fatal.
Some of the prominent harmful effects of hypoglycemia are:
1. Visual disturbances:
This is one of the most common signs of hypoglycemia. The light-sensitive cells of the retina depend on glucose for their nutrition. So, with low blood glucose, they can’t function properly. So, darkening of vision and visual disturbance is a common symptom.
Such disturbance will be the first thing you will notice while querying what happens if you take Lantus twice.
2. Rapid heartbeat:
Your heart can beat faster than usual if you’re hypoglycemic. Hypoglycemia stimulates the release of adrenaline, the fight-or-flight hormone. This hormone can increase glucose levels in the blood to some degree.
However, there are other effects of this hormone. One of those is a rapid heartbeat. So, if you have low blood glucose, you can feel heart palpitations. Your pulse will be light and thready as well.
3. Pale, cold and clammy skin:
This is another effect of the hormone adrenaline. This hormone causes the blood vessels of the skin to become narrow. So, less blood flows through your skin. Thus, you’ll be cold to touch. You’ll also look paler than usual due to the low blood flow in the skin.
Another thing you’ll notice is an increase in sweating. This happens for the same reason. Adrenaline has direct effects on your sweat glands. The increased production of sweat will result in clammy skin.
4. Fatigue and hunger:
You’ll feel easily fatigued and excessively hungry. Your glucose level tells your brain if you need food or not. So, due to hypoglycemia, you’ll feel starving even though you may have eaten a lot. This low blood glucose level can make you feel fatigued as well.
5. Mental disturbances:
If you have low blood glucose, you notice some mental changes. You’ll feel nervous and anxious with sudden mood changes. All these are indicative of low blood sugar. These things happen because of the adrenaline released in response to hypoglycemia.
6. Muddled thinking and loss of consciousness:
Your brain cells are almost exclusively dependent on glucose for fuel. When there’s low blood glucose, these cells don’t have enough food to thrive. This results in loss of concentration and confusion.
If untreated, there may even be a loss of consciousness due to hypoglycemia. Your brain will shut down temporarily due to the lack of glucose. This can result in brain damage if left untreated.
Severe forms of hypoglycemia can also lead to seizures if untreated. This may be accompanied by unconsciousness as well.
8. Sleep disturbances:
Hypoglycemia can be the cause of sleep disturbance. You’ll not feel well-rested after sleep. Having nightmares is also common.
If you’ve taken Lantus twice, then you have to be careful. Look for these signs and symptoms. If you experience any of these, contact a doctor at once.
What Happens If You Take Lantus Twice? Don’t Worry
After reading about the effects of hypoglycemia, you may be worried. However, all of these may not happen to you. And even if they do, they generally aren’t very severe.
The reason is that Lantus is a long-acting insulin. It does not dissolve at normal physiological pH of 7.4. It has an isoelectric pH of 6.7. So, it crystallizes upon entry on the subcutaneous tissue where it is administered. Then, it is released slowly over time.
So, the drug gets to the bloodstream slowly. This results in a more continuous supply of insulin to your body. Thus, there is no sharp rise in insulin levels. And so, there is no sharp decline in blood glucose.
For this reason, you’ll not be severely hypoglycemic if you’ve taken Lantus twice. The extra Lantus will get to the bloodstream. So, you’ll have a prolonged but mild to moderate episode of hypoglycemia. This type of hypoglycemia isn’t life-threatening. Thus, you can rest assured.
What to do if you’ve taken Lantus twice?
Although excessive Lantus causes moderate hypoglycemia, you should still be careful becausehypoglycemia can still be dangerous. If you’ve accidentally taken Lantus twice, you follow these steps to ensure recovery:
1. Contact your physician
You should inform your doctor the moment you realize you’ve taken Lantus twice. They can assess what will happen to you depending on your dosing.
If that’s not possible, you can try contacting your nearest pharmacy. They’ll know what to do according to your condition.
2. Monitor your blood glucose constantly
You should keep a glucometer with you after you’ve overdosed on Lantus. Monitor your glucose levels after every two hours. So, you can ensure if your blood glucose doesn’t fall too low (below 70 mg/dL or 3.9 mmol/L)
As we’ve said, Lantus is long-acting. An upside to this is that you won’t have spikes of low blood glucose. There’s also a downside to this. That is, the excess Lantus will act all day.
So, if you’ve taken too much insulin, you have to be careful the entire day because the excess Lantus will cause hypoglycemia until your next dose.
Thus, you have to monitor your glucose 24 hours after Lantus administration. It’s best to stay indoors if possible. That way, you’ll not burn too much glucose and have access to food.
3. Eating carbohydrates
The best treatment for low blood glucose is to eat carbohydrates. Fast-acting carbohydrates are the best in treating hypoglycemia. It also keeps you calm when worried about what happens if you take Lantus twice.
It’s best to eat 15-20 grams of carbohydrates at once. If your symptoms are severe, you can even go up to 30 grams.
The types of food items which will work best are:
- Sugary food
- Fruit juice
- Sugary chocolates and candies
- Soft drinks like coke, sprite, etc.
- Blood sugar formula
If you have the symptoms of hypoglycemia, you should take these items. You should also take carbs in case your glucose levels are low after testing with a glucometer.
You’ll have to check your blood glucose level 15 minutes after food intake. If it’s still below normal, you have to eat 15-30 grams of carbs again.
After your blood glucose has normalized, you should try eating more often. You can increase the number of meals and snacks throughout the day. Carbohydrate-rich foods like cereals, rice, potatoes, pasta, spaghetti, etc., are helpful.
As we’ve already said, your blood glucose will be low throughout the day. So, it’s best to be careful at all times. You have to eat slightly more carbs than usual for the next 24 hours after Lantus overdose.
What do you do if you take too much Lantus?
You should contact your doctor or pharmacist if you’ve taken too much Lantus. You have to monitor your blood glucose levels every two hours. If you’re hypoglycemic, you should take fast-acting carbs to keep your glucose up.
What happens if you double up on insulin?
You may suffer from hypoglycemia if you double up on insulin. The signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia include Visual disturbances; rapid heartbeat; pale, cold, and clammy skin; fatigue and hunger; nervousness, anxiety; loss of consciousness, seizures, sleep disturbances.
Can Lantus be taken twice a day?
Lantus is generally taken only once a day. It is long-acting insulin. So, if your physician hasn’t said so, you shouldn’t take it twice a day. However, in some cases of uncontrolled diabetes, some physicians prescribe it twice a day.
How many units of Lantus is normal?
In type 2 diabetes mellitus, the starting dose is 0.2 units per kilogram of body weight. The doctor then adjusts the dose according to patient requirements. In the case of type 1 diabetes, the dose is one-third of the daily insulin requirement.
It’s not the end of the world if you’ve taken Lantus twice. You can stop worrying about what happens if you take Lantus twice.
You have to be careful for the next 24 hours if there are any overdoses of Lantus or signs of hypoglycemia. With adequate food and glucose monitoring, you can get through this effortlessly.