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Basaglar vs Lantus

If you have diabetes, injections of insulin can help you control your blood glucose levels. However, there are many versions of insulin available and it can be difficult to understand how they differ as well as which one is right for you.

To help you better understand the range of insulins available to you, here we explain the difference between two widely prescribed long-acting insulins: Basaglar and Lantus. We will detail clearly and simply their differences and similarities, as well as how they work, their side effects and more. This should provide the basis to better understand your options.

Conditions treated by Basaglar and Lantus

Lantus and Basaglar are both types of long-acting insulin. They are prescribed to treat:

  • Type 1 and type 2 diabetes in adults
  • Type 1 diabetes in children aged six years and over

Diabetes is a group of diseases that affect your body’s ability to use a type of sugar (glucose) that the cells in your body need for energy. When you digest food and drink, glucose is released into your bloodstream. It is transported around your body in your blood so it can be taken to all the cells that need it. A hormone called insulin helps your cells absorb glucose from your blood.

Diabetes disrupts this in two main ways. Firstly, it can cause you to not produce enough insulin. Or it may cause your insulin to not work as well as it should. In both cases, this reduces how much glucose your cells can absorb and causes glucose to build up in your blood. Having high blood glucose levels can lead to serious health problems including strokes, heart disease, and organ damage.

Injecting insulin – whether Basaglar or Lantus – can help your cells absorb more glucose, lowering your blood glucose levels.

Understanding insulin and long action insulin

Insulin is a natural hormone found in your body that helps you maintain a healthy blood glucose level. It is made by a small organ in your body called your pancreas. Your pancreas secretes insulin into your bloodstream where it helps to balance your blood glucose in two ways. Insulin accompanies the glucose in your blood and helps your cells absorb it. If you have more glucose in your blood than your cells need, insulin also signals to your liver to absorb and store the excess glucose so it can be used later when your blood glucose has fallen.

As well as the insulin produced in your body, synthetic (man-made) versions of insulin are also available. These work in the same way as the insulin made by your pancreas, but they have often been designed to be shorter or longer-acting versions.

Short-acting insulins are usually injected after a meal to help your body manage the glucose released as you digest it. Long-acting insulins are usually injected once per day to help your body maintain a healthy blood glucose level throughout the day and night. Long-acting and short-acting insulins are often used together. Lantus and Basaglar are both long-acting synthetic insulins. They can be active for up to 24 hours after injecting.

What is the difference between Basaglar and Lantus?

As well as both being long-acting insulins, Lantus and Basaglar also contain the same active ingredient – a type of synthetic insulin called insulin glargine. Despite this, there are differences between them. The FDA also does not consider Basaglar and Lantus to be biosimilar (not pharmaceutically identical).

Firstly, they are made by different pharmaceutical companies. Lantus is produced by Sanofi-Aventis and Basaglar by Eli Lilly. Both medications are injected under the skin (subcutaneous injection) but are done so using different devices. Basaglar is injected using a pre-filled, self-injecting Basaglar KwikPen or Basaglar Tempo Pen. Lantus is injected using a pre-filled, self-injecting Lantus SoloStar pen or by using a standard syringe.

Perhaps the most significant difference between them is the price. The cost of each medication without insurance varies by retailer and quantity, but when comparing self-injecting pens containing equal amounts Basaglar is around 25% cheaper than Lantus.

Brand name: Basaglar Lantus
Manufacturer: Eli Lilly Sanofi-Aventis
Active ingredient: Insulin glargine Insulin glargine
Indication: Type 1 and type 2 diabetes Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
Duration of action: Up to 24 hours Up to 24 hours
Injection method: Basaglar KwikPen or Basaglar Tempo Pen Lantus SoloStar pen or a syringe
Average cost per 300 unit self-injecting pen $65.00 $85.00

How effective is Basaglar vs Lantus?

Both Lantus and Basaglar are effective treatments for type 1 and 2 diabetes. A single daily injection of either taken consistently over time can help lower your A1C (a measure of your average blood glucose level over 3 months) to safe levels.

Independent research has compared the effectiveness of Basaglar vs Lantus and found both of them to be equally effective. In a 1-year study of 535 patients with type 1 diabetes, Lantus and Basaglar caused equivalent drops in blood glucose levels. In another 24-week study of 756 patients with type 2 diabetes, Lantus and Basaglar were again found to cause equal falls in average blood glucose levels.

Basaglar vs Lantus side effects

All medications can cause side effects. And the side effects caused by Lantus and Basaglar were found to be similar in clinical trials. When either medication causes side effects these are the most common:

Basaglar

  • Reactions at the site of injection: itching, rashes, skin thickening or pits forming in your skin (lipodystrophy)
  • Allergic reactions
  • Weight gain
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
Lantus

  • Reactions at the site of injection: itching, rashes, skin thickening or pits forming in your skin (lipodystrophy)
  • Allergic reactions
  • Weight gain
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

Lantus and Basaglar can also cause more serious side effects. These are not as common, but they can include:

Basaglar

  • Heart failure (more likely if used alongside a thiazolidinedione diabetes medication)
  • Severe allergic reactions to the medication that can cause anaphylaxis
  • Your blood sugar falling too low to dangerous levels (hypoglycemia)
  • Low potassium levels in your blood (hypokalemia)
Lantus

  • Heart failure (more likely if used alongside a thiazolidinedione diabetes medication)
  • Severe allergic reactions to the medication that can cause anaphylaxis
  • Your blood sugar falling too low to dangerous levels (hypoglycemia)
  • Low potassium levels in your blood (hypokalemia)

Basaglar vs Lantus drug interactions

When you are taking more than one medication they can interact together. This means that their effectiveness may change and some side effects could become more likely. If you take either Basaglar or Lantus you should avoid the following medications:

Basaglar

  • Thiazolidinedione medications (TZDs), taken to treat diabetes
  • Any other diabetes medications
  • Beta-blockers, taken to treat high blood pressure
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, taken to treat high blood pressure and certain heart conditions
  • Diuretics, taken to make you lose water and salt, usually taken to treat high blood pressure
  • Clonidine, taken to treat a range of conditions including high blood pressure, ADHD, drug withdrawal, menopausal flushing and certain pain conditions
  • Fibrates, taken to lower blood triglyceride levels
  • Corticosteroids such as cortisone
  • Protease inhibitors, taken for HIV/AIDS
  • Thyroid hormones, taken to treat thyroid gland disorders
  • Pentamidine, an antimicrobial medication
  • Sulfonamide antibiotics
Lantus

  • Thiazolidinedione medications (TZDs), taken to treat diabetes
  • Any other diabetes medications
  • Beta-blockers, taken to treat high blood pressure
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, taken to treat high blood pressure and certain heart conditions
  • Guanethidine and reserpine, taken to treat high blood pressure
  • Diuretics, taken to make you lose water and salt, usually taken to treat high blood pressure
  • Clonidine, taken to treat a range of conditions including high blood pressure, ADHD, drug withdrawal, menopausal flushing and certain pain conditions
  • Fibrates, taken to lower blood triglyceride levels
  • Corticosteroids such as cortisone
  • Protease inhibitors, taken for HIV/AIDS

Basaglar vs Lantus warnings

Basaglar and Lantus are not always suitable for everyone and both carry similar warnings. You should not use either medication if you:

Basaglar

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient insulin glargine
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Basaglar
  • Are under 18 years of age for type 2 diabetes
  • Are under six years of age for type 1 diabetes
  • Have diabetic ketoacidosis – a condition where high blood sugar causes high levels of ketones to build up in your body
Lantus

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient insulin glargine
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Lantus
  • Are under 18 years of age for type 2 diabetes
  • Are under six years of age for type 1 diabetes
  • Have diabetic ketoacidosis – a condition where high blood sugar causes high levels of ketones to build up in your body

You should talk to your doctor before using Basaglar or Lantus if you:

Basaglar

  • Are taking any of the medications that could interact with Basaglar
  • Have any heart problems
  • Have any have liver or kidney problems
  • Have low levels of potassium in your blood
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed
  • Are over 65 years of age
Lantus

  • Are taking any of the medications that could interact with Lantus
  • Have any heart problems
  • Have any have liver or kidney problems
  • Have low levels of potassium in your blood
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed
  • Are over 65 years of age

Basaglar and Lantus cost comparison

Based on average prices Basaglar is generally cheaper than Lantus. For example, a pack of 5, 300 unit Lantus SoloStar self-injecting pens costs around $425, while the equivalent Basaglar KwikPen self-injecting pens cost around $326. This makes Basaglar around 25% cheaper than Lantus on average.

If you have insurance the cost for either medication will depend on the details of your healthcare plan. Contact your pharmacist or insurance provider to calculate your copay with your current insurance.

If you are approved for Lantus or Basaglar assistance through NiceRx you could get your prescription for only $49 per month. We may be able to help you even if you have insurance. Fill in our online enrollment application to find out more.

Basaglar vs Lantus FAQs

Is Basaglar the same as Lantus?

Basaglar and Lantus are both long-acting insulins that contain the same active ingredient (insulin glargine) and work in a similar way. However, the FDA does not consider them to be biosimilar and there are differences between them, such as the method of injection and the cost of each medication.

Are Lantus and Basaglar interchangeable?

Although Lantus and Basaglar are similar insulin medications, they are not interchangeable. If your doctor has prescribed either Lantus or Basaglar to you, you should take the one prescribed and not use them interchangeably.

What insulin is better than Lantus?

No single type of insulin is better than all others. The insulin that is best for you will depend on your needs and how you react to different types of insulin. Other long-acting insulins available include Toujeo, Levemir and Tresiba. Differences in these insulins may mean they work better for different people, but your doctor will assess your needs and prescribe the most suitable insulin for you. Talk to your doctor about your insulin options.

Is Basaglar a good insulin?

Basaglar is an effective long-acting insulin that is safe for most people to use. However, medications affect people differently and can cause side effects in some people. The side effects caused by Basaglar tend to be mild, but in rarer instances, they can be more serious. If you have side effects from using Basaglar your doctor may switch you to an alternative long-acting insulin.

Is Lantus SoloStar the same as Lantus?

Lantus is the brand name of a prescription insulin medication. Lantus SoloStar is the device you use to inject that medication under your skin – it is a self-injecting pre-filled injection pen that contains Lantus. So yes, whether you see the word Lantus or Lantus SoloStar, it is the same medication.

Is Basaglar cheaper than Lantus?

Yes. Generally, Basaglar is cheaper than Lantus. The price of both medications will vary by retailer and will depend on the amount you need.  Typically an equivalent amount of Basaglar will be around 25% cheaper than Lantus.

Basaglar and Lantus are similar diabetes medications with the same active ingredient, but there are key differences between them. If you have been prescribed either Lantus or Basaglar you may be able to receive your insulin for $49 per month with NiceRx. Complete our online enrollment application to find out if you are eligible for Basaglar or Lantus assistance.

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