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Tresiba vs Lantus

Injectable insulin is an effective treatment for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. But with a range of insulins available, it can be difficult to understand the differences between them.

Take the example of Tresiba vs. Lantus. They are two popular long-acting insulins, but are they the same? And which one should you take? Whilst your doctor will be able to prescribe the best possible insulin for your condition, it is important to know the differences between them. To help, here we explain clearly and simply what Lantus and Tresiba are, how they work, and the similarities and differences between them.

Conditions treated by Tresiba and Lantus

Tresiba and Lantus are forms of insulin prescribed to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Specifically, they are prescribed for:

Tresiba

  • Type 1 diabetes in adults and children one year and older
  • Type 2 diabetes in adults and children one year and older

Lantus

  • Type 1 diabetes in adults and children six years and older
  • Type 2 diabetes in adults

Both Tresiba and Lantus increase how much insulin you have in your blood, allowing your cells to absorb more glucose. This in turn lowers your blood glucose level.

Understanding insulin and long acting insulin

Insulin is a natural hormone your body produces. It helps your cells absorb glucose from your blood and makes sure you maintain a healthy blood glucose level. Lantus and Tresiba are both synthetic (man-made) versions of insulin. Whilst they work in the same way as the insulin your body naturally produces, they are designed to be longer-acting.

Tresiba and Lantus are usually injected once a day to help your body maintain a healthy blood glucose level throughout the day and night. They are active for 24 hours after injecting, often for longer, depending on the dose you take.

What is the difference between Lantus and Tresiba?

Tresiba and Lantus are both long-acting insulins used to treat diabetes. The medications are similar, but there are some key differences between Lantus and Tresiba.

  • Tresiba and Lantus are both prescribed to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes in adults. Lantus has only been approved to treat type 1 diabetes in children 6 years and over, while Tresiba has been approved to treat both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children aged 1 year and older.
  • Tresiba and Lantus contain different types of insulin. Tresiba contains insulin degludec and Lantus contains insulin glargine.
  • Tresiba is longer-lasting than Lantus. Lantus typically lasts for 24 hours, but Tresiba can last up to 42 hours depending on the dose taken.
  • Lantus and Tresiba can cause similar side effects. However, research has shown Tresiba is less likely to cause hypoglycemia (when your blood glucose levels fall too low). Tresiba may be more suitable for people who are prone to hypoglycemia.
  • Although insulins can interact with similar medications, Tresiba has a longer list of medications that should be avoided.
  • Lantus is generally cheaper than Tresiba. A 10 ml, 100 unit vial of Tresiba costs approximately $363, whilst a 10 ml, 100 unit vial of Lantus costs approximately $306.

The main differences and similarities between Tresiba and Lantus are summarized in the table below:

Brand name: Tresiba Lantus
Manufacturer: Novo Nordisk Sanofi-Aventis
Active ingredient: Insulin degludec Insulin glargine
Indication: Type 1 diabetes in adults and children 1 year and older
Type 2 diabetes in adults and children 1 year and older
Type 1 diabetes in adults and children 6 years and older
Type 2 diabetes in adults
Frequency of injection Once per day Once per day
Duration of action: Up to 42 hours Up to 24 hours
Injection method: Tresiba FlexTouch Pen
Syringe
Lantus SoloStar Pen
Syringe
Average cost per 10 ml, 100 unit vial: $363 $306

How effective is Tresiba vs Lantus?

Both Lantus and Tresiba are proven to be effective treatments for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but which is the most effective?

Two reviews of the research into the effectiveness of Tresiba and Lantus (one covering 15 trials and 16,694 patients and the other covering 18 trials and 16,791 patients) found both medications reduced blood glucose by a comparable amount. Both reviews found that Tresiba was less likely to cause hypoglycemia and concluded that it may be more suitable for patients who are prone to hypoglycemia.

Tresiba vs Lantus side effects

In clinical trials, the side effects caused by Lantus and Tresiba were found to be similar. The most common include:

Tresiba

  • Reactions at the site of injection, like itching, rashes, skin thickening, or pits forming in your skin (lipodystrophy)
  • Allergic reactions
  • Weight gain
  • Swelling of your hands and feet

Lantus

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

These are not the only side effects that can be caused by Tresiba and Lantus. They can also potentially cause more serious side effects. Whilst these are rarer, they can include:

Tresiba

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

Tresiba vs Lantus drug interactions

If you take Tresiba or Lantus, you should avoid the following medications or talk to your doctor about taking them alongside your insulin. They could potentially interact with your insulin, making it less effective, and causing some side effects to be more likely and severe.

Tresiba

  • Thiazolidinedione medications (TZDs) such as pioglitazone and rosiglitazone, taken to treat diabetes
  • Any other diabetes medications – metformin, glipizide
  • Beta-blockers, taken to treat high blood pressure – propranolol, sotalol
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, taken to treat high blood pressure and certain heart conditions – captopril, enalapril
  • Guanethidine and reserpine, taken to treat high blood pressure
  • Diuretics, taken to make you lose water and salt, usually to treat high blood pressure – bumetanide, furosemide
  • Clonidine, taken to treat a range of conditions including high blood pressure
  • Corticosteroids such as cortisone and prednisolone
  • Fenofibrate, taken to lower blood triglyceride levels
  • Alcohol or any medications that contain alcohol
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers, taken to treat high blood pressure, diabetic kidney damage, and heart failure – candesartan, losartan, valsartan
  • Beta 2-stimulants, taken to treat asthma – salmeterol
  • Antidepressants, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – phenelzine, selegiline, sertraline
  • Disopyramide, taken to treat heart rhythm problems
  • Estrogen containing drugs including birth control and hormone replacements

Lantus

  • Thiazolidinedione medications (TZDs) such as pioglitazone or rosiglitazone, taken to treat diabetes
  • Any other diabetes medications – metformin, glipizide
  • Beta-blockers, taken to treat high blood pressure – propranolol, sotalol
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, taken to treat high blood pressure and certain heart conditions – captopril, enalapril
  • Guanethidine and reserpine, taken to treat high blood pressure
  • Diuretics, taken to make you lose water and salt, usually to treat high blood pressure – bumetanide, furosemide
  • Clonidine, taken to treat a range of conditions including high blood pressure
  • Corticosteroids such as cortisone and prednisolone
  • Fenofibrate, taken to lower blood triglyceride levels

Tresiba vs Lantus warnings

Tresiba and Lantus are not suitable for everyone and both carry similar warnings. You should not use Lantus or Tresiba if you:

Tresiba

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient insulin degludec
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Tresiba
  • Are under 1 year of age for type 1 diabetes
  • Are under 1 year of age for type 2 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 6 years of age for type 1 diabetes
  • Are under 18 years of age for type 2 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 Tresiba or Lantus if you:

Tresiba

  • Are taking any of the medications that could interact with Tresiba
  • If you suffer from low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed

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
  • If you suffer from low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed
  • Are over 65 years of age

Tresiba vs Lantus cost comparison

Both Lantus and Tresiba can be bought as:

  • Pre-filled self-injecting pens
  • Cartridges for use in self-injecting pens
  • Vials of insulin to be used in a syringe

The cost of Tresiba and Lantus without insurance can vary by retailer and the amount you buy. It will also depend on whether you buy pre-filled pens, cartridges, or vials. Based on average prices for a comparable amount of each medication, Lantus is generally cheaper than Tresiba:

  • A 10 ml vial of Tresiba costs approximately $363
  • A 10 ml vial of Lantus costs approximately $306

The cost of Lantus and Tresiba, if you have insurance, 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’re approved for Lantus or Tresiba 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.

Tresiba vs Lantus FAQs

Is Tresiba the same as Lantus?

Lantus and Tresiba are both long-acting insulins prescribed to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes. They can both help you manage your blood sugar level over a 24-hour period, but they are not the same insulin. They each contain a different form of insulin. Lantus contains insulin glargine and Tresiba contains insulin degludec, meaning they may affect you differently.

Can you switch from Lantus to Tresiba?

Although both Tresiba and Lantus are long-acting insulins that work similarly, they are different forms of insulin. This means that they are not interchangeable. If your doctor has prescribed either Tresiba or Lantus to you, you should take the one prescribed and not switch one for the other.

What insulin is equivalent to Tresiba?

Tresiba is a long-acting insulin that helps you manage your blood glucose throughout the day and night. Other long-acting insulins include Lantus, Levemir, Basaglar, and Toujeo. These insulins all contain a different form of insulin but work in a similar way and last for a similar amount of time.

Does Tresiba make you gain weight?

Tresiba can make you gain weight. Not everyone who takes Tresiba will gain weight, but weight gain is a common side effect of all insulins. Talk to your doctor about ways you can prevent or minimize weight gain if you have been prescribed Tresiba.

Is it safe to take Lantus and Tresiba when pregnant?

There is no conclusive research on the effects of Lantus or Tresiba on pregnant women. Insulin may affect an unborn baby, but high blood sugar levels during pregnancy are also dangerous for both the mother and baby. Insulins like Lantus or Tresiba may also lower the risk of diabetes complications. Talk to your doctor if you are taking insulin and you are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant.

Is Tresiba cheaper than Lantus?

The cost of Tresiba and Lantus will vary by retailer. Whether you buy pre-filled pens, cartridges, or vials of insulin will also affect the price. However, when comparing similar amounts and forms of Tresiba and Lantus, Tresiba is usually more expensive than Lantus.

Both Tresiba and Lantus are similar long-acting insulins used to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes. They are not the same however. With key differences between them, it is important to always take the one that has been prescribed to you.

If you would like to change for any reason you should speak to your doctor and follow their advice. If your doctor has prescribed Lantus or Tresiba to you, you may be able to receive your insulin for only $49 per month with NiceRx. Complete our online enrollment application to find out if you are eligible for Tresiba or Lantus assistance.

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