The pharmaceutical market is rapidly expanding with many new brand names for insulin medications. Being constantly dependent on this hormone, people with diabetes are looking and comparing different brands in terms of effectiveness, effect duration, safety, and of course, price.
One of the most frequently hesitating drugs are Tresiba and Lantus. In this article, we will find out how they are different and the same, which one is safer, how they interact with other medications. Keep on reading!
Lantus is a medication to control blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2. The active substance in Lantus is insulin glargine which is an analog to the human insulin hormone. The medication belongs to the category of basal or, in other words, long-acting insulins. What does it mean? Insulin glargine takes a longer time to start acting, has no noticeable peak of action, and remain effective in controlling glucose levels for up to 12 hours. The main benefit of this medication is that you inject Lantus just once in the day, and there is no need for repeated injections after each meal, compared to the short-acting and intermediate-acting insulin drugs.
Tresiba is another basal insulin medication. It is based on insulin degludec, which is effective both for diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2. Belonging to long-acting insulins, Tresiba provides almost twice a longer duration (compared to Lantus) of effect to control blood glucose levels, which in separate cases may reach 25 hours with no obvious peak. It means it should also be administered only once in 24 hours, providing constant blood sugar control.
Both Tresiba and Lantus are prescription medicines, meaning you cannot buy any of them in online or offline pharmacies without a prescription from your doctor. They are also liquid solutions for subcutaneous injections.
While comparing Tresiba and Lantus in terms of effectiveness, it is important to look at 1) the overall glycemic control, 2) a decrease in blood sugar levels, and 3) the chances of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) occurrence.
The studies conducted in 2018 and 2019 that examined cases more than in 16 000 patients found out that the overall impact of both Tresiba and Lantus on blood glucose is approximately the same. However, insulin degludec in Tresiba caused a larger decrease in blood sugar compared to insulin glargine in Lantus.
At the same time, the development of low blood sugar conditions and especially severe hypoglycemia is much less common in patients taking Tresiba for high blood sugar regulation. This is one of the leading reasons why people with diabetes may prefer Tresiba over Lantus. However, you cannot switch from one insulin type to another without previous consultation with the therapist. It can be health- or even life-threatening.
The most common and dangerous among all possible side effects is hypoglycemia. It concerns all known insulin drugs and not just Tresiba and Lantus. This condition may occur when the level of insulin hormone exceeds the current level of glucose. The patient may experience weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, blurred vision. In more severe cases, hypoglycemia may lead to loss of consciousness and even reanimation.
It depends on the general insulin treatment, as taking any rapid- or short-acting insulin medications increase the chances of getting hypoglycemia. To prevent and avoid low blood sugar, all people with diabetes should know how to monitor their blood glucose level and be aware of the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and how they can quickly raise blood glucose.
With both medications, the patients may observe other local injection site reactions such as pain, swelling, redness, itching, and sometimes bruising. The most common areas for insulin treatment are arms, abdomen, and thighs, which the patient should switch from time to time to avoid adverse effects and allergic reactions.
Very often, diabetes treatment includes more than one insulin treatment to control blood sugar levels. Thus, based on long-acting insulins such as Tresiba or Lantus, the doctor may prescribe some rapid-acting insulin for immediate lowering of glucose in the blood after a meal. However, in combination, if the insulin dose is too strong, they may lead to hypoglycemia.
That is why the patient should compulsorily consult with the doctor about the dosing regimen of Tresiba or Lantus and any additional glycemic treatment. Any medical conditions, for example, pregnancy and breastfeeding, changes in the diet and physical activity, lifestyle, may also require the corresponding dosing adjustment for adequate glycemic control during diabetes.
Tresiba and Lantus are effective for diabetes mellitus treatment and are popular among many patients. They both belong to the group of long-acting or basal insulins that should be injected just once a day that greatly simplifies medical care for people diagnosed with diabetes mellitus type 1 or 2 as you do not have to worry that you will forget to inject your medication before the meal.
Their characteristics are quite close regarding the overall effectiveness, duration of effect, and side effects. Nevertheless, Tresiba is sometimes more preferable by a group of doctors and patients as it is less likely to cause low blood glucose, also known as hypoglycemia. However, this fact does not mean that you should choose Tresiba. The choice of appropriate medicine for your diabetes should be made together with a doctor after a careful medical examination and all needed tests.
This article is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a basis for diabetes diagnosis and/or medical prescriptions. Please consult with your doctor regarding switching to Tresiba or Lantus insulin.
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