Lantus is the most commonly prescribed insulin in the US, but with its patent set to expire in 2016, manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis has released a new alternative called Toujeo. Both Lantus and Toujeo contain the same active ingredient: the long-acting insulin glargine. Long-acting insulins are prescribed to people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to lower blood glucose levels slowly and consistently for up to 24 hours. Lantus and Toujeo are both injected subcutaneously through a special insulin pen once a day, at the same time every day.
Differences in Dosage
While Lantus and Toujeo are very similar drugs produced by the same manufacturer, there are some key differences. It important for patients to know that Toujeo and Lantus come in different strengths. Toujeo is more concentrated, with 300 units of insulin glargine per mL compared to the 100 units/mL of Lantus. This makes it a good option for patients who require a larger amount of insulin per daily dose.
Toujeo comes in a special SoloStar pen that delivers one third of the unit that patients who use Lantus get per click, meaning that if you switch from Lantus to Toujeo, your dosage (the number of clicks on the insulin pen) won’t change, even though Toujeo is more concentrated.
Similarities and Differences in Effect
Lantus and Toujeo work the same way to control blood sugar levels in adults and children with diabetes. The risk of adverse effects is relatively low for both forms, with the most common side effects being hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), allergic reactions, and injection site irritation. In clinical trials, Toujeo had slightly lower rates of hypoglycemia than Lantus, meaning that it may be a good choice for people who frequently experience low blood pressure as a result of taking Lantus. However, clinical trials also showed that Toujeo patients required more of the long-acting insulin than Lantus patients to achieve the same effect.
If you are currently taking Lantus and it has been effective for you, it may be best to stick with this insulin product. However, if you believe that the more concentrated Toujeo is a better option for controlling your blood sugar, talk to your doctor. If your doctor does decide you should make the switch, keep in mind that it will take time for your body to adjust to the new medication, and your doctor may need to make several dose adjustments before finding the dosage that’s best for your condition. You will need to monitor your glucose levels closely when switching from Lantus to Toujeo. For coupons on Toujeo, Lantus and other diabetes medications, visit our Diabetes Condition Page.