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Rev Med Liege. 2004 Feb;59(2):110-4.

[Medication of the month. Insulin glargine (Lantus)].

[Article in French]

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Université de Liège.


Insulin glargine (Lantus) is a human insulin analogue produced by recombinant DNA technology and recently launched by Aventis. Modification of the human insulin molecule at position A21 and at the C-terminus of the B-chain results in the formation of a stable compound that is soluble at pH 4.0, but forms amorphous microprecipitates in subcutaneous tissue (pH > 7,4) from which small amounts of insulin glargine are gradually released. The plasma concentration versus time profile of insulin glargine is therefore relatively constant over 24 hours as compared to conventional human insulins, especially NPH. This allows once-daily injection as basal insulin therapy, at any moment of the clock time (but if possible at the same time from day to day). Reproducibility of plasma insulin levels is also improved with insulin glargine as compared to human NPH insulin. Insulin glargine administration should be combined to rapid insulin injections, before each meal in order to control postprandial hyperglycaemia, or with oral antidiabetic agents in type 2 diabetes. The pharmacokinetic properties of insulin glargine allow an easier titration of basal insulin dose, which should facilitate adequate blood glucose control while decreasing the risk of hypoglycaemia, especially during night time. Insulin glargine use is safe with no increased antigenicity, immunogenicity or mitogenicity reactions as compared to human insulin. Optimal use of this new insulin analogue should be integrated in a global management of the diabetic patient as well as in a new culture of insulin therapy.

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