Apidra

Generic Name: Insulin Glulisine, rDNA

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Apidra is a rapid-acting insulin used to control high blood sugar in people with diabetes. Apidra is available as a cartridge for use in the OptiClik device, a prefilled SoloStar pen, and vials.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Your body needs insulin to turn sugar into energy. Diabetes develops when your body does not make enough insulin or does not properly use the insulin it makes. Apidra may help control your blood sugar levels by allowing blood sugar to move from your bloodstream into your cells for energy.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Lowering your blood sugar to a normal level may prevent or delay potential complications associated with diabetes, such as blindness, kidney failure, or heart problems. Apidra works by controlling the rise in blood sugar when you eat. Using mealtime insulin in combination with a long- or an intermediate-acting insulin will help you to balance out your blood sugar throughout the day.

    When: Apidra will work quickly and may manage your blood sugar at meal time.

    How do I know it is working?

    Check your blood sugar regularly and as your healthcare provider tells you to. Your healthcare provider will also do regular blood tests to measure your blood sugar levels and your hemoglobin A1C (measures your average blood sugar levels over a 2- to 3-month period). Stay on your prescribed diet and exercise program, as this will also affect the results of your blood tests.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    More common side effects may include: low blood sugar, injection-site reactions (including redness, pain, itching, hives, or swelling).

    Symptoms of low blood sugar include: anxiety, restlessness, trouble concentrating, changes in your personality or mood, blurred vision, dizziness, shakiness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, nightmares or trouble sleeping, sweating, irritability, headache, slurred speech, fast heartbeat, unsteady walking, or tingling in your hands, feet, lips, or tongue.

    Less common side effects may include: low potassium levels in your blood, weight gain, swelling of your hands and feet, skin thickening at the injection-site.

    Serious allergic reactions with symptoms such as a rash all over your body, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, fast heartbeat, sweating, or lightheadedness.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not use Apidra if you are allergic to insulin glulisine or any of its other ingredients.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Apidra. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney or liver problems, or are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults and children ≥4 years: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you or your child, based on daily insulin requirements.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Inject Apidra exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change the amount of Apidra you inject or stop using it without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Apidra should be injected 15 minutes before a meal or 20 minutes after starting a meal. Inject Apidra under the skin of your upper arm, stomach area, or thigh; never inject it into a vein or muscle.

    If you use a pump, infuse Apidra through the skin of your stomach; do not mix it with any other insulin or liquid.

    Alternate injection sites within the same body area to prevent injection-site reactions.

    The Apidra in the pump reservoir should be changed every 48 hours.

    Only use Apidra that is clear and colorless. Do not use Apidra if it looks cloudy, colored or have particles in it.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Avoid alcohol while using Apidra.

    Avoid operating heavy machinery if you experience low blood sugar while using Apidra.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Apidra is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Apidra may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Apidra during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    It is very important to follow your insulin regimen exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not miss any doses. Ask your healthcare provider for specific instructions to follow in case you ever miss a dose of insulin.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store unopened vials and pens in a refrigerator (not the freezer), out of direct heat and sunlight. Once a vial or pen is opened and in use, it can be stored at or below room temperature for up to 28 days.

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I'm Beth Isaac, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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