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Insulin glulisine (Injection)

Insulin Glulisine (IN-su-lin GLOO-lis-een)

Treats diabetes mellitus.

Brand Name(s):

Apidra, Apidra Solostar

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use this medicine if you had an allergic reaction to insulin glulisine or while your blood sugar level is low.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin using a syringe or an insulin pump. It may also be given through a needle placed into a vein.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • You may be taught how to use a regular syringe or another insulin delivery device. Make sure you understand all the instructions for your device before you use it.
  • Use this medicine about 15 minutes before you eat or within 20 minutes after you start a meal. Talk with your doctor about your personal schedule, because your needs may be different.
  • Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
  • Use only syringes that are made for insulin. Some insulin must be used with a specific type of syringe or needle. Ask your pharmacist if you are not sure which one to use.
  • Insulin pump: Change the insulin and the infusion set at least every 48 hours, or any time that the insulin is over 98.6 degrees. Do not mix this insulin with any other insulin. Always follow the pump instructions for your specific brand of insulin.
  • The medicine should look clear and colorless before you use it. Do not use this medicine if it is cloudy or thick.
  • Always remove the needle after each injection. Do not store the pen with a needle attached.
  • When you get a new supply of insulin, check the label to be sure it is the correct type. Do not change brands unless your doctor tells you to.
  • Missed dose:Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
  • New, unused medicine: Store the unused insulin vials, cartridges, or SoloSTAR® pen in the refrigerator. Protect from light. Do not freeze.
  • Medicine that is currently being used:
    • Vials: Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature in a cool place, away from sunlight and heat. Use within 28 days.
    • Cartridge or SoloStar® prefilled pen: Store at room temperature, away from direct heat and light. Do not refrigerate. Throw away any opened cartridge or prefilled pen after 28 days.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some foods and medicines can affect how insulin glulisine works. Tell your doctor if you are using aspirin, clonidine, danazol, disopyramide, fluoxetine, guanethidine, isoniazid, lithium, niacin, pentamidine, pentoxifylline, pramlintide, propoxyphene, reserpine, somatropin, terbutaline, a diuretic (water pill), medicine for HIV or AIDS (such as ritonavir), a sulfa antibiotic, a steroid (such as hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisone), a phenothiazine medicine (such as promethazine), a beta-blocker or ACE inhibitor medicine (for blood pressure or heart problems), a fibrate medicine to lower cholesterol, an MAO inhibitor (MAOI), thyroid medicine, estrogen, or birth control pills.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or any kind of infection or stress.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Low blood sugar
    • Low potassium levels in the blood
  • Never share insulin pens or cartridges with anyone. Shared needles or pens can pass viruses or other illnesses from one person to another.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, uneven heartbeat
  • Headache, lightheadedness, dizziness, or drowsiness
  • Hunger, trembling, or increased thirst
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet, vision changes
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Cough, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat
  • Redness, itching, swelling, or any changes in your skin where the shot was given

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2014

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