What Are The Common Side Effects of Insulin Use for Diabetics?

Insulin is commonly used with proper exercise and diet to regulate high blood sugar in people suffering from diabetes. Managing high blood sugar is vital to avoid blindness, kidney damage, loss of limbs, nerve issues, and sexual disorders. Proper control of diabetes is very important to reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack.

Insulin Glargine (Lantus) injection is an artificial form of hormone produced in the body to treat insulin-dependent or type 1 diabetes, or non insulin-dependent or type 2 diabetes. Insulin is taken as an alternative to the natural insulin made by the body. This short-acting insulin helps blood glucose to enter into cells so it can be used by the body for energy. It is used mainly in combination with long- or medium-acting insulin. It may be used with oral drugs for diabetes or alone.

Side Effects of Insulin Injection

Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia is the most common side effect of Insulin injection. Some of the common side effects are redness, pain, itching, swelling, or thickening of skin at the area of injection. Usually, these side effects are temporary and fade away within few days or weeks. But some of the serious side effects are –

  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Constant hunger
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Rapid breathing
  • Trouble in focus
  • Fainting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Seizure

Dosage

Insulin injection is taken under the skin once a day at the same time per day. Dose varies by the desired blood glucose levels and the individual. It may contract with beta-blockers, reserpine, albuterol, and clonidine. There are many medicines which can lower or raise the effects of insulin on controlling blood sugar.

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Inform your doctor about all the over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, and supplements you take every day. Also tell if you are pregnant or have any other condition before taking insulin.

Precautions

Make a plan to manage your blood sugar with the doctor before you plan pregnancy. The type of insulin may be changed by the doctor during pregnancy. Whether this drug passes into breast milk is still unknown. So, requirements for insulin may change while breastfeeding. Ask your doctor before starting it. If you have any of the symptoms of insulin allergy, such as wheezing, itching skin rashes over the body, fast heart rate, trouble in breathing, sweating etc, seek emergency help.

Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia is the most common side effect. If you have low blood sugar, be sure to carry glucose tablets or candy with you. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have swelling, itching, thickening, redness, or any reaction on the skin where you take insulin injection.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may vary as per how medications work or raise the risk of severe side effects. List all the products you use and talk to the pharmacist and doctor. Don’t stop, start or change the dosage of medications without approval from the doctor. Rosiglitazone is the product which may interact with insulin.

Beta-blocker medications (such as propranolol, metaprolol, and timolol) may prevent the pounding heartbeat you might feel when your blood sugar is too low. Some of the other symptoms like hunger, dizziness, or sweating are not affected by such types of drugs.

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Most drugs are likely to affect your blood sugar levels so it is very difficult to control. Before you stop, start, or change any drug, ask your doctor about how it may affect your blood sugar level. Check your blood sugar level regularly as recommended by the doctor. Speak about the results and any symptoms of low or high blood sugar to the doctor. Your doctor may adjust your medication, diet, or workout routine.

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