What are Apidra SoloSTAR Pens?
Apidra SoloSTAR Pens are disposable insulin pens pre-filled with Apidra. Apidra is the brand name of insulin glulisine, which is a rapid-acting insulin analog that is used during mealtime for the treatment of high blood sugar levels in people who have diabetes. It is injected subcutaneously (under the skin) within 15 minutes before or 20 minutes after starting a meal. This medication comed in 3 mL pens and in a package of five.
What is it used for?
Apidra SoloSTAR Pens are used for the subcutaneous injection of insulin glulisine for the control of your blood sugar during and after meals. It is a man-made rapid-acting insulin, otherwise known as a mealtime or bolus insulin. Along with regular exercise, a healthy meal plan, and an intermediate- or long-acting insulin, this medicine is shown to be helpful in reducing blood sugar levels in adults and children (6 years and older) with type 1 diabetes or adults with type 2 diabetes.
How does this insulin glulisine work?
Apidra, or insulin glulisine which is its generic name, is very similar in structure to naturally occurring human insulin and therefore it has a very similar mechanism of action in the when injected. In healthy people insulin is produced by beta cells in the pancreas. Its main job in the body is to control blood sugar levels by promoting the absorption of sugar from the blood into the cells of the liver, fat and skeletal muscle. It also blocks the production of sugar in the liver and reduces the release of sugar back into the blood stream. This allows sugar to remain in the cells of you body to be used as energy to carry out all the basic functions of life.
Insulin glulisine is a type of man-made insulin called a mealtime, or bolus insulin which is developed to help protect you against the blood sugar spiked seen after and during meals. It has a rapid onset of about 15 minutes and a duration of action of about four hours. This allows greater flexibility for your mealtimes, so you don’t have to wait a long time for your insulin to start working before eating.
The pen is comes pre-filled and is disposable after it is finished. Each pen contains multiple doses of insulin glulisine and you can set your doses from 1 to 80 units in steps of one unit. Each pen contains multiple doses. Once opened, your pen can be used for up to 28 days unrefrigerated.
Common negative effects may include:
- Less common negative effects may include:
- Injection site reactions
- Weight gain
- Allergic reaction
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is the most common side effect of insulin therapy and also with Apidra. You should educate yourself on how to recognize and manage low blood sugar events. Severe drops in your blood sugar level may cause to unconsciousness, seizures and lead to temporary or permanent problems with brain function and even death.
Long-term use of Apidra can lead to a condition called lipodystrophy. The repeated injection of insulin into a particular site on the body can lead to either lipohypertrophy which is the thickening of fat tissue around the injection site, or lipoatrophy, which is the thinning of fat tissue around the injection site. Always remember to rotate your insulin injection sites within the same region to reduce the risk of these skin site issues.
All insulin products, including this, cause a change in potassium (K+) levels which can possibly leading to hypokalemia. If untreated hypokalemia can cause respiratory paralysis, ventricular arrhythmia, and death.
Weight gain can also occur with insulin therapy. This can occur because insulin plays a role in anabolism, which is the body creating larger more complex molecules from smaller ones. Insulin can also decrease the elimination of sugar through the urine which can contribute to weight gain as well.
Edema is the swelling caused by fluid and sodium retention and may occur with your insulin therapy. It can occur in any part of your body however it is most noticeable in the legs and arms, including the ankle, hands, and feet.
A severe, generalized allergy, which includes anaphylaxis can occur with any insulin, including Apidra. You may be experiencing a serious allergic reaction, otherwise known as a whole body reaction if you begin to develop a rash over your entire body, your heart starts beating very fast, have trouble breathing or begin sweating. Get help immediately if you have any of these side-effects.
How to take this medication
For a mealtime insulin like Apidra you may need to do multiple daily injections, so knowing how to properly take it is very important. Remember to always follow your doctor’s advice and consult with them before you make any changes to your insulin dose and schedule.
- Do not share injection pens, cartridges, needles or syringes with anyone even if the needle on the injection pen is changed
- Always attach a new needle before each use
- Do not select a dose and press the injection button without a needle attached
- Always perform the safety test before each injection
- If your injection is given to you by another person, they must take special caution to avoid any accidental needle injury and transmission of infection
- Never use your SoloSTAR pen if it is damaged or if you are not sure if it is working properly
- Always have a spare SoloSTAR pen just in case yours is damaged or lost
The dosage of this medication must be individualized and blood sugar level monitoring is essential for anyone receiving any type of insulin therapy.
Apidra is given by subcutaneous injection into the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. Injection sites should be changed within the same region from one injection to the next to help decrease the risk of lipodystrophy.
Aprida is a rapid-acting mealtime insulin which means it should be given within 15 minutes before the start of a meal or within 20 minutes after you started the meal. It is typically be used in regimens along with an intermediate-acting or long-acting insulin to provide you with insulin coverage for the entire day.
Your total daily insulin requirement may vary but is usually between 0.5 to 1 Unit/kg daily. Your insulin requirements may have to be changed during stress, major illness, or with changes in exercise, meal patterns, or with any co-administered drugs.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not take it:
- If you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Apidra
- When your blood sugar is too low
Tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
- Have kidney or liver problems
- Are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- Have heart failure or other heart problems
- Are taking drugs called TZDs (thiazolidinediones)
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