At a recent support group meeting, the topic was long-acting insulin glargine. During the discussion, a patient raised his hand to tell me that he had been prescribed both Lantus and Levemir, and was taking them both at night. I advised the patient that…
I advised the patient that he would not be ordered both since they were both long acting insulin. However, he insisted that he had been started on 10 units of Lantus and then 13 units of Levemir had been added, and that he had been told to take both.
After the support group meeting I called his physician and advised the staff of the patient’s medication regimen. The medical person I spoke with let me know that the patient had been switched from Lantus to Levemir due to issues with weight, and they had assumed that he understood that he should discontinue the Lantus insulin.
The doctor’s office was very appreciative of my report since the patient had been doing this for three months and was showing some low blood sugars in the morning.
When changing drug regimens make sure the patient has an understanding of what is being discontinued and what medications are being added as replacements. Having the patients write down their medication regimens is a great way to help them understand and remember exactly what changes, if any, have been made.
Jeanine Hinman, RN, CDE
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