Lantus vs Toujeo: Differences, Similarities, Side Effects, Costs

Posted March 15, 2021 by Michael Chamberlain - See Editorial Guidelines

This article will discuss Lantus vs Toujeo, including some of the similarities and the differences between them, as well as how they work, and more importantly, which one is more effective 

Before we head into more details about these two drugs, let’s start with a brief summary. 

Lantus vs Toujeo: Both drugs are basal, long-lasting insulin. They are both effective in treating diabetes and can lower blood sugar levels, but there are some distinguishing factors between the two. The biggest difference is that Toujeo is highly concentrated, making injection volume much smaller than Lantus.

Now that we have looked at the short answer as to whether Lantus or Toujeo is best, let’s first take a look at an overview of each, starting with Lantus.

Overview of Lantus

Lantus vs Toujeo

Lantus is an FDA-approved drug used to control high blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes and children 6 years of age and older with type 1 diabetes. It is the brand name of insulin glargine.

Lantus begins working around four hours after injection, and it helps control blood sugar levels for up to 24 hours.

According to the Lantus dosage and administration guide, it can be administered at any time of the day, once a day. It is important for patients to inject Lantus at the same time every day to ensure constant blood sugar control.

Basaglar is a similar drug that is commonly marketed as the “cheaper alternative” to Lantus.

Overview of Toujeo

Toujeo is a long-acting man-made insulin used to control high blood sugar in adults and children 6 years of age and older with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Toujeo has two insulin pen options available. One which contains 450 units and the other larger capacity pen which has 900 units.

By using a pen with a larger capacity, depending on your daily dose and prescription insurance coverage, you may require fewer pens and fewer refills of your long-acting insulin.

Toujeo is a long-acting insulin that should be taken once daily at the same time each day. It releases gradually with no pronounced peak or wear-off between doses.

Now that we’ve looked at an overview of both Lantus and Toujeo, let’s discover more about how they work. 

How Lantus and Toujeo work

Both Lantus and Toujeo work in similar ways. 

Both these drugs are long-acting insulin. They work steadily throughout the day to help manage your blood sugar between meals and overnight. 

Like all insulins, they are designed for use as a subcutaneous injection.  

Long-acting insulin controls blood sugar for an entire day and sometimes longer, depending on insulin brand.

They do not have a peak as short-acting insulin does, which is similar to how your pancreas normally produces insulin. 

Both Lantus and Toujeo are referred to as basal or background insulins. 

Now that we understand how both Lantus and Toujeo work, we can now explore the similarities of both of these drugs, which are often prescribed for diabetics. 

Similarities between Lantus and Toujeo 

Toujeo and Lantus are manufactured by Sanofi. Both of these drugs are designed to support diabetes, and both are long-lasting human-made insulins. 

Both Lantus and Toujeo are taken once a day, and always at the same time. 

Lantus and Toujeo are not tied to mealtimes. Many taking both of these FDA-approved drugs will combine them with short-acting insulin, which controls blood sugar spikes after meals.

Neither Lantus nor Toujeo should be taken if you are allergic to the ingredients.  

Both must be refrigerated if they are unopened and not in use.

The Toujeo and Lantus pens are both called SoloStar and are designed to make dosage calculations simple.

Although we’ve discovered that both Lantus and Toujeo have many similarities, there are some differences to bear in mind. Let’s explore those in more detail. 

Differences between Lantus vs Toujeo 

One difference between these two drugs is how long they can last after they have been opened. Once Lantus is opened, it can last 28 days at room temperature. On the other hand, Toujeo can last up to 56 days after it has been opened.

Lantus is also available in vials for use with syringes; however, Toujeo is not.

The manufacturer says that injection force and duration are both lower with Toujeo than they are with Lantus.

Advantages of Lantus 

Lantus has been one of the most commonly used long-acting insulins since it became available in 2000. Toujeo is relatively new and only entered the market in 2015.

Lantus has become a popularly prescribed insulin because of its consistency, and it can help reduce nocturnal hypoglycemia.

Here’s the Lantus coupon you would need to use

Advantages of Toujeo 

With their larger capacity pens (900 units), Toujeo is more concentrated than Lantus and may be a good option for people who need higher amounts of insulin.

In fact, according to a recent study, those who use Toujeo are 60 percent less likely to have severe hypoglycemic incidents than people taking Lantus.

Toujeo may offer some advantages if you experience blood sugar fluctuations. 

Which is more effective – Lantus vs Toujeo? 

Toujeo and Lantus are two long-acting insulins that are very similar in terms of cost, effectiveness, delivery, and side effects.

While Lantus contains 100 units per milliliter, Toujeo is three times more concentrated, yielding 300 units per milliliter (U100 versus U300, respectively) of fluid.

Toujeo has a flatter glucose profile and longer duration of action than Lantus, which allows for more flexibility when timing doses.

Lantus vs Toujeo

You might also want to explore other comparisons and topics for this subject:

Lantus vs Basaglar

Toujeo vs Basaglar

Tresiba vs Levemir

Levemir vs Lantus

Why is insulin expensive

Side effects of Lantus vs Toujeo 

Both Lantus and Toujeo have similar side effects. The most common side effects of each may include:

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Weight gain
  • Injection site reactions
  • Skin thickening or pits at the injection site (lipodystrophy)

More serious side effects that either Lantus or Toujeo may cause may include:

  • Severe allergic reaction
    • Seek immediate medical attention if you begin to have signs of an allergic reaction, such as rash, trouble breathing, rapid heartbeat, or sweating.
  • Low potassium in your blood (hypokalemia)
  • Heart failure
    • Patients taking certain diabetes medications called TZDs (thiazolidinediones) with either Lantus or Toujeo may be at an increased risk of heart failure.
  • Low blood sugar
    • Hypoglycemia can be life-threatening and must be treated right away.
    • Signs may include dizziness, sweating, confusion, headache, blurred vision, slurred speech, anxiety, shaky feeling, rapid heartbeat, hunger, and irritability.

Cost of Lantus vs Toujeo

The out-of-pocket cost of Lantus is around $425 for 5 pens (300 units each) or $283 for one vial (1000 units).

The out-of-pocket cost of Toujeo is around $388 for 3 pens (450 units each) or $518 for 2 pens (900 units each).

Keep in mind that these prices do not take into account insurance coverage or other discounts. The prices may also vary depending on the pharmacy you go to.

Closing thoughts

We hope this has given you a better understanding of Lantus vs Toujeo and which one might be right for you. Consult your doctor about which medication is best for your condition and how it may affect you.

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