Selected topics: Toxicology| Volume 41, ISSUE 4, P374-377, October 2011

Lantus Insulin Overdose: A Case Report


      Background: Insulin glargine is a relatively new medication in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, and there have only been six case reports of overdoses in the literature with this specific insulin. Objectives: We present a unique case of insulin glargine overdose that presented with persistent hypoglycemia and required prolonged in-hospital treatment. Case Report: A 51-year-old woman with insulin-dependent diabetes and a history of suicide attempts by medication overdose presented to the Emergency Department the morning after she had self-administered 2700 units of her insulin glargine in an attempted suicide. She was treated with continuous intravenous dextrose infusion with liberal oral intake, and continued to have recurrent hypoglycemic episodes 96 h into her hospital stay. She was discharged on hospital day 5 after psychiatric clearance without any permanent complications. Conclusions: A single massive overdose of insulin glargine can present with prolonged hypoglycemia. Emergency physicians should have a low threshold for initiating continuous dextrose infusions and admitting these patients for frequent blood glucose and serum electrolyte monitoring, preferably in an intensive care setting.


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