Jeshvi Manhar, 2017 PharmD Candidate/ Sapna S. Patel, PharmD
Sound-Alike/Look-Alike Medications are very important to identify and help reduce medication errors. There is a list of several medications starting with the letter “T” that have become available to treat diabetes. This may lead to confusion among patients and physicians, so it’s important YOU understand how to safely recognize and use your diabetes medication to minimize problems and possible complications.
Tradjenta® decreases the amount of sugar your liver makes and increases the amount of insulin your pancreas makes. This medicine is the easiest to differentiate, since it is an oral tablet taken once daily.
Tanzeum® and Trulicity® are in the same class of medications called GLP-1 Receptor Agonists. These medications are injected under the skin but, they are not the same as insulin! They decrease your blood sugar by releasing more insulin and slowing down your body’s digestion. The easiest way to differentiate these medications from insulin is that Tanzeum® and Trulicity® are injected under the skin once a week without regard to meals.
Now, let’s discuss the three medications that are insulin: Toujeo® U-300, Tresiba® U-100, and Tresiba® U-200. Insulin works by allowing blood sugar to move into the cells and be used as energy. Toujeo® and Tresiba® are considered long acting insulin and are injected under the skin once daily without regard to meals. These medications are not interchangeable! Toujeo® U-300 is the concentrated form of Lantus®. Toujeo® U-300 is 3 times the concentration of Lantus®! It would be easy to inject the wrong dose (especially when switching from one medication or concentration to another). Tresiba® U-200 is twice as concentrated as Tresiba® U-100! Toujeo® U-300, Tresiba® U-100, and Tresiba® U-200 are all packaged in green boxes, making them look alike. Before injecting your medication, take measures to ensure you know what the name and concentration of your medication is, what the box, pen and/or needle looks like, and how your medication should be used correctly. If in doubt, ask your pharmacist about the brand you’re buying and study the label before using the medication.
GENERAL INJECTION TIPS:
- Using 29 gauge 5mm pen needles for under the skin injection may cause less pain
- Roll the pen between the palm of your hands before use to decrease discomfort or pain
- Common injection sites are stomach and thigh
- Make sure to rotate injection sites to prevent buildup of fatty tissue and pain
- Wipe injection site with alcohol wipe then wait for a few seconds before injecting to reduce stinging
- Be sure to safely dispose and use a new needle prior to each injection to prevent infection.
LexiComp®, 2.20.17, JM PharmD Candidate at OSU College of Pharmacy/SSP PharmD
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