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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, all,

I need some advice. I have been having heart palpitations and an irregular heart beat for nearly 3 years. I never had this before I was diagnosed diabetic. I also had high blood pressure, and was put on blood pressure (bp) medicine.

My body almost always ends up with the most common side effects of medication. It's been this way all of my life. I am allergic to penicillin, antihistamines, etc. Anyway, I was coughing so much day and night that I was actually vomiting. I didn't know if it was a cold or something wrong with my lungs, etc. I went to the doctor and she laughed and said, "oh, that's the side effect of your bp medicine", and she switched me to another kind.

The coughing kept on, until she finally realized the replacement bp med was from the same family, with the same side effect, coughing. She switched me to another bp med. The coughing stopped. Shortly thereafter, my legs started swelling up like balloons. I got scared, but had to wait 2 weeks for another appointment, and got the "ha ha, it's the side effects of your new bp med", and she switched me AGAIN. The swelling stopped.

Both she and my previous doctor had told me there was something wrong with my heart. I have been having palpitations and an irregular heart beat. Then I started hearing insulation ads on TV, and some of the side effects are palpitations and an irregular heart beat! I have had it for 3 years, exactly the length of time they have had me on both Lantus and Novolog!

And the ad for Lantus said not to use it with any other kind of insulin. So what is Novolog?? I am really getting scared, I seem to get the most serious side effects of everything they put me on. I have been taking a Lantus injection morning and night, and Novolog for every meal. I never find out the side effects of meds until AFTER I get them. Nobody warns me, and some of them are life-threatening. Has anybody heard anything like this? What in the heck can I do?

Any ideas appreciated!

Cherie
 

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Well, I gotta say your docs are doing a really lame job with patient care. The laughing part is a particularly poor response. Perhaps from now on, whenever changes are being made, you'll have to plant yourself in the exam room & refuse to leave until someone fully explains all the possibilities. There's enough history here to warrant that kind of persistence.

Have you been prescribed any meds for arrhythmia? There are many kinds (of arrhythmia) and some are nothing more than annoying - no treatment is necessary. Others can be life-threatening. If yours has gone on for three years and your docs know about it but it doesn't require treatment, then they need to SAY SO. So ask them the next time you get a chance. And by the way - if your feet/legs ever swell up & they tell you to wait two more weeks until your regular appointment? Knock their damn door down!

I don't use insulin, so I don't very often respond to insulin questions and I haven't even seen the Lantus ad. But I do know that Lantus (basal - long acting insulin) is often used alone, but it can also be used with bolus (fast acting) insulin like your Novalog. Perhaps the ad just cautions against using Lantus with any other long-acting insulins.

Others here are much more qualified to help here than I, and they'll come along soon.
 

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It is quite common to use Lantus along with a fast acting insulin. I used Lantus twice a day plus humalog with meals when I was still using daily injections. Now that I use a pump I only use fast acting insulin (novolog). The BP meds that were causing your cough were probably in the ACE inhibitor family. That is a common side effect. I took an ACE inhibitor for a long time finally I couldnt stand the constant nagging cough. They changed me to benicar instead. The my feet started swelling! So they changed me to a combo drug of benicar and hydrochlorothizide and and swelling in my feet and legs went away. Hope they get you straightened out soon...I know its terrible to feel that way :(
 

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This could be hypos, or you could need a Holter to pick up on misfires ... my BIL had radio ablation for growth of accessory nerves that trigger tachycardia events ...

So how come your docs are not testing YOU? And I agree the laughing sucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info!

Hi again Shanny, and hi to foxl and onaughmae,

I called the doctor to ask for prescription Vitamin D this morning, but instead was told the doctor wanted me in her office first thing Thursday morning. That was a surprise because they usually make me wait for around 3 months for an appointment, unless it is an emergency. I'm guessing that she got back the results from a blood test she ordered last week to check my weird very high cortosol again, and an A1C.

The nurse said she thinks the doctor wants to refer me to a neurologist, which is another waste of time and money for me, and a way for her to get her off of the dime because she hasn't the foggiest idea what is wrong with me. : ( I probably will never know until I see someone in the same condition on Mystery Diagnosis on TV! LOL

I will let you know what shenanigans she is up to this time.

Cherie
 

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Hi again Shanny, and hi to foxl and onaughmae,

I called the doctor to ask for prescription Vitamin D this morning, but instead was told the doctor wanted me in her office first thing Thursday morning. That was a surprise because they usually make me wait for around 3 months for an appointment, unless it is an emergency. I'm guessing that she got back the results from a blood test she ordered last week to check my weird very high cortosol again, and an A1C.

The nurse said she thinks the doctor wants to refer me to a neurologist, which is another waste of time and money for me, and a way for her to get her off of the dime because she hasn't the foggiest idea what is wrong with me. : ( I probably will never know until I see someone in the same condition on Mystery Diagnosis on TV! LOL

I will let you know what shenanigans she is up to this time.

Cherie
1) you want the over the counter Vit D, it is more effective than the prescription stuff as well as cheaper!

2) if your cortisol is high you need an Endo ASAP. You could have Cushing's disease OR Cushing's syndrome ...

Keep us posted, please!
 

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I agree with the others that your heart issues are most likely unrelated to your insulin use.

There are so many kinds of irregular heartbeat conditions - as Linda pointed out, many are not dangerous. You really need to have your doctors identify what kind of problem yours is. Depending on the condition, there are meds and/or treatments like the RF ablation that resolve the issue competely.

Cortisol spikes can make your BG spiky, too, & are notoriously difficult to pin down.

Please keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi, again!

I have every single symptom of Cushings. They have tested my very high cortisol repeatedly. They said the only thing that could cause Cushings is a tumor on my pit gland, They did a scan, didn't see one, and dropped the whole Cushings thing and went on other fishing expeditions that have nothing to do with my condition.

My mom has MS, so they said maybe I have that. No test of course. They said maybe its MG, no test for that either. I have EXTREME chronic fatigue, again, no test. I actually went to the endo professor at I.U., who instantly took a notable dislike to me, and repeated the cortosol test (conviently not bothering to give me the medication necessary the night before so that a blood draw could be done in the a.m.).

Her nurse called me and scolded me, saying I had to be taking WAYYYY too much tylenol, and it had ruined the test. I told her I haven't had a tylenol or any other pain medication in over 3 years, and asked her what this means. She said "oh, nothing, just disregard it". I asked for a copy of the blood test results. She said "oh, we have gone paperless, we just throw them away. If you want them you will have to see if you can get the lab to let you have them. They probably won't." I had to actually file papers to get the lab to release them to me, and this was on the test: "Elevations 4 fold upper reference range: strongly suggestive of a pheochromocytoma." Which, of course, is a tumor.

The endo evidently didn't feel she should tell me that, it wasn't important to her. So, I took the test results to my doc, she didn't take them seriously because she called the endo and the endo said it was nothing, and she should know. I'm beginning to think I am living in the twilight zone! Anyway, I insisted my doc repeat a REAL cortisol test, she gave me the pill you have to take the night before, and she should have the results by now. Maybe that's why she wants me in there right away. Sigh.....

Cherie
 

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Cushing's DISEASE is caused by pituitary tumors. Cushing's SYNDROME may be caused by adrenal tumors. ie, pheochromocytoma. And yes, that causes fatigue.

I hope your doc figures it out, or refers you to someone who WILL. Otherwise you will have to refer yourself out.
 

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I have every single symptom of Cushings. They have tested my very high cortisol repeatedly. They said the only thing that could cause Cushings is a tumor on my pit gland, They did a scan, didn't see one, and dropped the whole Cushings thing and went on other fishing expeditions that have nothing to do with my condition.

My mom has MS, so they said maybe I have that. No test of course. They said maybe its MG, no test for that either. I have EXTREME chronic fatigue, again, no test. I actually went to the endo professor at I.U., who instantly took a notable dislike to me, and repeated the cortosol test (conviently not bothering to give me the medication necessary the night before so that a blood draw could be done in the a.m.).

Her nurse called me and scolded me, saying I had to be taking WAYYYY too much tylenol, and it had ruined the test. I told her I haven't had a tylenol or any other pain medication in over 3 years, and asked her what this means. She said "oh, nothing, just disregard it". I asked for a copy of the blood test results. She said "oh, we have gone paperless, we just throw them away. If you want them you will have to see if you can get the lab to let you have them. They probably won't." I had to actually file papers to get the lab to release them to me, and this was on the test: "Elevations 4 fold upper reference range: strongly suggestive of a pheochromocytoma." Which, of course, is a tumor.

The endo evidently didn't feel she should tell me that, it wasn't important to her. So, I took the test results to my doc, she didn't take them seriously because she called the endo and the endo said it was nothing, and she should know. I'm beginning to think I am living in the twilight zone! Anyway, I insisted my doc repeat a REAL cortisol test, she gave me the pill you have to take the night before, and she should have the results by now. Maybe that's why she wants me in there right away. Sigh.....

Cherie
I would be looking into getting a new PCP and I would make an appointment with a cardiologist. I have been taking Lantus and Novolog for 17 months straight and I don't have any problems with insulin except weight gain. Lantus and Novolog both have a safe track record. The only way to find out if insulin is causing a problem is to stop taking it and change your diet and you would probably have to stop eating all carbs. Are you type 2? Gosh, don't continue to put up with this. Having medical issues are no laughing matter. And you shouldn't have to run down your blood test results. Your doctor's office could have have made one call to the lab and had them fax over a copy. I wonder how your doctor's office survive without a fax machine? You have to use paper to fax....Please go somewhere else and get some decent treatment.
 

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And the ad for Lantus said not to use it with any other kind of insulin.
Using it with another kind of insulin is completely ok. You could not use Lantus by itself anyway. It is a slow, slow insulin. The information you get is to not MIX it with any other type of insulin. Often diabetics will mix their first meal time insulin with the longer acting insulin to save an injection. You cannot do this with Lantus. It crystallizes (or something, foggy on the details) in the body and then dissolves slowly. I even inject it in a separate area so I don't even have a small chance of injecting my rapid insulin in the same place.

It is a spectacular insulin. 3 units of it are enough to cover my background (or basal) insulin for 26 hours. Maybe more, but that's as late as I've been with my morning injection.

I've just moved to the LA area and US prescription prices are a serious shock after being in Canada. I'm looking at ordering from Canada but at least for the first one I won't have the time to do that. But even if I have to pay US (rip off :mad: ) prices, this is one that I will continue to buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks lia! Yepper, the cost of drugs in the U.S. are terrible. I have full insurance and my co-pay on insulin is $65 per bottle, any kind. And there are no generics.

Thanks again for the input!

Cherie
 

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$65 per bottle
Woah, you had me worried there for a second. That sounded like you were talking about alcohol :eek:

At least there it's Canada with the rip off prices. The US ain't all bad :)

best wishes, glad to help a wee bit
 
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3 units of it are enough to cover my background (or basal) insulin for 26 hours.
Interesting. I'm curious, since the expiration on Lantus is 28 days after opening it; and you inject 3 units a day, or 84 units every 28 days, how do you justify, or afford to throw the remaining insulin away? For a 10mL vial that would be 916 units wasted. For a 3mL Solostar pen that would be 216 units.
 

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the expiration on Lantus is 28 days after opening it
Where do you get that from? Totally baffled. The expiration date on the boxes is always more than a year after I buy it. I don't keep the little boxes the vials come in, so can't double check. I've never seen anything about that changing after you open it.

Most insulins are good for a month at room temperature. Maybe that is where the 28 days came from? I keep mine in the fridge except for the syringe I've preloaded. I use a 50 unit syringe for that insulin and 100 unit syringes for my rapid acting to help keep it clear which is which. I also keep them in totally different places. Can't be too careful with this stuff.

With a 50 unit syringe and 3 units a day it shouldn't take more than a month to use it, but it sounds like you are a lot better at math :)

A vial of Lantus will last me a long time but I've never seen any drop in preformance toward the end, or at any other time.

Incidentally I was always using 5 units a day in Canada, but was seriously impressed by the prices here and thought I'd better check on cutting that back. I've just been using 3 units a day for about 10 days, and not a sign of a problem so far.
 
G

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Where do you get that from? Totally baffled. The expiration date on the boxes is always more than a year after I buy it. I don't keep the little boxes the vials come in, so can't double check. I've never seen anything about that changing after you open it.
Okay, we're talking semantics here. Let's call the date on the box it's "expiration date"...and give the "28 days" a "use by" definition. And if you need an official statement on "use by" dating you can get it here, from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

Storing LANTUS®

What I'm saying here is that temperature isn't the only factor that leads to giving Lantus its "use within 28 days after opening" instructions. Breaking the seal and then injecting contaminated air into the vial causes it to degrade. To slow that degradation down significantly you'd have to freeze the remaining insulin each time to below zero. Switching the insulin to a syringe doesn't change that...no matter how many syringe-fulls you get from the vial.
 

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Thank you for the link. I came back here thinking of asking where you got the info, and am a bit shocked that the site actually does say what you indicated. It's a bit of a peeve that in forums people will toss off anything they think as if when God passed Moses the 10 commandments, this is what was chiseled on the back of them. And then they don't back it up at all. At least you did and I appreciate that.

NOT that the page is actually true. I use the vials for a few months and would know the first night they stopped working. I'd have to get up to urinate and my bg would climb until I inject some kind of insulin.

I can certainly understand that it is an authority site and it is probably better to believe them than me. But believing has this one problem that goes along with it. That means you don't know.

None of the slow acting insulins I've used over a lot of years have ever been used up in 28 days. You do want to keep that dose as low as possible. (See Dr Bernstein's book 'The Diabetes Solution' for the tedious details.) I wouldn't be surprised if they all say the same thing, but it's been 23 years now without a problem keeping them in the fridge after they were opened a lot longer than that.

I don't take that information seriously at all. To me it is similar to saying that syringes are only meant to be used once. All the major studies have supported reusing syringes but none of the syringe manufactures think it's a good idea. It might only be a coincidence that using them just once would sell a lot more syringes and increase their bottom line, but I'm a skepchick.

It might not be very nice and maybe it takes a bit of experience dealing with the establishment or big business or whatever, but I feel totally comfortable ignoring that ratty page. (Why is it that we only have smilies here and not a single really good snarly when I need one? Hey Bob! :) ) Don't mind me, I'm not serious.

But for new people looking for information this will sell more insulin at way over $100 a vial down here. It really is difficult getting information when you are new to something and there is this kind of misleading stuff out there. It is just my personal opinion and I don't suggest anyone follow it, but that page is not very nice. The insulin is really impressive, but the morals of whoever put that page up are not at all impressive.

I could go on, but probably shouldn't.

Oh well, what the heck. One of my little (micro ?) jokes is 'We need more dates than just the 'best before' date on food cans. What about a 'still sort of ok' date, followed by a 'take a chance until' date?' :)

But big companies and the legal system are things that you can't really take too seriously either.

I use the whole vial. None of it goes to waste.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Really enjoying the discussion!

Hello, All,

I am getting a lot of information from all of you and enjoying the back and forth, this is a great site!

I heard of a new study that is going to be conducted on a diabetic medicine that would replace insulin, and I was astonished at what the terms were going to be. The people they accept will be secretly divided into two groups, the one would get the new diabetic drug, the other would get a placebo! So I guess the ones who didn't die would be the winners! Have you ever heard of anything so insane? Man!

Cherie
 
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All tests like this include either a single or double-blind study that include a placebo, otherwise the test wouldn't be a test, would it. I doubt highly anyone is going to die.
 
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