Levemir is a type of long-acting insulin used to treat patients with diabetes by keeping blood sugar levels under control.
Produced by Novo Nordisk Limited, Levemir is the trade name for insulin detemir, a man-made form of insulin that is used as a substitute for the body’s natural insulin in diabetic patients.
Once injected, it has a long duration of action – up to 24 hours.
Who is Levemir suitable for?
Levemir is used to treat adults and children over the age of two with type 1 diabetes
Before using Levemir
Before prescribing Levemir your doctor will assess any prescription medicines you are taking to ensure insulin detemir can safely be taken in conjunction.
Levemir can potentially interfere with many other medications, so it is important you inform your doctor of any over-the-counter medications you use – this includes over-the-counter, vitami, and herbal products – as well as any medical conditions they may not be aware of.
You should not use Levemir if you are allergic to insulin detemir, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis
How do I take Levemir?
Like all insulins, Levemir is designed for use as a subcutaneous injection.
In other words, it should be injected into the fatty tissue beneath the skin, usually once daily at the same time each day (preferably at your evening meal or at bedtime).
When starting your regimen, you must follow the instructions on your prescription label. This means avoiding using larger or smaller amounts of the insulin or for longer than recommended.
If you miss a dose, follow your doctor’s directions.
Benefits of Levemir
The main benefit of Levemir is its duration of action, with a single injection of the medicine working for up to 24 hours to keep blood sugar levels stable
Side effects of Levemir
Other serious adverse effects of Levemir can include:
- Itching rash, swelling, or redness at injection sites
- Breathing difficulties
- Rapid heart rate
- Light headedness or feeling faint
These are signs of insulin allergy and you should seek emergency medical help if you experience any of these.
Other side effects can include:
- Swelling in your hands or feet
- Extreme thirst or hunger
- Increased urination
- Lumpy skin at injection sites
- Weight gain
- Mild headache
- Back or stomach pain
- Unusual tiredness or weakness
Please note this is not a full list of side effects and others may occur.
Some of the above may not require medical attention as they might just be an initial reaction to the medicine and may start to subside once your body adjusts to the insulin.
If, however, any of these side effects continue and start to become problematic, or if you have any questions about them, talk with your doctor or healthcare team. They may decide to change the dose of your medicine or switch you to another type of insulin