Levemir Vs. Lantus: What are the Similarities and Differences?

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Levemir Vs. Lantus

In today’s matchup we have the battle of the analog insulins’: Levemir Vs. Lantus! Patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes either cannot produce enough insulin in their pancreas or cannot correctly use all the insulin it produces. Such patients are prescribed analog insulin to manage their blood glucose levels to maintain healthy body functions and prevent the risk of high blood sugar.

Two of the available analog insulins available on the market are Levemir and Lantus.

Let’s see how these two stack up and if one is better than the other.

What is Levemir and How it Works

Levemir is the brand name for insulin detemir, which is a long-acting human insulin analog. It is given to patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Levemir works by lowering the body’s A1c levels (average blood sugar over time). In doing so, it helps the body in moving sugar from the bloodstream into body tissues and cells so that it can be used as energy or reserved for later use.

Levemir is effective at providing an all-day sugar control and is usually administered only once a day, although sometimes it may have to be administered twice. It is injected subcutaneously using a FlexTouch Pen or syringe in the upper arm, stomach, or thigh. Its dosage can easily be adjusted accordingly for a customized regimen designed for your body’s requirements.

While taking Levemir, you will have to check your blood sugar regularly as it can sometimes even lead to low blood sugar episodes.

Levemir comes in a clear and colorless solution and should not be used if the solution becomes cloudy or discolored, as it can lead to further complications.

Price and Dosage for Levemir

The dosage for Levemir would depend on how much insulin your body produces or how well your body can use the insulin it produces. Hence the dosage differs for every individual, and your physician will tell you how much you require after checking your blood sugar levels.

Insulin is measured in international units (IU), and 1mL of insulin contains 100 IU. Generally, Levemir comes in 10mL vials, cartridges, or disposable pens.

Generally, patients with type 1 diabetes are given 0.5 – 1 unit/kg of Levemir daily alongside rapid short-acting insulin to meet their daily insulin requirements.

Patients with type 2 diabetes are generally given 10 units/day in the evening, but sometimes the dose may be divided at 12-hour intervals in between

The average price of one 10 mL vial of Levemir costs an average of $382, whereas five FlexTouch pens of the medication with 3mL/pen can cost approximately $469.

You can buy Levemir FlexTouch Pens from our prescription fulfillment service, for $194.99

Possible Side Effects and Risks Associated with Taking Levemir

As with any medication, Levemir comes with a range of side effects. Below listed are some of the more common side effects and the percentage of patients that suffer from those side effects when medicated with Levemir.

● Upper respiratory tract infection (26%)

● Headache (23%)

● Sore throat (10%)

● Flu-like symptoms (8%)

● Stomach pain (6%)

Upper respiratory tract infections.

Other than common side effects, Levemir also puts you at risk of some severe side effects listed below.

● Fluid retention causes swollen joints.

● Allergic reactions

● Signs of low potassium

● Unconsciousness

● Seizures

If you experience any of these more severe side effects, stop taking this medication immediately and consult your physician.

Drugs and Disease Interactions Associated with Levemir

Levemir is known to interact with a total of 376 drugs, with 15 of them being major interactions, 320 of them being moderate interactions, and 41 of them being minor interactions.

Since alcohol also affects blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes, it is important to regulate your consumption when taking Levemir.

Levemir can also have moderate interactions with certain health conditions, such as

● Renal/liver disease

● Hypoglycemia

● Hypokalemia

What is Lantus and How it Works

Lantus is the brand name for insulin glargine, which is a long-acting human insulin analog. It is prescribed to patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Lantus works by replacing the human insulin produced in the body, which is produced by the pancreas. This insulin controls your body’s average blood sugar over time by slowly releasing insulin and provides a consistent all-day sugar control with just once or twice daily dosing.

It is important to regularly check your blood sugar levels when taking this medication as it can cause low blood sugar levels, and not taking it according to a consistent schedule may even cause low blood sugar episodes. Lantus at times, gets compared with Tresiba due to its similar functionality. 

Lantus comes in a clear and colorless solution and should not be used if the solution becomes cloudy or discolored, as it can lead to further complications. It is injected under the skin and takes around 90 minutes to start working, after which it stays in the body for 24 hours before having to be administered again. 

You may experience an increase in weight while on this medication. Your dosage will have to be adjusted according to your weight and eating habits, so be sure to consult your physician so your prescription can be tailored according to your customized regimen and body requirements.

Price and Dosage for Lantus

Dosage for Lantus varies from person to person as it is dictated by how much insulin your pancreas produces or how efficient your body is at using the insulin it produces.

Insulin is measured in international units (IU), and 1mL of insulin contains 100 IU. Generally, Lantus comes in 10 mL multidose vials , prefilled Solostar pens and cartridges

Lantus Insulin

Patients with type 1 diabetes are recommended to take one-third of their insulin dose from Lantus, while the remaining two-thirds of their insulin dose consists of short-acting mealtime insulin. Generally, this dose of Lantus varies from 0.4 – 1units/kg daily.

For patients with type 2 diabetes, the recommended starting dose of Lantus is 0.2 units/kg daily with a maximum of 10 units per day.

The average price of one 10 mL vial of Lantus costs an average of $360, whereas 5 SoloStar prefilled pens of the medication with 3mL/pen can cost approximately $547.

We offer Lantus vials for $114.99 and SoloStar Pens for $179.99 through our prescription fulfillment service.

Possible Side Effects and Risks Associated with Taking Lantus

As with any medication, Lantus comes with a range of side effects. Below listed are some of the more common side effects and the percentage of patients that suffer from those side effects when medicated with Lantus.

Patients with type 1 diabetes often experience:

● Common cold (22%)
● Severely low blood sugar (11%)
● Infection (9%)
● Accidental injury (6%)
● Headache (6%)

Patients with type 2 diabetes often experience:

●  Common cold (29%)
● Swelling (20%)
● High blood pressure (20%)
● Flu (19%)
● Inflammation of the sinus (19%)
● Clouding of the eye’s natural lens (18%)
● Bronchitis (15%)
● Joint pain (14%)
● Pain in extremities (hands and feet) (13%)
● Back pain (13%)
● Severely low blood sugar (2%)

Other than common side effects, Levemir also puts you at risk of some severe side effects listed below.

● Life-threatening low levels of potassium

● Severe allergic reactions

● Low blood sugar (Hypoglycemia)

If you experience any of these more severe side effects, stop taking this medication immediately and consult your physician.

Drugs and Disease Interactions Associated with Lantus

Lantus is known to interact with a total of 376 drugs, with 15 of them being major interactions, 320 of them being moderate interactions, and 41 of them being minor interactions.

Since alcohol also affects blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes, it is important to regulate your consumption when taking Levemir.

Levemir can also have moderate interactions with certain health conditions, such as:

● Renal/liver disease

● Hypoglycemia

● Hypokalemia

Levemir Vs. Lantus: Differences 

Levemir and Lantus are long-acting insulins that are used for diabetes management and treatment. Although these drugs are very similar, they do have a few differences between them.

Levemir can be taken once or twice per day depending on your dosage; Lantus, on the other hand, is usually only taken once daily. The reason for that is Levemir takes around 6 – 8 hours to reach peak concentration in your blood, after which it can stay close to peak levels for about 24 hours, whereas Lantus has no peak concentration; instead, it is absorbed more slowly and consistently to maintain a constant concentration for about 24 hours.

Levemir is also safe to use in people that are two years or older, whereas Lantus is safe for use for people that are six years or older.

Levemir Vs. Lantus: Which One is Better?

Both Levemir a Lantus is equally effective at managing blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.

Some patients may need a higher dose of Levemir to achieve the same blood sugar control as Lantus because of which it may sometimes be taken twice a day, but there is no data that shows that any one of them works better than the other.

Although very similar, the drugs are not interchangeable. You should never switch from one medication to the other on your own, as it can lead to complications. It is necessary to consult your healthcare professional to see if the medication you are taking has interactions with other drugs that may have been prescribed to you and to find out whether Levemir or Lantus works best for you.