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How Does Levemir Work?

Insulin detemir (Levemir) is a manufactured form of insulin, a hormone produced inside the body. The hormone insulin lowers blood glucose levels.

Long-acting insulins such as Levemir begin working several hours after injection and continue to work evenly for up to 24 hours.

In people with diabetes mellitus, Levemir improves blood sugar control. Adults and children over the age of two may take this medication.

Warnings With Levemir 

Levemir should not be taken if you are allergic to insulin detemir or if you have diabetic ketoacidosis. 

If the needle on your Levemir injection pen or syringe has been changed, do not share it.

Levemir can interact with many other drugs, so don’t share it. Make sure your doctor is informed of all prescriptions and over-the-counter medications you are taking. The term encompasses prescription drugs, over-the-counter products, vitamin products, and herbal preparations. Consult your doctor before switching medications.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can result from skipping a meal, exercising too long, drinking alcohol, or being stressed. Hyperglycemia can even become life-threatening when insulin has overdosed. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) symptoms include headaches, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, unhappiness, and difficulty concentrating. Make sure you and your family know how to assist you in an emergency.

Before Taking This Medicine

Do not use this product in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or diabetic ketoacidosis.

If you have ever suffered from any of the following conditions, tell your physician before taking Levemir:

– Blood potassium levels are low (hypokalemia);
– a disease of the liver or kidney.

Be sure to tell your healthcare aid if you’re taking pioglitazone or rosiglitazone (often in conjunction with glimepiride or metformin). If you take certain oral diabetes medications while using Levemir, you might experience serious heart problems.

During pregnancy or as soon as you become pregnant, follow the instructions from your doctor. A mother and her baby may suffer complications if their blood sugar levels are too high during pregnancy.

Levemir: how should I use it?

Follow your doctor’s instructions when taking Levemir. Read all medication guides and instruction sheets on your prescription label.

The injection of Levemir takes place under the skin. You can be taught by a health care professional how to administer the medication on your own.

If your medicine comes with instructions, read and carefully follow them. You may need to ask your pharmacist if you do not understand everything.

An injection should only be prepared when you’re ready to administer it. Using medicine that looks cloudy, has changed color, or has particles. You should contact your pharmacist.

As determined by your healthcare provider, Levemir should be injected at specific sites on your body. Every injection should be administered at a different location. Never give an injection to the same spot twice in a row.

This medicine should not be injected into the skin that is damaged, tender, bruised, pitted, thickened, scaly, or has a scar or hard lump.

The injection should be given at bedtime or just before your evening meal if you use this medicine once daily. If you use the treatment twice daily, the evening dose should be taken at least 12 hours after the morning dose.

In addition to long-acting insulin, your doctor may recommend you use short-acting insulin. Use separate insulin injections. Insulin pumps or other insulins cannot be used with Levemir. Veins and muscles are not suitable for injection.

If you use a pen to inject, make sure it is the one that came with Levemir. Make sure the needle is changed every time you inject. Insulin should not be transferred from the pen to the syringe.

Never share a Levemir injection pen or syringe. These devices can allow diseases or infections to spread from one person to another.

Place needles and syringes in a puncture-proof “sharps” container after only using them once. Make sure to dispose of this container according to local or state laws. It is essential to keep this away from children and pets. 

A low blood sugar condition (hypoglycemia) can cause hunger, dizziness, irritability, anxiety, confusion, and shakiness. You can treat hypoglycemia quickly by eating or drinking a fast-acting sugar source (fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, or a non-diet carbonated drink). 

If you have severe hypoglycemia, your healthcare professional may prescribe glucagon injection kits. It is essential that you know how to receive this injection from your family or close friends if an emergency arises. 

When you are stressed, ill, undergoing surgery, exercising, drinking alcohol, or skipping meals, your blood sugar level can rise. Before changing medication schedules or doses, consult your doctor.

Taking Levemir as part of a complete treatment plan includes eating right, exercising, controlling weight, regular blood sugar tests, and receiving exceptional medical care. Follow your healthcare aid instructions carefully.

Protect this medicine from heat and light by keeping it in its original container. When you are prepared to give an injection, do not draw insulin from the vial into a syringe. Insulin should not be frozen or stored near a refrigerator’s cooling element. Once it has been frozen, throw it away.

Effects Of Levemir

Please find medical attention if you experience a reaction to Levemir, including redness, swelling, hives, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, feeling sick, or swelling in your throat or tongue.

If you find any following, you should see your doctor immediately.

– You feel short of breath, gain weight, have swelling in your hands or feet, or get fluid retention.

– Constipation, leg cramps, irregular heartbeat, heart fluttering, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, leg weakness, and limp feeling are symptoms of potassium deficiency.

Levemir is known to cause the following side effects:

– Hypoglycemia;
– increased weight;
– foot and hand swelling;
– itching; or rash
– You have injected medicine into the skin area that is thickened or hollowed out.

In addition to those listed here, several other side effects can occur. If you experience them, you should talk to a doctor. The FDA can be contacted at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Levemir Interactions 

The interactions between Levemir and other medications can decrease its effectiveness, alter the duration of its action, increase side effects, or have less of an impact when taken with Levemir. It is not always necessary to stop taking one of the medications when there is an interaction between two medications; however, sometimes it is. Discuss drug interactions with your doctor.

Levemir may interact with the following medications:

– doxycycline and minocycline are antibiotics
– antidepressants such as SSRIs (e.g., fluoxetine), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as selegiline, isocarboxazid, and phenelzine
– antiepileptic drugs, such as fosphenytoin and phenytoin
– aripiprazole, chlorpromazine
– fosamprenavir, amprenavir, and atazanavir
– aspirin
– a beta-blocker, such as acebutolol, atenolol, or timolol
– cyclosporine
– Suitable diuretics include furosemide, chlorthalidone, and hydrochlorothiazide
– ciprofloxacin or norfloxacin are fluoroquinolone antibiotics
– gemfibrozil
– medicines for the heart, such as captopril, candesartan, or clonidine
– estradiol, estrone, and norethindrone
– lithium
– niacin
– pentamidine
– salmeterol
– steroids, such as cortisone, dexamethasone, fludrocortisone, and prednisone
– sucralfate
– tacrolimus or pimecrolimus
– topiramate
– turmeric
– aloe vera
– alternative insulins
– chlorpropamide, glimepiride, and glipizide.

Levemir may interact with any medication that could increase the risk of hypoglycemia, reduce the blood-glucose-lowering effects of Levemir, or blunt hypoglycemia symptoms.

Levemir and alcohol also interact by preventing the liver from producing glucose, resulting in hypoglycemia.

Listed below are a few common medications that interact with Levemir, but they are not all-inclusive. For a complete list of interactions with Levemir, you should consult the prescribing information.

Questions and Answers of Levemir

Is it okay to take Levemir (insulin detemir) and metformin together?

Taking Levemir (insulin detemir) with another oral diabetes medication, such as metformin, can improve blood sugar control. Consult your healthcare provider about diabetes treatment and what medications may be appropriate for you.

What type of insulin is Levemir?

The long-acting insulin Levemir (insulin detemir) lowers blood sugar 24 hours.

Is Levemir (insulin detemir) safe for pregnant women?

As the first and only long-acting insulin to receive a pregnancy category B rating, Levemir (insulin detemir) is considered safe for use during pregnancy.

Is there a difference between Lantus and Levemir (insulin detemir)?

The absence of enzymes in Lantus (insulin detemir) allows it to absorb slowly and act longer than Levemir (insulin detemir).

Does Levemir (insulin detemir) take a long time to work?

After injection, it begins to work several hours later and continues for 24 hours. In most cases, Levemir (insulin detemir) will only need to be injected once each day.

If I miss my dose of Levemir, what happens?

In case of missed doses, contact your doctor. Always carry insulin with you. Don’t run out of medicine until your prescription is refilled.

In the event of an overdose, what happens?

If you suspect poisoning, call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222. Hyperglycemia caused by insulin overdose can be life-threatening. A person may experience drowsiness, confusion, blurred vision, numbness or tingling in their mouths, trouble speaking, muscle weakness, clumsy or jerky movements, seizures (convulsions), or loss of consciousness.

When using Levemir, what should I avoid?

Uncommon insulin levels within your body can cause low blood sugar. Do not drive or operate machinery until you determine how this medicine affects you.

Before injecting insulin, check the medicine label to avoid medication errors.

Alcohol should not be consumed.

What is the best way to store Levemir?

Children should not be exposed to this product.

Levemir that is outdated or no longer needed should be thrown away.

Your healthcare professional should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

If you don’t use a vial or pen, keep it in the refrigerator. Avoid freezing. The expiration date of insulin indicates the amount of time you should keep it in the fridge. After that date has passed, throw away the medicine.

For up to 42 days, the vials or pens can be stored at room temperature (opened or unopened). To minimize their exposure to direct sunlight and heat, they should be kept as far from them as possible.