Generic Name: Insulin Detemir (Vials) (IN su lin DET e mir)
Brand Name: Levemir
Medically reviewed on July 4, 2018
Uses of Levemir:
- It is used to lower blood sugar in patients with high blood sugar (diabetes).
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Levemir?
- If you have an allergy to insulin or any other part of Levemir (insulin detemir (vials)).
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have low blood sugar.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Levemir (insulin detemir (vials)).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Levemir (insulin detemir (vials)) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Levemir?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Levemir (insulin detemir (vials)). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Allergic reactions have happened with Levemir (insulin detemir (vials)). Rarely, some reactions can be very bad or life-threatening. Talk with the doctor.
- Low blood sugar may happen with Levemir (insulin detemir (vials)). Very low blood sugar can lead to seizures, passing out, long lasting brain damage, and sometimes death. Talk with the doctor.
- Low blood potassium may happen with Levemir (insulin detemir (vials)). If not treated, this can lead to a heartbeat that is not normal, very bad breathing problems, and sometimes death. Talk with the doctor.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Levemir (insulin detemir (vials)) affects you.
- Some diabetes drugs like pioglitazone or rosiglitazone may cause heart failure or make it worse in people who already have it. Using insulin with these drugs may increase this risk. If you also take one of these drugs, talk with the doctor.
- Be sure you have the right insulin product. Insulin products come in many containers like vials, cartridges, and pens. Be sure that you know how to measure and get your dose ready. If you have any questions, call your doctor or pharmacist.
- It may be harder to control your blood sugar during times of stress like when you have a fever, an infection, an injury, or surgery. A change in level of physical activity or exercise and a change in diet may also affect your blood sugar. Talk with your doctor.
- Wear disease medical alert ID (identification).
- Do not drive if your blood sugar has been low. There is a greater chance of you having a crash.
- Check your blood sugar as you have been told by your doctor.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.
- Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
- If you are 65 or older, use Levemir (insulin detemir (vials)) with care. You could have more side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Levemir (insulin detemir (vials)) while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Levemir) best taken?
Use Levemir (insulin detemir (vials)) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take Levemir (insulin detemir (vials)) at the same time of day.
- It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin.
- If you will be giving yourself the shot, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
- Follow how to use as you have been told by the doctor or read the package insert.
- Move site where you give the shot each time.
- Do not give into red or irritated skin.
- Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
- Do not use if solution changes color.
- Do not mix this insulin in the same syringe with other types of insulin.
- Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- Do not use out dated insulin.
- Follow the diet and workout plan that your doctor told you about.
- Do not draw into a syringe and store for future use.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next shot, skip the missed shot and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of low potassium levels like muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps, or a heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Very bad irritation where the shot was given.
- Blurred eyesight.
- Change in eyesight.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Mood changes.
- Slurred speech.
- Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- Change in skin to thick or thin where the shot was given.
- Low blood sugar may occur. Signs may be dizziness, headache, feeling sleepy, feeling weak, shaking, a fast heartbeat, confusion, hunger, or sweating. Call the doctor right away if any of these signs occur. Follow what you have been told to do if low blood sugar occurs. This may include taking glucose tablets, liquid glucose, or some fruit juices.
What are some other side effects of Levemir?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Irritation where the shot is given.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Levemir?
- Store unopened containers in a refrigerator or at room temperature. If stored at room temperature, throw away any part not used after 42 days.
- Do not freeze.
- You may store opened vials at room temperature or in a refrigerator. Throw away any part not used after 42 days.
- Do not use if it has been frozen.
- Protect from heat.
- Protect from light.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Levemir (insulin detemir (vials)), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about insulin detemir
- Insulin detemir Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- En Español
- 27 Reviews
- Drug class: insulin
- Insulin detemir
- Insulin Detemir (Cartridges and Prefilled Syringes)
- Insulin Detemir (Vials)
- Insulin detemir Subcutaneous (Advanced Reading)
Other brands: Levemir