Levemir is a form of human insulin that is produced by recombinant DNA (rDNA) technology. It is a long-acting basal insulin analogue, with a duration of action of up to 24 hours. It is therefore suitable for once daily, subcutaneous injection. Levemir is indicated in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus that require a long acting insulin to control blood sugar levels. Levemir can be used in combination with oral anti-diabetic agents (metformin, sulfonylureas or thiazolidinediones) in patients who are not adequately controlled with lifestyle management and oral medications. Levemir is generally prescribed along with a short or rapid acting meal time (bolus) insulin.
Dosage and Forms
Each mL of Levemir solution contains 100 units of insulin detemir.
Penfill cartridges come in packages of five, with each cartridge containing 3mL of insulin detemir (a total of 1500 units per package).
Levemir Penfill cartridges are intended for use with Novo Nordisk insulin delivery devices and NovoFine needles.
Before Using Levemir
Before taking Levemir, talk to your doctor or pharmacist if:
You have problems with your kidneys, liver, or adrenal, pituitary or thyroid glands, or if you have any other medical
You are taking other prescription or non-prescription medications
You drink alcohol (increases your risk of hypoglycemia)
You plan on changing your usual diet or exercise routine
Do not use Levemir:
In an insulin infusion pump
If the insulin has not been stored correctly or if it has been frozen
If you have an allergy to any of the ingredients in Levemir
If your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia)
As with any insulin, the most common side effect of Levemir is hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). The warning signs of hypoglycemia may come on suddenly and can include: cold sweat; cool pale skin; headache; rapid heartbeat; feeling sick; feeling very hungry; temporary changes in vision; drowsiness; unusual tiredness and weakness; nervousness or tremor; feeling anxious; feeling confused; and difficulty concentrating. Make sure you know what to do if your blood sugar gets too low (ask your doctor, pharmacist or diabetes educator). Teach your friends, co-workers, or family members what they can do to help you if you have low blood sugar.
Other side effects that may be experienced while taking Levemir include:
Injection site reactions (redness, swelling, inflammation, itching, bruising). These reactions generally disappear after taking insulin for a few weeks.
Allergic reaction to insulin detemir (hives and rash may occur). If you have an allergic reaction to Levemir, stop taking the medication and seek medical attention.
Active ingredient: insulin detemir.
Inactive ingredients: disodium phosphate dihydrate, mannitol, metacresol, phenol, sodium chloride, zinc acetate and water for Injection. Hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide may be added to adjust pH.
Storage and Stability
Unopened Levemir should be stored between 2 and 8°C (in a refrigerator), not near a freezing compartment. Do not freeze. In order to protect from light, Levemir Penfill cartridges should be kept in the outer carton.
Levemir Penfill cartridges in use or carried as a spare can be kept at room temperature (not above 30°C) for up to 42 days. Levemir cartridges in use should not be kept in the refrigerator.
Levemir should not be used after the expiry date printed on the package