Insulin detemir (By injection)
Insulin Detemir (IN-su-lin DET-e-mir)
Levemir, Levemir FlexTouchThere may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to insulin detemir.
How to Use This Medicine:
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin. It is usually given in the stomach, thigh, or upper arm.
- You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- If you use insulin once a day, it is best to use it at about the same time every day.
- Always double-check both the concentration (strength) of your insulin and your dose. Concentration and dose are not the same. The dose is how many units of insulin you will use. The concentration tells how many units of insulin are in each milliliter (mL), such as 100 units/mL (U-100), but this does not mean you will use 100 units at a time.
- Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- Check the liquid inside the pen or vial. It should be clear and colorless. Do not mix this insulin with any other type of insulin.
- You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas. Do not use the exact same spot for each injection.
- Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine. If you use a syringe, use only the kind that is made for insulin injections. Some insulin must be given with a specific type of syringe or needle. Ask your pharmacist if you are not sure which one to use.
- Check the label before use. Do not change the brand, type, or concentration unless your doctor tells you to. If you use a pump or other device, make sure the insulin is made for that device.
- Unopened medicine: You may store the pen or vial in the refrigerator or at room temperature for 42 days. Protect from light. Do not freeze.
- Opened medicine:
- Vials: Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature in a cool place, away from sunlight and heat. Use within 42 days.
- Prefilled pens: Store at room temperature, away from direct heat and light. Do not refrigerate. Do not store with the needle attached. Throw away any opened pen after 42 days.
- Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Some medicines can change the amount of insulin you need to use and make it harder for you to control your diabetes. Tell your doctor about all other medicines that you are using.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or heart failure.
- This medicine may cause the following problems:
- Low blood sugar or low potassium levels in the blood
- Fluid retention or heart failure (when used with thiazolidinedione [TZD] medicine)
- This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
- Never share insulin pens or needles with anyone. Sharing these can pass hepatitis viruses, HIV, or other illnesses from one person to another.
- Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, uneven heartbeat
- Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet, trouble breathing, tiredness
- Shaking, trembling, sweating, fast or pounding heartbeat, lightheadedness, hunger, confusion
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Cough, runny or stuff nose, sore throat, body aches
- Redness, itching, swelling, or skin changes where the shot was given
- Stomach pain, nausea
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Last Updated: 9/6/2022