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Drug Info > L > Levemir
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DIN (Drug Identification Number)


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Brand Name

Levemir

Common Name
insulin detemir


In this drug factsheet:



DIN (Drug Identification Number)

02271850 LEVEMIR 100U/ML FLEXPEN
02271869 LEVEMIR 100U/ML INNOLET
02271842 LEVEMIR 100U/ML PENFILL

How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone made by the pancreas that helps our body use or store the glucose (sugar) it gets from food. For people with diabetes, either the pancreas does not make enough insulin to meet the body's requirements or the body cannot properly use the insulin that is made. As a result, glucose cannot be used or stored properly and accumulates in the bloodstream.

Insulin injected under the skin helps to lower blood glucose levels. Insulin detemir is used to treat adults and children over 2 years of age with type 1 diabetes mellitus who require a long-acting insulin. It is also used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus who require a long-acting insulin.

There are many different types of insulin and they are absorbed at different rates and work for varying periods of time. Insulin detemir is an extended, long-acting insulin. It begins to work a few hours after injection, and the effects last up to 24 hours. After injection, insulin detemir is released slowly and constantly into the bloodstream.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use this medication?

The recommended dose of insulin depends on how much natural insulin your pancreas is producing and how well your body is able to use the insulin. Your doctor or diabetes educator will determine the appropriate dose for you according to various lifestyle factors and the blood glucose values obtained while monitoring your blood glucose.

Your dose of insulin should be injected subcutaneously (under the skin) exactly as instructed by your doctor or diabetes educator. Do not inject insulin detemir into the vein and do not use insulin detemir in insulin infusion pumps. Each 1 mL of insulin contains 100 units. Insulin detemir is injected under the skin once or twice daily. In addition to insulin detemir, a fast-acting insulin is usually used to control the impact of food intake on blood glucose levels during the day. There are many variations of insulin dosing.

Insulin detemir should be clear and colourless. Do not use the insulin if you notice anything unusual in the appearance of the solution, such as cloudiness, discoloration, or clumping. It is not necessary to shake or rotate the vial before use. It should not be mixed with any other insulins.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor. When insulin detemir, or any other insulin, is stopped, blood glucose levels can become dangerously high.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. The timing of insulin with respect to your meals is crucial to keeping blood glucose under control and preventing unwanted side effects. Do not administer a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store unopened bottles of insulin in the refrigerator until needed. They may be used until the expiry date on the label. Never allow insulin to freeze. Insulin that is currently in use may be kept at room temperature (below 30°C) for no more than 42 days and then discarded. Do not expose insulin to extremely hot temperatures or to sunlight. Keep insulin out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.





What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each mL of sterile, aqueous, clear, colourless and neutral solution, contains salt-free anhydrous insulin detemir 100 units (14.2 mg/mL). One unit of Levemir corresponds to one IU of human insulin. Nonmedicinal ingredients: disodium phosphate dihydrate, glycerol, mannitol, metacresol, phenol, sodium chloride, acetate, and water for injection. Hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide may be added to adjust pH (approximately 7.4).

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use insulin detemir if you:

  • are allergic to insulin or any ingredients of the medication
  • have low blood glucose (hypoglycemia)


 

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