Insulin detemir (By injection)
Insulin Detemir (IN-su-lin DET-e-mir)
Levemir, Levemir FlexPen, Levemir FlexTouch
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
- Your healthcare provider will work with you to personalize your dose and treatment based on your insulin needs and lifestyle. You will be taught how to give yourself the injections. Make sure you understand all instructions. Ask the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you have questions.
- 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.
- If you use insulin once a day, it is best to use it at about the same time every day.
- 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.
- 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.
- Do not mix this insulin with any other type of insulin. The insulin should be clear and colorless. Do not use it if it is cloudy or colored.
- Unopened medicine:
- Store the unopened vials or pens in the refrigerator. Protect from light. Do not freeze.
- If you cannot refrigerate your unopened medicine, you may store it at room temperature in a cool place away from direct heat and light for 42 days.
- Opened medicine:
- Vials: Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature in a cool place, away from sunlight and heat. Use within 42 days.
- Pen: 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
- Fluid retention or heart failure (when used with thiazolidinedione [TZD] medicine)
- Never share insulin pens or needles with anyone. Sharing these can pass hepatitis viruses, HIV, or other illnesses from one person to another.
- 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
- Shaking, trembling, sweating, fast or pounding heartbeat, lightheadedness, hunger, confusion
- Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet, trouble breathing, tiredness
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Redness, itching, swelling, or skin changes where the shot was given
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 reviewed on 10/4/2017
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