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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Levemir, Levemir FlexPen

Generic Name: insulin detemir (Pronunciation: IN su lin DE te mir)

What is insulin detemir (Levemir, Levemir FlexPen)?

Insulin detemir is a man-made form of a hormone that is produced in the body. It works by lowering levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Insulin detemir is a long-acting form of insulin that is slightly different from other forms of insulin that are not man-made.

Insulin detemir is used to treat diabetes in adults and children.

Insulin detemir may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of insulin detemir (Levemir, Levemir FlexPen)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of insulin allergy: itching skin rash over the entire body, wheezing, trouble breathing, fast heart rate, sweating, or feeling like you might pass out.

Call your doctor if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • swelling in your hands or feet; or
  • low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling).

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is the most common side effect of insulin detemir. Symptoms of low blood sugar may include headache, nausea, hunger, confusion, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, blurred vision, fast heartbeat, sweating, tremor, trouble concentrating, confusion, or seizure (convulsions). Watch for signs of low blood sugar. Carry a piece of non-dietetic hard candy or glucose tablets with you in case you have low blood sugar.

Tell your doctor if you have itching, swelling, redness, or thickening of the skin where you inject insulin detemir.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about insulin detemir (Levemir, Levemir FlexPen)?

Many other drugs can potentially interfere with the effects of insulin detemir. It is extremely important that you tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Take care to keep your blood sugar from getting too low, causing hypoglycemia. Symptoms of low blood sugar may include headache, nausea, hunger, confusion, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, blurred vision, fast heartbeat, sweating, tremor, or trouble concentrating. Carry a piece of non-dietetic hard candy or glucose tablets with you in case you have low blood sugar. Also be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.

Also watch for signs of blood sugar that is too high (hyperglycemia). These symptoms include increased thirst, loss of appetite, fruity breath odor, increased urination, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dry skin, and dry mouth. Check your blood sugar levels and ask your doctor how to adjust your insulin doses if needed.

Never share an injection pen or cartridge with another person. Sharing injection pens or cartridges can allow disease such as hepatitis or HIV to pass from one person to another.

Insulin detemir is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, foot care, eye care, dental care, overall proper health care, and testing your blood sugar. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. Changing any of these factors can affect your blood sugar levels.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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