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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 insulin, 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 type 2 diabetes in adults.

Insulin detemir is also used to treat type 1 diabetes in adults and children who are at least 2 years old.

Insulin detemir may also be used for 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 at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

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

Less serious side effects may include:

  • thickening of the skin where you inject insulin detemir;
  • weight gain;
  • mild headache, back pain;
  • stomach pain; or
  • flu symptoms, or cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.

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)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to insulin detemir, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with a short-acting insulin).

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 prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can occur if you skip a meal, exercise too long, drink alcohol, or are under stress. An insulin overdose can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia. Know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how to recognize them: headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, or trouble concentrating. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.



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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