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insulin detemir (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using insulin detemir (Levemir, Levemir FlexPen)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to insulin, or if you are having an episode of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Before using insulin detemir, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, or any disorder of your thyroid, adrenal, or pituitary glands.

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including any oral (taken by mouth) diabetes medications.

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, 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.

Your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether this medication is harmful to an unborn baby. Before using insulin detemir, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether insulin detemir passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use insulin detemir (Levemir, Levemir FlexPen)?

Use this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Do not mix or dilute insulin detemir with any other insulin, or use it with an insulin pump.

Insulin detemir is given as an injection (shot) under your skin. Your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist will give you specific instructions on how and where to inject this medicine. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.

If you use this medication once daily, use the injection at your evening meal or at bedtime. If you use the medication twice daily, use your evening dose at least 12 hours after your morning dose.

Insulin detemir should be thin, clear, and colorless. Do not use the medication if it looks cloudy, has changed colors, or has any particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

Choose a different place in your injection skin area each time you use this medication. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.

If you use an injection pen, attach a new needle to the pen each time you use it. Throw away only the needle in a puncture-proof container. You may continue using the pen for up to 42 days.

Needles may not be included with the injection pen. Ask your doctor or pharmacist which brand and type of needle to use with the pen.

Use each disposable needle only one time. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container. If your medicine does not come with such a container, ask your pharmacist where you can get one. Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets. Your pharmacist can tell you how to properly dispose of the container.

Some insulin needles can be used more than once, depending on needle brand and type. But a reused needle must be properly cleaned, recapped, and inspected for bending or breakage. Reusing needles also increases your risk of infection. Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether you are able to reuse your insulin needles.

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.

Check your blood sugar carefully during a time of stress or illness, if you travel, exercise more than usual, or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your insulin dose needs may also change.

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.

Ask your doctor how to adjust your insulin detemir dose if needed. Do not change your dose without first talking to your doctor.

Carry an ID card or wear a medical alert bracelet stating that you have diabetes, in case of emergency. Any doctor, dentist, or emergency medical care provider who treats you should know that you are diabetic.

Unopened vials, cartridges, or injection pens may also be stored at room temperature for up to 42 days, away from heat and bright light. Throw away any insulin not used within 42 days.

Do not freeze insulin detemir, and throw away the medication if it has become frozen.

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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