Insulin detemir (Injection)

Introduction

Insulin Detemir

Used as a long-acting insulin to control blood sugar levels in adults with diabetes.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Levemir

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to insulin detemir. This medicine is not for use in an insulin infusion pump.

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin.
  • You may need to adjust your dose of this medicine if you increase your activity or change your diet, even for a short time.
  • Do not give this medicine with an infusion pump and do not mix it with any other insulins.
  • To best manage your diabetes, carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet, exercise, or weight loss. Test your blood sugar regularly.

If a dose is missed:

  • Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • If you get this medicine in a vial (bottle), keep the vial in the refrigerator and do not allow it to freeze. If you cannot refrigerate your medicine vial, you may store it at room temperature, below 86 degrees F. The medicine will keep for up to 42 days if protected from heat and direct light.
  • If you use a prefilled FlexPen® or InnoLet® syringe, or a PenFill® cartridge, keep the medicine in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Once you start using a prefilled syringe or cartridge, keep it at room temperature, below 86 degrees F. Never store a used pen or cartridge with a needle in it, or in a refrigerator. The medicine will keep for up to 42 days if protected from heat and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Tell your doctor if you are also using danazol (Danocrine®), isoniazid (Nydrazid®), disopyramide (Norpace®), Prozac®, propoxyphene (Darvon®), octreotide (Sandostatin®), clonidine (Catapres®), lithium, or pentamidine (Nebupent®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you use asthma medicine or decongestants, steroid medicine, growth hormone, diuretics or "water pills," an MAO inhibitor (Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, Parnate®), or a phenothiazine (Compazine®). Your doctor should know if you use thyroid replacement, estrogen hormones, birth control pills, a sulfa drug (Bactrim®, Septra®),
  • Tell your doctor if you use beta-blockers such as atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol, Inderal®, or Toprol®, or a heart or blood pressure medicine such as captopril, enalapril, lisinopril, Accupril®, Lotrel®, or Zestril®.
  • Tell your doctor if you are using other insulins or diabetes medicine you take by mouth.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease or liver disease.
  • Never share insulin pens or cartridges with others under any circumstances. It is not safe for one pen to be used for more than one person. Sharing needles or pens can result in transmission of hepatitis viruses, HIV, or other blood-borne illnesses.
  • If your blood sugar gets too low, you may feel weak, drowsy, confused, anxious, or very hungry. You may also sweat, shake, or have blurred vision, a fast heartbeat, or a headache that will not go away. If you have symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), check your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is 70 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) or below, do one of the following: Drink 4 ounces (one-half cup) of fruit juice, or eat 5 to 6 pieces of hard candy, or take 2 to 3 glucose tablets. Recheck your blood sugar 15 minutes later. If your blood sugar goes above 70 mg/dL, eat a snack or a meal. If your blood sugar is still below 70 mg/dL, drink one-half cup juice, or eat 5 to 6 pieces of candy, or take 2 to 3 glucose tablets. Carry candy or some type of sugar with you at all times, especially if you are away from home. You can take this if you feel that your blood sugar is too low, even if you do not have a blood glucose meter. Always carefully follow your doctor's instructions about how to treat your low blood sugar. Learn what to do if your blood sugar gets too low. Teach friends, coworkers, and family members what they can do to help if you have low blood sugar.

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.
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting.
  • Extreme drowsiness or trouble concentrating.
  • Hot dry skin, increased urination, breath odor that smells like fruit.
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, drowsiness, excessive thirst.
  • Problems with your vision.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Pain, redness, itching, swelling, or hives on your skin where the shot is given.
  • Thickened or pitted skin where the shot is 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

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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