- Learn More About High-Alert Medications
- Download this Safety Information: Levemir (insulin detemir)
- The leaflets are FREELY available for download and can be reproduced for free distribution to consumers. Or, if you are a facility or organization, you can order professional pre-printed leaflets shipped directly to you.
Extra care is needed because Levemir is a high-alert medicine.
High-alert medicines have been proven to be safe and effective. But these medicines can cause serious injury if a mistake happens while taking them. This means that it is very important for you to know about this medicine and take it exactly as directed.
Top 10 List of Safety Tips for Levemir
|When taking your medicine|
|1.||Know your insulin. Levemir is a long-acting insulin that should be injected below the skin once or twice daily. (When taken in smaller doses, Levemir may be considered an intermediate-acting insulin.) When Levemir is taken once daily, inject the insulin with the evening meal or at bedtime. When taken twice daily, the evening dose should be taken with the evening meal, at bedtime, or 12 hours following the morning dose.|
|2.||Prepare your insulin. A rapid- or short-acting insulin is often prescribed with Levemir. However, Levemir should never be mixed in the same syringe with other insulins before injection. Do not vigorously shake insulin before use.|
|3.||Don't reuse or recycle. Discard used syringes/needles, pens, and lancets in a sealable hard plastic or metal container (e.g., empty detergent bottle, sharps container from your pharmacy). When the container is full, seal the lid before placing it in the trash. Don't reuse or recycle syringes, needles, or lancets.|
|4.||Don't share. Even if you change the needle, sharing an insulin pen or syringe may spread diseases carried in the blood, including hepatitis and HIV.|
|To avoid serious side effects|
|5.||t Avoid mix-ups. If you use more than one type of insulin, make sure each vial, pen, or cartridge looks different. If insulins look similar, put a rubber band around one type to help avoid mix-ups.|
|6.||Check your medicine. There are dozens of different insulins on the market, many in similar looking vials, cartons, or pens. When you pick up your insulin at the pharmacy, be sure it's the right type of insulin.|
|7.||Treat low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Carry a quick source of sugar, such as glucose tablets, candy, or juice, to treat low blood sugar. Signs of low blood sugar are listed below.|
|8.||Test your blood sugar level. Ask your doctor how often you should test your blood sugar level. Keep a log of your blood sugar levels and how much insulin you take each day. Bring the log with you each time you visit your doctor.|
|9.||Get a periodic lab test. You should have a hemoglobin A1c test at least twice a year to determine how well your diabetes is being controlled. The test shows an average of your blood sugar control over a 6- to 12-week period. Your goal is a hemoglobin A1c of 7% or less.|
|When you should call your doctor|
|10.||Call for illness or changes in habits. Your insulin needs may change because of illness, stress, changes in eating habits or physical activity, and other medicines you take. Call your doctor if you experience these conditions. Never change your insulin dose unless advised by your doctor.|
Signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Hypoglycemia is caused by too much insulin or increased work or exercise without eating. Symptoms of hypoglycemia may be different for each person and can change from time to time. Hypoglycemia can affect your ability to think and react quickly, so driving a car could be risky. Severe hypoglycemia can lead to loss of consciousness, seizures, brain damage, or even death. Know the symptoms of hypoglycemia and treat it quickly by drinking juice or a sugar-containing beverage, or eating sugar or candy. Talk to your doctor if hypoglycemia is a problem for you.
|Common brand names||
|Type of insulin, onset, duration||
|When to take the insulin||
|Injecting the insulin||
|Special instructions and precautions||
|Safety during pregnancy/breastfeeding||
|Storage and disposal||
|Most common side effects||
|Other conditions to report to your doctor||
|Herbals that should not be taken with Levemir||
|Prescription medicines that should not be taken with Levemir||
|Special tests your doctor may prescribe||
This information does not replace the need to follow your doctor's instructions and read the drug information leaflet provided with your prescription.
This project was supported by grant number R18HS017910 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not represent the official views of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.