The history of insulin
The discovery of insulin in 1921 was a major breakthrough in the treatment of diabetes. Today, millions of people around the world are using insulin. Many people have been treating their diabetes with insulin for decades.
Moving to insulin
You may already be doing things that are helpful for controlling your blood sugar, like eating nutritious meals and staying active.
But, like many people with type 2 diabetes, you may also need to take insulin at some point to keep your blood sugar level in your target range. Remember, diabetes can change over time and so can your treatment needs.
See how insulin can provide blood sugar control for those who need it
Levemir® long-acting insulin
You may have heard that common side effects of insulin can include low blood sugar (or hypoglycemia) and weight gain.
Insulin helps lower blood sugar levels by moving sugar out of the bloodstream and into the cells where the sugar can be used for energy. If too much sugar moves out of the blood, low blood sugar can occur.
In studies, people who were treated with Levemir® had a low rate of low blood sugar events. In addition, studies have shown that people with type 2 diabetes taking Levemir® can reach their A1C and daily blood sugar goals with less weight gain than Lantus®, a different long-acting insulin.Learn more about Levemir®
Talk to your doctor about taking insulin
Having a good relationship with your doctor is very important. Your doctor is your partner in diabetes care. He or she can help you manage your diabetes so you can stay as healthy as possible.
Your diabetes is not like anyone else’s. And your treatment should fit your needs.
At your next appointment, consider talking with your diabetes care team about your diabetes treatment and whether taking insulin is right for you. Your health care provider wants to find a treatment plan that helps get your blood sugar to target levels and works for you.
When you talk to your diabetes care team, be sure to discuss:
- Your blood sugar goal. Find out what blood sugar level you should be trying to reach
- Your daily schedule. Decide the best times to be taking insulin, testing your blood sugar, and exercising
Our Diabetes & Insulin Doctor Discussion Guide can help you start a conversation with your doctor about your diabetes treatment options and whether taking insulin may be right for you.View a printable PDF of the questions
Working with a diabetes educator
A diabetes educator can be a nurse, dietitian, pharmacist, podiatrist, or other doctor. Many diabetes educators have also earned the certified diabetes educator (CDE) credential. Diabetes educators help people develop the skills to successfully manage their diabetes by teaching diabetes-friendly lifestyle and behavior.
To locate a diabetes educator near you, you can visit the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) website and use their Find a Diabetes Educator tool.
What is Levemir® (insulin detemir [rDNA origin] injection)?
- Levemir® is a man-made insulin used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes mellitus.
- Levemir® is not meant for use to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.
Important Safety Information
Who should not take Levemir®?
Do not take Levemir® if:
- you have an allergy to Levemir® or any of the ingredients in Levemir®
Before taking Levemir®, tell your health care provider about all your medical conditions including, if you are:
Talk to your health care provider about how to manage low blood sugar.
How should I take Levemir®?
- Read the Instructions for Use and take exactly as directed.
- Know the type and strength of your insulin. Do not change your insulin type unless your health care provider tells you to.
- Check your blood sugar levels. Ask your health care provider what your blood sugar levels should be and when you should check them.
- Do not share needles, insulin pens, or syringes. You may give or get an infection from another person.
- Never inject Levemir® into a vein or muscle.
What should I avoid while taking Levemir®?
- Do not drive or operate heavy machinery, until you know how it affects you.
- Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that contain alcohol.
What are the possible side effects of Levemir®?
Serious side effects can lead to death, including:
Low blood sugar. Some signs and symptoms include:
- anxiety, irritability, mood changes, dizziness, sweating, confusion, and headache.
Your insulin dose may need to change because of:
- change in level of physical activity, weight gain or loss, increased stress, illness, or change in diet.
Other common side effects may include:
- reactions at the injection site, itching, rash, serious allergic reactions (whole body reactions), skin thickening or pits at the injection site (lipodystrophy), weight gain, swelling of your hands and feet and if taken with thiazolidinediones (TZDs) possible heart failure.
Get emergency medical help if you have:
- trouble breathing, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, swelling of your face, tongue, or throat, sweating, extreme drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
Please click here for Levemir® Prescribing Information.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Levemir® is a prescription medication.
If you need assistance with prescription drug costs, help may be available. Visit pparx.org or call 1-888-4PPA-NOW.