Possible side effects when using Levemir®

Side effects may occur when using Levemir®. We’ve provided some tips to help you manage the more common ones, as well as any important safety information you should know.

Please read the Levemir® Patient Information before you start taking Levemir®, as well as each time you get a refill.

Side effect: low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

Your blood sugar may drop to a low level when you use insulin. Learn to recognize the symptoms of low blood sugar and follow your health care provider’s instructions for treating low blood sugar.

Symptoms may include: anxiety, irritability, mood changes, dizziness, sweating, confusion, and headache. Severe low blood sugar can cause unconsciousness (passing out), seizures, and death if left untreated.

Talk to your health care provider if low blood sugar has become a problem for you.

Ways to prepare for low blood sugar:

  • Carry glucose tablets with you when going out. Glucose tablets are available at most pharmacies and are inexpensive. Taking them will quickly raise your blood sugar
  • Have some sugary foods available in your home. Juice, regular (non-diet) soda, fruit, and candy can boost your blood sugar back into your target range
  • Keep a glucagon kit for emergencies. Just in case, keep a glucagon kit in your home and have your health care provider show a loved one or caregiver how and when to use it

Side effect: serious allergic reaction (whole body reaction)

Get emergency medical help right away, if you develop a rash over your whole body; trouble breathing; shortness of breath; a fast heartbeat; swelling of your face, tongue, or throat; sweating; extreme drowsiness; dizziness; or confusion.

Side effect: reaction at the injection site (local allergic reaction)

A local allergic reaction may occur on the body where insulin is injected.

Symptoms may include: redness, swelling, and itching at the injection site.

Ways to manage reactions at the site of injection:

  • Talk to your health care provider if you continue to have reactions or if they are serious. You may need to stop using Levemir® and use a different insulin
  • Do not inject insulin into skin that is red, swollen, or itchy

Side effect: skin thickness or pits at the injection site (lipodystrophy)

If you inject insulin in roughly the same place on your body over and over again, scar tissue can develop under that area of the skin. This is called lipodystrophy.

Symptoms may include: small dents or lumps on the skin close to areas where you often inject your insulin.

Ways to manage skin problems at the site of injection:

  • Rotate where you inject. Your injection site should be rotated within the same region (abdomen, thigh, or upper arm) from one injection to the next to reduce the risk of lypodystrophy
  • Stop injecting insulin into or near the problem area and speak to your health care provider about what to do

Other possible side effects

  • Swelling of your hands and feet
  • Vision changes
  • Low potassium in your blood (hypokalemia)

These are not all the possible side effects from Levemir®. For more, please see Levemir® Patient Information.

Call your health care provider for medical advice about side effects. 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.

More questions about treatment with Levemir®? See our FAQs


Talk with your doctor about Levemir®

Our Taking Levemir® Doctor Discussion Guide can help you start a conversation with your health care provider if you still have questions about your Levemir® prescription.

View a printable PDF of the questions