Medical Services Patients & Visitors Health Information For Medical Professionals Quality About Us
Text Size:  -   +  |  Print Page  |  Email Page

Insulin detemir (Injection)

Insulin Detemir (IN-su-lin DET-e-mir)

Treats diabetes.

Brand Name(s):

Levemir, Levemir FlexPen, Levemir FlexTouch

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to insulin detemir.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • 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. If you use insulin once a day, it is best to use it at about the same time every day.
  • You will be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions.
  • This medicine should look clear and colorless before you use it. Do not use this medicine if it is cloudy or thick. Do not mix it with any other insulins.
  • You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas. Do not use this medicine in an infusion pump.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Levemir® vial (bottle): Use only a syringe that is made for insulin injections. Use a new syringe and needle each time you give yourself an injection.
  • Levemir® FlexPen® or FlexTouch®: Use a new needle each time you give an injection.
  • When you get a new supply of insulin, check the label to be sure it is the correct type.
  • Missed dose: Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
  • Unopened medicine:
    • Store the unused insulin vials, FlexPen®, or FlexTouch® pen in the refrigerator. Protect from light. Do not freeze.
    • If you cannot refrigerate your medicine, you may also store unused medicines at room temperature in a cool place away from direct heat and light for 42 days.
  • Opened medicine that is currently being used:
    • Vials: Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature in a cool place, away from sunlight and heat. Use within 42 days.
    • FlexPen® or FlexTouch® pen: Keep it at room temperature, away from direct heat and light. Do not refrigerate. Do not store with the needle in place. Throw away any opened pen after 42 days.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Some foods and medicines can affect how insulin detemir works. Tell your doctor if you are using aspirin, clonidine, clozapine, danazol, disopyramide, fluoxetine, glucagon, guanethidine, isoniazid, lithium, niacin, olanzapine, pentamidine, pentoxifylline, pramlintide, propoxyphene, reserpine, or somatropin.
  • Also tell your doctor if you are using asthma medicine, a diuretic (water pill), blood pressure medicine, medicine to lower cholesterol, an MAO inhibitor, medicine to treat HIV or AIDS, steroid medicine, a phenothiazine medicine (such as chlorpromazine, promethazine, thioridazine, prochlorperazine), thyroid medicine, or birth control pills.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or heart failure.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Low blood sugar
    • Fluid retention or heart failure (when used with thiazolidinedione [TZD] medicine)
  • Never share insulin pens or cartridges with anyone. Shared needles or pens can pass hepatitis virus, HIV, and other illnesses from one person to another.
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) may occur if you do not use this medicine correctly.
  • Your doctor may change your insulin dose for diet or activity changes, illness, pregnancy, or other conditions that may stress your body.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

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
  • Confusion, restlessness, headache, hunger, slurred speech, vision changes
  • Shaking, trembling, sweating, lightheadedness, fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Trouble breathing, tiredness, or bluish-colored skin

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

  • Redness, pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the shot was 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

Last Updated: 4/8/2016

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

Truven Health Analytics. All rights reserved.

Thomson & A.D.A.M
A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and chrome browser.