Levemir Vs Lantus Insulin
Both levemir and lantus are basal insulins, meaning that once injected, they keep working in the background to keep your blood glucose levels under control during the entire day. They are both used to treat high blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. As long acting insulins, both medications work longer compared to other insulins, and are used to replace the natural hormone in the body. These medicines are not supposed to be used together to treat patients with diabetes. Even though these drugs are both long acting insulins, they should not be used interchangeably without the doctor’s advice. Both drugs have different formula concentrations, meaning that there is a small difference in how they work to control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Because of this, they must be prescribed separately and not together. Whether you are prescribed to take levemir or lantus, they should work well in controlling your blood sugar. The medications usually come in regimens that includes short acting insulins or rapid acting insulins.
What is Levemir?
Levemir or insulin detemir is a man made form of insulin which works by lowering blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. Do not use this medication if it has changed colors. Patients can use this medication once or twice every day. In case it is taken once, it should be administered with the evening meal. If taken twice, you should take the dose with the morning meal and evening meal. The evening dose should be 12 hours after the morning dose.
What is Lantus?
Lantus or insulin glargine is a long acting acting insulin which works by replacing human insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. Insulin glargine comes in injectible form and is usually administered subcutaneously in the upper arm, stomach or thigh.
Similarities and differences between lantus vs levemir
Both levemir and lantus are long acting insulins, meaning that they take several hours before they start to work and the effects can last up to 24 hours. They are both considered to be insulin analogs, meaning that they are man made insulin with a slightly altered molecule structure compared to human insulin, but performs the same functions with a small difference which slows down absorption. Levemir has a clear appearance and the formula is made of dissolved detemir. Lantus also has a clear appearance and the formula is made of dissolved glargine. Both detemir and glargine are genetically engineered to mimic the natural insulin produced by the pancreas. Both medicines are available in cartridges or vials. These Insulins are administered subcutaneously once every day, although some studies show that levemir can be administered twice every day (always follow your doctor’s directions for how often to administer). As you use both insulin injections, you are supposed to rotate the injection site so that you can avoid adverse reactions.
The medications are usually stored inside a refrigerator or at room temperature away from moisture and light. Taking these medications can lead to the risk of hypoglycemia with symptoms such as
- blurred vision
Other common side effects between them include injection site reactions, with symptoms such as redness, pain and swelling. However, levemir may lead to more injection site reaction compared to lantus.
The following are common side effects between these insulin drugs
- Low blood potassium level
- Increased heart rate
- Blurred vision
You may also experience allergic reactions as a result of using both levemir and lantus. In case you experience allergic reaction symptoms such as hives, swelling and skin rash, you should inform your doctor immediately.
Levemir refers to the brand name of insulin detemir while lantus is the brand name of insulin glargine. Whereas levemir lasts for 42 days once it is opened, lantus lasts for 28 days. Whereas levemir has a peak period of 6 hours, lantus releases slowly, therefore does not have a peak period. Unlike lantus, levemir does not result in precipation when it is injected. Levemir has an extended action because its changed form makes it stick together so that it can be absorbed slowly. There are some differences between them when it comes to side effects. Levemir is less likely to cause weight gain compared to lantus. Other studies suggest that lantus has more negative effects on mitochondria compared to levemir. Levemir can be used by children who are above the age 2 years. On the hand, lantus is used by children who are above the age of 6 years.
Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.