Levemir

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP Last updated on RxList: 7/13/2022
Drug Description

What is Levemir and how is it used?

Levemir is a prescription medicine used to treat the symptoms of Type I or II Diabetes Mellitus. Levemir may be used alone or with other medications.

Levemir belongs to a class of drugs called Antidiabetics, Insulins; Antidiabetics, Long-Acting Insulins.

It is not known if Levemir is safe and effective in children younger than 2 years of age.

What are the possible side effects of Levemir?

Levemir may cause serious side effects including:

  • redness or swelling where the injection was given,
  • itchy skin rash over the entire body,
  • trouble breathing,
  • fast heartbeats,
  • lightheadedness,
  • swelling in your tongue or throat,
  • weight gain,
  • swelling in your hands or feet,
  • shortness of breath,
  • leg cramps,
  • constipation,
  • irregular heartbeats,
  • fluttering in your chest,
  • increased thirst or urination,
  • numbness or tingling, and
  • muscle weakness or limp feeling

Get medical help right away, if you have any of the symptoms listed above.

The most common side effects of Levemir include:

  • low blood sugar,
  • itching,
  • mild skin rash, and
  • thickening or hollowing of the skin where you injected the medicine

Tell the doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of Levemir. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

DESCRIPTION

LEVEMIR® (insulin detemir [rDNA origin] injection) is a sterile solution of insulin detemir for use as a subcutaneous injection. Insulin detemir is a long-acting (up to 24-hour duration of action) recombinant human insulin analog. LEVEMIR® is produced by a process that includes expression of recombinant DNA in Saccharomyces cerevisiae followed by chemical modification.

Insulin detemir differs from human insulin in that the amino acid threonine in position B30 has been omitted, and a C14 fatty acid chain has been attached to the amino acid B29. Insulin detemir has a molecular formula of C267H402O76N64S6 and a molecular weight of 5916.9. It has the following structure:

Figure 1: Structural Formula of insulin detemir

LEVEMIR® (insulin detemir [rDNA origin]) Structural Formula Illustration

LEVEMIR® is a clear, colorless, aqueous, neutral sterile solution. Each milliliter of LEVEMIR® contains 100 units (14.2 mg/mL) insulin detemir, 65.4 mcg zinc, 2.06 mg m-cresol, 16.0 mg glycerol, 1.80 mg phenol, 0.89 mg disodium phosphate dihydrate, 1.17 mg sodium chloride, and water for injection. Hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide may be added to adjust pH. LEVEMIR® has a pH of approximately 7.4.

Indications & Dosage

INDICATIONS

LEVEMIR is indicated to improve glycemic control in adult and pediatric patients with diabetes mellitus.

Limitations Of Use

LEVEMIR is not recommended for the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Important Administration Instructions

  • Always check insulin labels before administration [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • Visually inspect for particulate matter and discoloration. Only use LEVEMIR if the solution appears clear and colorless.
  • Inject LEVEMIR subcutaneously into the thigh, upper arm, or abdomen.
  • Rotate injection sites within the same region from one injection to the next to reduce the risk of lipodystrophy and localized cutaneous amyloidosis. Do not inject into areas of lipodystrophy or localized cutaneous amyloidosis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS].
  • During changes to a patient’s insulin regimen, increase the frequency of blood glucose monitoring [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • Do not dilute or mix LEVEMIR with any other insulin or solution.
  • Do not administer LEVEMIR intravenously or in an insulin infusion pump.
  • LEVEMIR FlexTouch pen dials in 1 unit increments.
  • Use LEVEMIR FlexTouch pens with caution in patients with visual impairment who may rely on audible clicks to dial their dose.

General Dosing Instructions

  • LEVEMIR can be administered by subcutaneous injection once or twice daily. Administer once daily doses with the evening meal or at bedtime. For twice daily dosing, administer the evening dose with the evening meal, at bedtime, or 12 hours after the morning dose.
  • Individualize and titrate the dose of LEVEMIR based on the patient’s metabolic needs, blood glucose monitoring results, and glycemic control goal.
  • Dose adjustments may be needed with changes in physical activity, changes in meal patterns (i.e., macronutrient content or timing of food intake), changes in renal or hepatic function or during acute illness to minimize the risk of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • In patients with type 1 diabetes, LEVEMIR must be used in a regimen with rapid acting or short acting insulin.

Starting Dose In Insulin Naive Patients

Recommended Starting Dosage In Patients With Type 1 Diabetes

The recommended starting dose of LEVEMIR in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus is approximately one third to one half of the total daily insulin dose. The remainder of the total daily insulin dose should be administered as short acting pre meal insulin. As a general rule, 0.2 to 0.4 units of insulin per kilogram of body weight can be used to calculate the initial total daily insulin dose in insulin naïve patients with type 1 diabetes.

Recommended Starting Dosage In Patients With Type 2 Diabetes

The recommended starting dose of LEVEMIR in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus inadequately controlled on oral antidiabetic medications or a GLP 1 receptor agonist is 10 units (or 0.1 units/kg to 0.2 units/kg) given once daily in the evening or divided into a twice daily regimen.

Switching To LEVEMIR From Other Insulin Therapies

Dosage adjustments are recommended to lower the risk of hypoglycemia when switching patients to LEVEMIR from another insulin therapy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

  • If converting from insulin glargine to LEVEMIR, the change can be done on a unit to unit basis.
  • If converting from NPH insulin, the change can be done on a unit to unit basis. However, some patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus may require more LEVEMIR than NPH insulin, as observed in one trial [see Clinical Studies].

HOW SUPPLIED

Dosage Forms And Strengths

Injection: 100 units/mL (U 100), is a clear, colorless, solution available as:

  • 3 mL single patient use FlexTouch prefilled pen
  • 10 mL multiple dose vial

Storage And Handling

LEVEMIR (insulin detemir) injection 100 units/mL (U 100) is a clear and colorless solution available in the following presentations:

Presentation NDC
3 mL Single-patient-use FlexTouch pen 0169-6438-10
10 mL Multiple-dose vial 0169-3687-12

Additional Information about LEVEMIR FlexTouch:

  • The pen dials in 1 unit increments.
  • Use NovoFine® or NovoTwist® disposable needles.
  • Each pen for use by a single patient. LEVEMIR FlexTouch must never be shared between patients, even if the needle is changed.

Storage

Dispense in the original sealed carton with the enclosed Instructions for Use.

Store unused (unopened) LEVEMIR in the refrigerator between 36° to 46°F (2° and 8°C). Do not store in the freezer or directly adjacent to the refrigerator cooling element. Do not freeze. Do not use LEVEMIR if it has been frozen. Keep unused LEVEMIR in the carton so that it stays clean and protected from light.

Remove the needle from the LEVEMIR FlexTouch pen after each injection and store without a needle attached. Use a new needle for each injection.

The storage conditions for vials and LEVEMIR FlexTouch pens are summarized in Table 11:

Table 11: Storage Conditions for LEVEMIR FlexTouch and Vial

LEVEMIR Presentation Not in-use (unopened) In-use(opened)
Refrigerated (36°F to 46°F [2°C and 8°C]) Room Temperature (up to 86°F [30°C]) Refrigerated (36°F to 46°F [2°C and 8°C]) Room Temperature (up to 86°F [30°C])
3 mL single- patient-use LEVEMIR FlexTouch pen Until expiration date 42 days Do not refrigerate 42 days
10 mL multiple-dose vial Until expiration date 42 days 42 days 42 days

Manufactured by: Novo Nordisk Inc. 800 Scudders Mill Road Plainsboro, NJ 08536 U.S. License Number 1261 For information about LEVEMIR contact: Novo Nordisk Inc. 800 Scudders Mill Road Plainsboro, New Jersey 08536 1 800 727 6500. Revised: Jul 2022

SLIDESHOW

Diabetes: What Raises and Lowers Your Blood Sugar Level? See Slideshow
Side Effects

SIDE EFFECTS

The following adverse reactions are discussed elsewhere:

  • Hypoglycemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Hypoglycemia Due to Medication errors [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Hypokalemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Clinical Trial Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying designs, the adverse reaction rates reported in one clinical trial may not be easily compared to those rates reported in another clinical trial, and may not reflect the rates actually observed in clinical practice.

The frequencies of adverse reactions (excluding hypoglycemia) reported during LEVEMIR clinical trials in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus and type 2 diabetes mellitus are listed in Tables 1 4 below. See Tables 5 and 6 for the hypoglycemia findings.

In two pooled trials, adults with type 1 diabetes were exposed to individualized doses of LEVEMIR (n=767) or NPH (n=388). The mean duration of exposure to LEVEMIR was 153 days, and the total exposure to LEVEMIR was 321 patient years. The most common adverse reactions are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1: Adverse Reactions Occurring in ≥ 5% of LEVEMIR Treated Adult Patients with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus in Two Trials of 16 Weeks and 24 Weeks Duration

LEVEMIR, %
(n = 767)
Upper respiratory tract infection 26.1
Headache 22.6
Pharyngitis 9.5
Influenza-like illness 7.8
Abdominal Pain 6.0

Adults with type 1 diabetes were exposed to LEVEMIR (n=161) or insulin glargine (n=159). The mean duration of exposure to LEVEMIR was 176 days, and the total exposure to LEVEMIR was 78 patient years. The most common adverse reactions are summarized in Table 2.

Table 2: Adverse Reactions Occurring in ≥ 5% of LEVEMIR Treated Adult Patients with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus in a 26 week Trial

LEVEMIR, %
(n = 161)
Upper respiratory tract infection 26.7
Headache 14.3
Back pain 8.1
Influenza-like illness 6.2
Gastroenteritis 5.6
Bronchitis 5.0

In two pooled trials, adults with type 2 diabetes were exposed to LEVEMIR (n=432) or NPH (n=437). The mean duration of exposure to LEVEMIR was 157 days, and the total exposure to LEVEMIR was 186 patient years. The most common adverse reactions were comparable to that observed in adult patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus; see Table 1.

Pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes were exposed to individualized doses of LEVEMIR (n=232) or NPH (n=115). The mean duration of exposure to LEVEMIR was 180 days, and the total exposure to LEVEMIR was 114 patient years. The most common adverse reactions are summarized in Table 3.

Table 3: Adverse Reactions Occurring in ≥ 5% of LEVEMIR Treated Pediatric Patients with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus in a 26 week Trial

LEVEMIR, %
(n = 232)
Upper respiratory tract infection 35.8
Headache 31.0
Pharyngitis 17.2
Gastroenteritis 16.8
Influenza-like illness 13.8
Abdominal pain 13.4
Pyrexia 10.3
Cough 8.2
Viral infection 7.3
Nausea 6.5
Rhinitis 6.5
Vomiting 6.5

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia was the most commonly observed adverse reaction in patients treated with LEVEMIR. The rates of reported hypoglycemia depend on the definition of hypoglycemia used, diabetes type, insulin dose, intensity of glucose control, background therapies, and other intrinsic and extrinsic patient factors. For these reasons, comparing rates of hypoglycemia in clinical trials for LEVEMIR with the incidence of hypoglycemia for other products may be misleading and also, may not be representative of hypoglycemia rates that will occur in clinical practice.

Table 4 (type 1 diabetes) and Table 5 (type 2 diabetes) summarize the incidence of severe and non severe hypoglycemia in the LEVEMIR clinical trials.

For the adult trials and one of the pediatric trials (Study D), severe hypoglycemia was defined as an event with symptoms consistent with hypoglycemia requiring assistance of another person and associated with either a plasma glucose value below 56 mg/dL (blood glucose below 50 mg/dL) or prompt recovery after oral carbohydrate, intravenous glucose or glucagon administration.

For the other pediatric trial (Study I), severe hypoglycemia was defined as an event with semi consciousness, unconsciousness, coma and/or convulsions in a patient who could not assist in the treatment and who may have required glucagon or intravenous glucose. For the adult trials and pediatric trial (Study D), non severe hypoglycemia was defined as an asymptomatic or symptomatic plasma glucose <56 mg/dL (or equivalently blood glucose <50 mg/dL as used in Study A and C) that was self treated by the patient. For pediatric Study I, non severe hypoglycemia included asymptomatic events with plasma glucose <65 mg/dL as well as symptomatic events that the patient could self treat or treat by taking oral therapy provided by the caregiver.

Table 4: Hypoglycemia in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes

Severe Hypoglycemia Non-Severe Hypoglycemia
Percent of patients with at least 1 event (n/total N) Event/ patient/ year Percent of patients (n/total N) Event/ patient/ year
Study A Type 1 Diabetes Adults 16 weeks In combination with insulin aspart Twice-Daily LEVEMIR 8.7 (24/276) 0.52 88.0 (243/276) 26.4
Study B Type 1 Diabetes Adults 26 weeks In combination with insulin aspart Twice-Daily LEVEMIR 5.0 (8/161) 0.13 82.0 (132/161) 20.2
Study C Type 1 Diabetes Adults 24 weeks In combination with regular insulin Once-Daily LEVEMIR 7.5 (37/491) 0.35 88.4 (434/491) 31.1
Study D Type 1 Diabetes Pediatrics 26 weeks In combination with insulin aspart Once- or Twice Daily LEVEMIR 15.9 (37/232) 0.91 93.1 (216/232) 31.6
Study I Type 1 Diabetes Pediatrics 52 weeks In combination with insulin aspart Once- or Twice Daily LEVEMIR 1.7 (3/177) 0.02 94.9 (168/177) 56.1

Table 5: Hypoglycemia in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

Study E Type 2 Diabetes Adults 24 weeks In combination with oral agents Study F Type 2 Diabetes Adults 22 weeks In combination with insulin aspart Study H Type 2 Diabetes Adults 26 weeks in combination with Liraglutide and Metformin
Twice-Daily LEVEMIR Once- or Twice Daily LEVEMIR Once Daily LEVEMIR + Liraglutide + Metformin
Severe Percent of patients with at least 1 event 0.4 1.5 0
hypoglycemia (n/total N) (1/237) (3/195)
Event/patient/year 0.01 0.04 0
Percent of patients 40.5 32.3 9.2
Non-severe (n/total N) (96/237) (63/195) (15/163)
hypoglycemia Event/patient/year 3.5 1.6 0.29

Hypersensitivity Reactions

Severe, life threatening, generalized allergy, including anaphylaxis, generalized skin reactions, angioedema, bronchospasm, hypotension, and shock have occurred with insulin, including LEVEMIR, and may be life threatening.

Insulin Initiation And Intensification Of Glucose Control

Intensification or rapid improvement in glucose control has been associated with a transitory, reversible ophthalmologic refraction disorder, worsening of diabetic retinopathy, and acute painful peripheral neuropathy. However, long term glycemic control decreases the risk of diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy.

Lipodystrophy

Long term use of insulin, including LEVEMIR, can cause lipodystrophy at the site of repeated insulin injections. Lipodystrophy includes lipohypertrophy (thickening of adipose tissue) and lipoatrophy (thinning of adipose tissue), and may affect insulin absorption [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Weight Gain

Weight gain can occur with insulin therapy, including LEVEMIR, and has been attributed to the anabolic effects of insulin and the decrease in glucosuria [see Clinical Studies]. In the clinical program, the mean change in body weight from baseline in adult patients with type 1 diabetes (Study A, B, and C) treated with LEVEMIR ranged from 0.3 kg to 0.5 kg. The mean change in body weight from baseline in adult patients with type 2 diabetes (Study E, F, and H) treated with LEVEMIR ranged from 0.5 kg to 1.2 kg.

Peripheral Edema

Insulin, including LEVEMIR, may cause sodium retention and edema, particularly if previously poor metabolic control is improved by intensified insulin therapy.

Injection Site Reactions

Patients taking LEVEMIR may experience injection site reactions, including localized erythema, pain, pruritus, urticaria, edema, and inflammation. In clinical studies in adults, three patients treated with LEVEMIR reported injection site pain (0.25%).

Immunogenicity

All insulin products can elicit the formation of insulin antibodies. These insulin antibodies may increase or decrease the efficacy of insulin and may require adjustment of the insulin dose. In clinical trials of LEVEMIR, antibody development has been observed with no apparent impact on glycemic control.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of LEVEMIR. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Medication errors have been reported in which rapid acting or short acting insulins and other insulins, have been accidentally administered instead of LEVEMIR.

Localized cutaneous amyloidosis at the injection site has occurred. Hyperglycemia has been reported with repeated insulin injections into areas of localized cutaneous amyloidosis; hypoglycemia has been reported with a sudden change to an unaffected injection site.

Drug Interactions

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Table 6 includes clinically significant drug interactions with LEVEMIR.

Table 6: Clinically Significant Drug Interactions with LEVEMIR

Drugs That May Increase the Risk of Hypoglycemia
Drugs: Antidiabetic agents, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blocking agents, disopyramide, fibrates, fluoxetine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, pentoxifylline, pramlintide, salicylates, somatostatin analogs (e.g., octreotide), and sulfonamide antibiotics, GLP-1 receptor agonists, DPP-4 inhibitors, SGLT-2 inhibitors.
Intervention: Dosage reductions and increased frequency of glucose monitoring may be required when LEVEMIR is co-administered with these drugs.
Drugs That May Decrease the Blood Glucose Lowering Effect of LEVEMIR
Drugs: Atypical antipsychotics (e.g., olanzapine and clozapine), corticosteroids, danazol, diuretics, estrogens, glucagon, isoniazid, niacin, oral contraceptives, phenothiazines, progestogens (e.g., in oral contraceptives), protease inhibitors, somatropin, sympathomimetic agents (e.g., albuterol, epinephrine, terbutaline), and thyroid hormones.
Intervention: Dosage increases and increased frequency of glucose monitoring may be required when LEVEMIR is co-administered with these drugs.
Drugs That May Increase or Decrease the Blood Glucose Lowering Effect of LEVEMIR
Drugs: Alcohol, beta-blockers, clonidine, and lithium salts. Pentamidine may cause hypoglycemia, which may sometimes be followed by hyperglycemia.
Intervention: Dosage adjustment and increased frequency of glucose monitoring may be required when LEVEMIR is co-administered with these drugs.
Drugs That May Blunt Signs and Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
Drugs: Beta-blockers, clonidine, guanethidine, and reserpine
Intervention: Increased frequency of glucose monitoring may be required when LEVEMIR is coadministered with these drugs.

Warnings & Precautions

WARNINGS

Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.

PRECAUTIONS

Never Share A LEVEMIR FlexTouch Pen, Needle, Or Insulin Syringe Between Patients

LEVEMIR FlexTouch prefilled pens must never be shared between patients, even if the needle is changed. Patients using LEVEMIR vials should never share needles or syringes with another person. Sharing poses a risk for transmission of blood borne pathogens.

Hyperglycemia Or Hypoglycemia With Changes In Insulin Regimen

Changes in an insulin regimen (e.g., insulin strength, manufacturer, type, injection site or method of administration) may affect glycemic control and predispose to hypoglycemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS] or hyperglycemia. Repeated insulin injections into areas of lipodystrophy or localized cutaneous amyloidosis have been reported to result in hyperglycemia; and a sudden change in the injection site (to an unaffected area) has been reported to result in hypoglycemia [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Make any changes to a patient’s insulin regimen under close medical supervision with increased frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Advise patients who have repeatedly injected into areas of lipodystrophy or localized cutaneous amyloidosis to change the injection site to unaffected areas and closely monitor for hypoglycemia. For patients with type 2 diabetes, dosage adjustments of concomitant antidiabetic products may be needed [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is the most common adverse reaction of insulin, including LEVEMIR [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Severe hypoglycemia can cause seizures, may be life threatening or cause death. Hypoglycemia can impair concentration ability and reaction time; this may place the patient and others at risk in situations where these abilities are important (e.g., driving or operating other machinery). LEVEMIR, or any insulin, should not be used during episodes of hypoglycemia [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].

Hypoglycemia can happen suddenly and symptoms may differ in each patient and change over time in the same patient. Symptomatic awareness of hypoglycemia may be less pronounced in patients with longstanding diabetes, in patients with diabetic neuropathy, using drug that block the sympathetic nervous system (e.g., beta blockers) [see DRUG INTERACTIONS], or who experience recurrent hypoglycemia.

Risk Factors For Hypoglycemia

The risk of hypoglycemia generally increases with intensity of glycemic control. The risk of hypoglycemia after an injection is related to the duration of action of the insulin [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY] and, in general, is highest when the glucose lowering effect of the insulin is maximal. As with all insulins, the glucose lowering effect time course of LEVEMIR may vary among different patients or at different times in the same patient and depends on many conditions, including the area of injection as well as the injection site blood supply and temperature. Other factors which may increase the risk of hypoglycemia include changes in meal pattern (e.g., macronutrient content or timing of meals), changes in level of physical activity, or changes to concomitant drugs [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]. When a GLP 1 receptor agonist is used in combination with LEVEMIR, the LEVEMIR dose may need to be lowered or more conservatively titrated to minimize the risk of hypoglycemia [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Patients with renal or hepatic impairment may be at higher risk of hypoglycemia [see Use In Specific Populations].

Risk Mitigation Strategies For Hypoglycemia

Patients and caregivers must be educated to recognize and manage hypoglycemia. Self monitoring of blood glucose plays an essential role in the prevention and management of hypoglycemia. In patients at higher risk for hypoglycemia and patients who have reduced symptomatic awareness of hypoglycemia, increased frequency of blood glucose monitoring is recommended.

Hypoglycemia Due To Medication Errors

Accidental mix ups between insulin products have been reported. To avoid medication errors between LEVEMIR and other insulins, instruct patients to always check the insulin label before each injection. –

Hypersensitivity Reactions

Severe, life threatening, generalized allergy, including anaphylaxis, can occur with insulins, including LEVEMIR [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. If hypersensitivity reactions occur, discontinue LEVEMIR; treat per standard of care and monitor until symptoms and signs resolve. LEVEMIR is contraindicated in patients who have had hypersensitivity reactions to insulin detemir or any of the excipients.

Hypokalemia

All insulins, including LEVEMIR, cause a shift in potassium from the extracellular to intracellular space, possibly leading to hypokalemia. Untreated hypokalemia may cause respiratory paralysis, ventricular arrhythmia, and death. Monitor potassium levels in patients at risk for hypokalemia if indicated (e.g., patients using potassium lowering medications, patients taking medications sensitive to serum potassium concentrations).

Fluid Retention And Heart Failure With Concomitant Use Of PPAR Gamma Agonists

Thiazolidinediones (TZDs), which are peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR) gamma agonists, can cause dose related fluid retention, when used in combination with insulin. Fluid retention may lead to or exacerbate heart failure. Patients treated with insulin, including LEVEMIR, and a PPAR gamma agonist should be observed for signs and symptoms of heart failure. If heart failure develops, it should be managed according to current standards of care, and discontinuation or dose reduction of the PPAR gamma agonist must be considered.

Patient Counseling Information

See FDA Approved Patient Labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION and Instructions for Use). There are separate Instructions for Use for the Vials and LEVEMIR FlexTouch Pen.

Never Share A LEVEMIR FlexTouch Pen Or Insulin Syringe Between Patients

Advise patients that they must never share a LEVEMIR FlexTouch pen with another person, even if the needle is changed. Advise patients using LEVEMIR vials not to share needles or insulin syringes with another person. Sharing poses a risk for transmission of blood borne pathogens [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Hyperglycemia Or Hypoglycemia

Inform patients that hypoglycemia is the most common adverse reaction with insulin. Inform patients of the symptoms of hypoglycemia (e.g., impaired ability to concentrate and react). This may present a risk in situations where these abilities are especially important, such as driving or operating other machinery. Advise patients who have frequent hypoglycemia or reduced or absent warning signs of hypoglycemia to use caution when driving or operating machinery[see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Advise patients that changes in insulin regimen can predispose to hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia and that changes in insulin regimen should be made under close medical supervision [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Hypersensitivity Reactions

Advise patients that hypersensitivity reactions have occurred with LEVEMIR. Inform patients on the symptoms of hypersensitivity reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Hypoglycemia Due To Medication Errors

Instruct patients to always check the insulin label before each injection to avoid mix ups between insulin products [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Novo Nordisk® , Levemir® , NovoLog® , FlexTouch® , NovoFine® , and NovoTwist® are registered trademarks of Novo Nordisk A/S.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Standard 2 year carcinogenicity studies in animals have not been performed. Insulin detemir tested negative for genotoxic potential in the in vitro reverse mutation study in bacteria, human peripheral blood lymphocyte chromosome aberration test, and the in vivo mouse micronucleus test. In a fertility and embryonic development study, insulin detemir was administered to female rats before mating, during mating, and throughout pregnancy at doses up to 300 nmol/kg/day (3 times a human dose of 0.5 units/kg/day, based on plasma AUC ratio). There were no effects on fertility in the rat.

Use In Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Risk Summary

Available data from published studies and postmarketing case reports with LEVEMIR use in pregnant women have not identified a drug associated risk of major birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. In a randomized, parallel group, open label clinical trial that included 152 pregnant women with type 1 diabetes who were administered LEVEMIR once or twice daily, beginning in gestational weeks 8 to 12 or prior to conception, no clear evidence of maternal or fetal risk associated with LEVEMIR was observed (see Data). There are risks to the mother and fetus associated with poorly controlled diabetes in pregnancy (see Clinical Considerations).

Animal reproduction studies were conducted in non diabetic pregnant rats and rabbits with insulin detemir administration at 3 and 135 times the human dose of 0.5 units/kg/day, respectively, throughout pregnancy. Overall, the effects of insulin detemir did not generally differ from those observed with regular human insulin (see Data).

In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively. The estimated background risk of major birth defects is 6 to 10% in women with pre gestational diabetes with a peri conceptional HbA1c >7 and has been reported to be as high as 20 to 25% in women with a peri conceptional HbA1c >10. The estimated background risk of miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown.

Clinical Considerations

Disease Associated Maternal And/Or Embryo/Fetal Risk

Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia occur more frequently during pregnancy in patients with pre gestational diabetes. Poorly controlled diabetes in pregnancy increases the maternal risk for diabetic ketoacidosis, preeclampsia, spontaneous abortions, preterm delivery, and delivery complications. Poorly controlled diabetes increases the fetal risk for major birth defects, stillbirth, and macrosomia related morbidity.

Data

Human Data

In an open label clinical trial, pregnant females with type 1 diabetes (n=310) were treated with LEVEMIR (once or twice daily) or NPH insulin (once, twice, or thrice daily); both groups also received preprandial insulin aspart. Approximately half of the study participants in each arm were randomized as pregnant and were exposed to NPH or to other insulins prior to conception and in the first 8 weeks of gestation. The rates of preeclampsia observed in the study were within expected rates for pregnancy complicated by diabetes. No differences in pregnancy outcomes or the health of the fetus and newborn were seen between the two groups. In this study, the proportion of subjects with severe hypoglycemia and non severe hypoglycemia was similar between the two treatment arms; for the definitions of severe hypoglycemia and non severe hypoglycemia [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

In about a quarter of infants, LEVEMIR was detected in the infant cord blood at levels above the lower level of quantification (<25 pmol/L).

Animal Data

In a fertility and embryonic development study, insulin detemir was administered to female rats before mating, during mating, and throughout pregnancy at doses up to 300 nmol/kg/day (3 times a human dose of 0.5 units/kg/day, based on plasma area under the curve (AUC) ratio). Doses of 150 and 300 nmol/kg/day produced numbers of litters with visceral anomalies. Doses up to 900 nmol/kg/day (approximately 135 times a human dose of 0.5 units/kg/day based on AUC ratio) were given to rabbits during organogenesis. Drug and dose related increases in the incidence of fetuses with gallbladder abnormalities such as small, bilobed, bifurcated, and missing gallbladders were observed at a dose of 900 nmol/kg/day. The rat and rabbit embryo fetal development studies that included concurrent human insulin control groups indicated that insulin detemir and human insulin had similar effects regarding embryotoxicity and teratogenicity suggesting that the effects seen were the result of hypoglycemia resulting from insulin exposure in normal animals.

Lactation

Risk Summary

Available data from published literature demonstrate that exogenous human insulin products, including biosynthetic insulins such as insulin detemir, are transferred into human milk. There are no published reports of adverse reactions, including hypoglycemia, in breastfed infants exposed to exogenous human insulin products, including insulin detemir, in breastmilk. There are no data on the effects of exogenous human insulin products, including insulin detemir, on milk production. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for LEVEMIR and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from LEVEMIR or from the underlying maternal condition.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of LEVEMIR to improve glycemic control in pediatric patients with diabetes mellitus have been established. The use of LEVEMIR for this indication is supported by evidence from adequate and well controlled trials (Studies D and I) in 694 pediatric patients aged 2 to 17 years with type 1 diabetes mellitus [see Clinical Studies] and from other studies in pediatric patients and adults with diabetes mellitus [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Clinical Studies].

Geriatric Use

In clinical trials of LEVEMIR, 64 of 1624 patients (4%) in the type 1 diabetes trials and 309 of 1082 patients (29%) in the type 2 diabetes trials were 65 years or older. A total of 52 (7 type 1 and 45 type 2) patients (2%) were 75 years or older. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these patients and younger patients, but small sample sizes limits conclusions. Greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out. In geriatric patients, the initial dosing, dosage increments, and maintenance dosage should be conservative to avoid hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia may be difficult to recognize in the geriatric patients.

Renal Impairment

No difference was observed in the pharmacokinetics of LEVEMIR between non-diabetic patients with kidney impairment and healthy volunteers. However, some studies with human insulin have shown increased circulating insulin concentrations in patients with kidney impairment. Careful glucose monitoring and dose adjustments of LEVEMIR, may be necessary in patients with kidney impairment [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Hepatic Impairment

Non-diabetic patients with severe hepatic impairment had lower systemic exposures to insulin detemir compared to healthy volunteers. However, some studies with human insulin have shown increased circulating insulin concentrations in patients with liver impairment. Careful glucose monitoring and dosage adjustments of LEVEMIR, may be necessary in patients with hepatic impairment [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Overdose & Contraindications

OVERDOSE

An excess of insulin relative to food intake, energy expenditure, or both may lead to severe and sometimes prolonged and life-threatening hypoglycemia and hypokalemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Mild episodes of hypoglycemia usually can be treated with oral glucose. Lowering the insulin dosage, and adjustments in meal patterns, or exercise may be needed. More severe episodes with coma, seizure, or neurologic impairment may be treated with a glucagon product for emergency use or concentrated intravenous glucose. After apparent clinical recovery from hypoglycemia, continued observation and additional carbohydrate intake may be necessary to avoid recurrence of hypoglycemia. Hypokalemia must be corrected appropriately.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

LEVEMIR is contraindicated:

  • During episodes of hypoglycemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • In patients with hypersensitivity to insulin detemir or any of the excipients in LEVEMIR. Reactions have included anaphylaxis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Clinical Pharmacology

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Mechanism Of Action

The primary activity of insulin, including LEVEMIR, is regulation of glucose metabolism. Insulins and its analogs lower blood glucose by stimulating peripheral glucose uptake, especially by skeletal muscle and fat, and by inhibiting hepatic glucose production. Insulin also inhibits lipolysis and proteolysis, and enhances protein synthesis.

Pharmacodynamics

Insulin detemir is a soluble, long acting basal human insulin analog with up to a 24 hour duration of action. The pharmacodynamic profile of LEVEMIR is relatively constant with no pronounced peak.

The duration of action of LEVEMIR is mediated by slowed systemic absorption of insulin detemir molecules from the injection site due to self association of the drug molecules. In addition, the distribution of insulin detemir to peripheral target tissues is slowed because of binding to albumin.

Figure 2 shows results from a study in patients with type 1 diabetes conducted for a maximum of 24 hours after the subcutaneous injection of LEVEMIR. The mean time between injection and the end of pharmacological effect for insulin detemir ranged from 7.6 hours to >24 hours (24 hours was the end of the observation period).

Figure 2: Glucose Lowering Effect in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes in a 24 hour Glucose Clamp Study

Glucose Lowering Effect in Patients with
Type 1 Diabetes in a 24 hour Glucose Clamp Study - Illustration

For doses in the interval of 0.2 to 0.4 units/kg, insulin detemir exerts more than 50% of its maximum effect from 3 to 4 hours up to approximately 14 hours after dose administration.

Figure 3 shows glucose infusion rate results from a 16 hour glucose clamp study in patients with type 2 diabetes. The clamp study was terminated at 16 hours according to protocol.

Figure 3: Glucose Lowering Effect in in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes in a 16-hour Glucose Clamp Study

 Glucose Lowering Effect in in Patients with
Type 2 Diabetes in a 16-hour Glucose Clamp Study - Illustration

Pharmacokinetics

Absorption

After subcutaneous injection of LEVEMIR in healthy subjects and in patients with diabetes, insulin detemir serum concentrations had a relatively constant concentration/time profile over 24 hours with the maximum serum concentration (Cmax) reached between 6 8 hours post dose. Insulin detemir was more slowly absorbed after subcutaneous administration to the thigh where AUC0 5h was 30 40% lower and AUC0 inf was 10% lower than the corresponding AUCs with subcutaneous injections to the deltoid and abdominal regions.

The absolute bioavailability of insulin detemir is approximately 60%.

Distribution

Insulin detemir has an apparent volume of distribution of approximately 0.1 L/kg. More than 98% of insulin detemir in the bloodstream is bound to albumin. The results of in vitro and in vivo protein binding studies demonstrate that there is no clinically relevant interaction between insulin detemir and fatty acids or other protein bound drugs.

Elimination

After subcutaneous administration in patients with type 1 diabetes, insulin detemir has a terminal half life of 5 to 7 hours depending on dose.

Specific Populations

Pediatric Patients

The pharmacokinetic properties of LEVEMIR were studied in pediatric patients 6 12 years, 13 17 years, and adults with type 1 diabetes. In pediatric patients 6 12 years, the insulin detemir plasma area under the curve (AUC) and Cmax were increased by 10% and 24%, respectively, as compared to adults. There was no difference in pharmacokinetics between pediatric patients 13 17 years and adults.

Geriatrics

In a clinical trial studying differences in pharmacokinetics of a single subcutaneous dose of LEVEMIR in young (20 to 35 years) versus elderly (≥68 years) healthy subjects, the insulin detemir AUC was up to 35% higher among the elderly subjects due to reduced clearance [see Use In Specific Populations].

Gender

No clinically relevant differences in pharmacokinetic parameters of LEVEMIR are observed between males and females.

Race

In two clinical pharmacology studies conducted in healthy Japanese and Caucasian subjects, there were no clinically relevant differences seen in pharmacokinetic parameters. The pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of LEVEMIR were studied in a clamp study comparing patients with type 2 diabetes of Caucasian, African American, and Latino origin. Dose response relationships for LEVEMIR were comparable in these three populations.

Renal Impairment

A single subcutaneous dose of 0.2 units/kg of LEVEMIR was administered to healthy subjects and those with varying degrees of renal impairment (mild, moderate, severe, and hemodialysis dependent). In this study, there were no differences in the pharmacokinetics of LEVEMIR between healthy subjects and those with renal impairment [see Use In Specific Populations].

Hepatic Impairment

A single subcutaneous dose of 0.2 units/kg of LEVEMIR was administered to healthy subjects and those with varying degrees of hepatic impairment (mild, moderate and severe). LEVEMIR exposure as estimated by AUC decreased with increasing degrees of hepatic impairment with a corresponding increase in apparent clearance [see Use In Specific Populations].

Smoking

The effect of smoking on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of LEVEMIR has not been studied.

Liraglutide

No pharmacokinetic interaction was observed between liraglutide and LEVEMIR when separate subcutaneous injections of LEVEMIR 0.5 units/kg (single dose) and liraglutide 1.8 mg (steady state) were administered in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Clinical Studies

The efficacy and safety of LEVEMIR given once daily at bedtime or twice daily (before breakfast and at bedtime, before breakfast and with the evening meal, or at 12 hour intervals) was compared to that of once daily or twice daily NPH insulin in open label, randomized, parallel trials of 1155 adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus, 347 pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, and 869 adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The efficacy and safety of LEVEMIR given twice daily was compared to once daily insulin glargine in an open label, randomized, parallel trial of 320 patients with type 1 diabetes. The evening LEVEMIR dose was titrated in all trials according to pre defined targets for fasting blood glucose. The pre dinner blood glucose was used to titrate the morning LEVEMIR dose in those trials that also administered LEVEMIR in the morning. In general, the reduction in HbA1c with LEVEMIR was similar to that with NPH insulin or insulin glargine.

Clinical Studies In Adults Patients With Type 1 Diabetes

In a 16 week open label clinical trial (Study A, n=409), adults with type 1 diabetes were randomized to treatment with either LEVEMIR at 12 hour intervals, LEVEMIR administered in the morning and bedtime or NPH insulin administered in the morning and bedtime. Insulin aspart was also administered before each meal. At 16 weeks of treatment, the combined LEVEMIR treated patients had similar HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) reductions compared to the NPH treated patients (Table 7). Differences in timing of LEVEMIR administration had no effect on HbA1c, fasting plasma glucose (FPG), or body weight.

In a 26 week, open label clinical trial(Study B, n=320), adults with type 1 diabetes were randomized to twice daily LEVEMIR (administered in the morning and bedtime) or once daily insulin glargine (administered at bedtime). Insulin aspart was administered before each meal. LEVEMIR treated patients had a decrease in HbA1c similar to that of insulin glargine treated patients.

In a 24 week, open label clinical trial (Study C, n=749), adults with type 1 diabetes were randomized to once daily LEVEMIR or once daily NPH insulin, both administered at bedtime and in combination with regular human insulin before each meal. LEVEMIR and NPH insulin had a similar effect on HbA1c.

Table 7: Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus – Adult

Treatment duration Study A 16 weeks NovoLog (insulin aspart) Study B 26 weeks Novo Log (insulin aspart) Study C 24 weeks Human Soluble Insulin (regular insulin)
Treatment in combination with
Twice-daily LEVEMIR Twice-daily NPH Twice-daily LEVEMIR Once- daily insulin glargine Once-daily LEVEMIR Once- daily NPH
Number of patients treated 276 133 161 159 492 257
HbA1c (%)
Baseline HbA1c 8.6 8.5 8.9 8.8 8.4 8.3
Adj. mean change from baseline -0.8* -0.7* -0.6** -0.5** -0.1* 0.0*
LEVEMIR - NPH -0.2 (-0.3, -0.0) -0.0 (-0.2, 0.2) -0.1 (-0.3, 0.0)
95% CI for Treatment difference
Fasting blood glucose (mg/dL)
Baseline mean 209 220 153 150 213 206
Adj. mean change from baseline -44* -9* -38** -41** -30* -9*
*From an ANCOVA model adjusted for baseline value and country.
**From an ANCOVA model adjusted for baseline value and study site.

Clinical Studies In Pediatric Patients With Type 1 Diabetes

Two open label, randomized, controlled clinical trials have been conducted in pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes. One trial (Study D) was 26 weeks in duration and enrolled patients 6 to 17 years of age. The other trial (Study I) was 52 weeks in duration and enrolled patients 2 to 16 years of age. In both trials, LEVEMIR and NPH insulin were administered once or twice daily. Bolus insulin aspart was administered before each meal. In the 26 week trial, LEVEMIR treated patients had a mean decrease in HbA1c similar to that of NPH insulin (Table 8). In the 52 week trial, the randomization was stratified by age (2 5 years, n=82, and 6 16 years, n=265) and the mean HbA1c increased in both treatment arms, with similar findings in the 2 5 year old age group (n=80) and the 6 16 year old age group (n=258) (Table 8).

Table 8: Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus – Pediatric

Treatment duration Study D Study I
26 weeks Novo Log (insulin aspart) 52 weeks Novo Log (insulin aspart)
Treatment in combination with
Once- or Twice Daily LEVEMIR Once- or Twice Daily NPH Once- or Twice Daily LEVEMIR Once- or Twice Daily NPH
Number of subjects treated 232 115 177 170
HbA1c (%)
Baseline HbA1c 8.8 8.8 8.4 8.4
Adj. mean change from baseline -0.7* -0.8* 0.3** 0 2**
LEVEMIR - NPH 0.1 0.1
95% CI for Treatment difference -0.1 ; 0.3 -0.1 0.4
Fasting blood glucose (mg/dL)
Baseline mean 181 181 135 141
Adj. mean change from baseline -39 -21 -10** 0**
*From an ANCOVA model adjusted for baseline value, geographical region, gender and age (covariate).
**From an ANCOVA model adjusted for baseline value, country, pubertal status at baseline and age (stratification factor).

Clinical Studies In Adult Patients With Type 2 Diabetes

In a 24 week, open label, randomized, clinical trial (Study E, n=476), LEVEMIR administered twice daily (before breakfast and evening) was compared to NPH insulin administered twice daily (before breakfast and evening) as part of a regimen of stable combination therapy with one or two of the following oral antidiabetic medications: metformin, an insulin secretagogue, or an alpha–glucosidase inhibitor. All patients were insulin naïve at the time of randomization. LEVEMIR and NPH insulin similarly lowered HbA1c from baseline (Table 9).

In a 22 week, open label, randomized, clinical trial (Study F, n=395) in adults with type 2 diabetes, LEVEMIR and NPH insulin were given once or twice daily as part of a basal bolus regimen with insulin aspart. As measured by HbA1c or FPG, LEVEMIR had efficacy similar to that of NPH insulin.

Table 9: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus – Adult

Treatment duration Study E 24 week soral agents Study F 22 weeks insulin aspart
Treatment in combination with Twice-daily LEVEMIR Twice-daily NPH Once- or Twice Daily LEVEMIR Once- or Twice Daily NPH
Number of subjects treated 237 239 195 200
HbA1c (%)
Baseline HbA1c 8.6 8.5 8.2 8.1
Adj. mean change from baseline -2.0* -2.1* -0.6** -0.6**
LEVEMIR - NPH 95% CI for Treatment difference 0.1 (-0.0,0.3) -0.1 (-0.2, 0.1)
Fasting blood glucose1 (mg/dL)
Baseline mean 179 173 - -
Adj. mean change from baseline -69 -74* - -
1Study F Fasting blood glucose data not collected
*From an ANCOVA model adjusted for baseline value, country and oral antidiabetic treatment category.
**From an ANCOVA model adjusted for baseline value and country.

Combination Therapy With Metformin And Liraglutide

This 26 week open label trial enrolled 988 patients with inadequate glycemic control (HbA1c 7 10%) on metformin (≥1500 mg/day) alone or inadequate glycemic control (HbA1c 7 8.5%) on metformin (≥1500 mg/day) and a sulfonylurea. Patients who were on metformin and a sulfonylurea discontinued the sulfonylurea then all patients entered a 12 week run in period during which they received add on therapy with liraglutide titrated to 1.8 mg once daily. At the end of the run in period, 498 patients (50%) achieved HbA1c <7% with liraglutide 1.8 mg and metformin and continued treatment in a non randomized, observational arm. Another 167 patients (17%) withdrew from the trial during the run in period with approximately one half of these patients doing so because of gastrointestinal adverse reactions. The remaining 323 patients with HbA1c ≥7% (33% of those who entered the run in period) were randomized to 26 weeks of once daily LEVEMIR administered in the evening as add on therapy (n=162) or to continued, unchanged treatment with liraglutide 1.8 mg and metformin (n=161). The starting dose of LEVEMIR was 10 units/day and the mean dose at the end of the 26 week randomized period was 39 units/day. During the 26 week randomized treatment period, the percentage of patients who discontinued due to ineffective therapy was 11.2% in the group randomized to continued treatment with liraglutide 1.8 mg and metformin and 1.2% in the group randomized to add on therapy with LEVEMIR.

Treatment with LEVEMIR as add on to liraglutide 1.8 mg + metformin resulted in statistically significant reductions in HbA1c and FPG compared to continued, unchanged treatment with liraglutide 1.8 mg + metformin alone (Table 10). From a mean baseline body weight of 96 kg after randomization, there was a mean reduction of 0.3 kg in the patients who received LEVEMIR add on therapy compared to a mean reduction of 1.1 kg in the patients who continued on unchanged treatment with liraglutide 1.8 mg + metformin alone.

Table 10: Results of a 26 week Open label Trial of LEVEMIR as Add on to Liraglutide + Metformin Compared to Continued Treatment with Liraglutide + Metformin Alone in Patients Not Achieving HbA1c <7% After 12 Weeks of Metformin and Liraglutide

Study H
LEVEMIR + Liraglutide +Metformin Liraglutide+ Metformin
Intent-to-Treat Population (N)a 162 157
HbA1c (%) (Mean)
Baseline (week 0) 7.6 7.6
Adjusted mean change from baseline -0.5* 0*
Difference from liraglutide + metformin arm (LS mean) b 95% Confidence Interval -0.5***
(-0.7, -0.4)
Percentage of patients achieving A1c <7% 43** 17**
Fasting Plasma Glucose (mg/dL) (Mean)
Baseline (week 0) 166 159
Adjusted mean change from baseline -38* -7*
Difference from liraglutide + metformin arm (LS mean) b 95% Confidence Interval -31***
(-39, -23)
aIntent to treat population using last observation on study
bLeast squares mean adjusted for baseline value
*From an ANCOVA model adjusted for baseline value, country and previous oral antidiabetic treatment category.
**From a logistic regression model adjusted for baseline HbA1c.
***p value <0.0001

Medication Guide

PATIENT INFORMATION

LEVEMIR®
(LEV uh mere) (insulin detemir) injection, for subcutaneous use

Do not share your Levemir FlexTouch with other people, even if the needle has been changed. You may give other people a serious infection, or get a serious infection from them.

What is Levemir?

  • Levemir is a man made insulin that is used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes mellitus.
  • Levemir is not meant for use to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.

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 healthcare provider about all your medical conditions including, if you are:

  • pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • taking new prescription or over the counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

Before you start taking Levemir, talk to your healthcare provider about low blood sugar and how to manage it.

How should I take Levemir?

  • Read the Instructions for Use that come with your Levemir.
  • Take Levemir exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to.
  • Know the type and strength of insulin you take. Do not change the type of insulin you take unless your healthcare provider tells you to. The amount of insulin and the best time for you to take your insulin may need to change if you take different types of insulin.
  • Check your blood sugar levels. Ask your healthcare provider what your blood sugars should be and when you should check your blood sugar levels.
  • Do not reuse or share your needles or syringes with other people. You may give other people a serious infection, or get a serious infection from them.
  • Levemir is injected under the skin (subcutaneously) of your upper legs (thighs), upper arms, or stomach area (abdomen).
  • Never inject Levemir into a vein or muscle.
  • Change (rotate) your injection sites within the area you choose with each dose to reduce your risk of getting lipodystrophy (pits in skin or thickened skin) and localized cutaneous amyloidosis (skin with lumps) at the injection sites.
    • Do not use the exact same spot for each injection.
    • Do not inject where the skin has pits, is thickened, or has lumps.
    • Do not inject where the skin is tender, bruised, scaly or hard, or into scars or damaged skin.

What should I avoid while taking Levemir?

While taking Levemir do not:

  • Drive or operate heavy machinery, until you know how Levemir affects you.
  • Drink alcohol or use prescription or over the counter medicines that contain alcohol.

What are the possible side effects of Levemir?

Levemir may cause serious side effects that can lead to death, including:

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Signs and symptoms that may indicate low blood sugar include:

  • dizziness or light headedness
  • blurred vision
  • anxiety, irritability, or mood changes
  • sweating
  • slurred speech
  • hunger
  • confusion
  • shakiness
  • headache
  • fast heart beat

Your insulin dose may need to change because of:

  • change in level of physical activity or exercise
  • increased stress
  • change in diet
  • weight gain or loss
  • illness

Other common side effects of Levemir 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, and swelling of your hands and feet.

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, confusion.

These are not all the possible side effects of Levemir. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1 800 FDA 1088.

What are the ingredients in Levemir?

Active Ingredient: insulin detemir

Inactive Ingredients: dibasic sodium phosphate, glycerin, metacresol, phenol, sodium chloride, zinc and Water for Injection, USP. Hydrochloric acid or sodium hydroxide may be added.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE

LEVEMIR®
(LEV–uh-mere) injection, for subcutaneous use 10 mL multiple-dose vial

Please read the following Instructions for use carefully before using your LEVEMIR® vial and each time you get a refill. You should read the instructions in this manual even if you have used an insulin vial before.

How should I use the LEVEMIR vial?

Using the vial:

1. Check to make sure that you have the correct type of insulin. This is especially important if you use different types of insulin.

2. Look at the vial and the insulin. The LEVEMIR insulin should be clear and colorless. The tamper resistant cap should be in place before the first use. If the cap has been removed before your first use of the vial, or if the insulin is cloudy or colored, do not use the insulin and return it to your pharmacy.

3. Wash your hands with soap and water.

4. If you are using a new vial, pull off the tamper resistant cap.

Using the vial - Illustration

Before each use, wipe the rubber stopper with an alcohol wipe.

Before each use, wipe the rubber stopper with an alcohol
wipe - Illustration

5. Do not roll or shake the vial. Shaking the vial right before the dose is drawn into the syringe may cause bubbles or foam. This can cause you to draw up the wrong dose of insulin. The insulin should be used only if it is clear and colorless.

6. Pull back the plunger on your syringe until the black tip reaches the marking for the number of units you will inject.

Pull back the plunger on your syringe until the black
tip reaches the marking for the number of units you will inject - Illustration

7. Push the needle through the rubber stopper into the vial.

Push the needle through the rubber stopper into the
vial - Illustration

8. Push the plunger all the way in. This inserts air into the vial.

Push the plunger all the way in. This inserts air into
the vial - Illustration

 9. Turn the vial and syringe upside down and slowly pull the plunger back to a few units beyond the correct dose that you need.

Turn the vial and syringe upside down and slowly pull
the plunger back to a few units beyond the correct dose that you need - Illustration

10. If there are air bubbles, tap the syringe gently with your finger to raise the air bubbles to the top of the needle. Then slowly push the plunger to the correct unit marking for your dose.

If there are air bubbles, tap the syringe gently with
your finger to raise the air bubbles to the top of the needle - Illustration

11. Check to make sure you have the right dose of LEVEMIR in the syringe.

12. Pull the syringe out of the vial.

13. Inject your LEVEMIR right away as instructed by your healthcare provider. Levemir can be injected under the skin (subcutaneously) of your stomach area (abdomen), upper legs (thighs) or upper arms. For each injection, change (rotate) your injection site within the area of skin that you use to reduce your risk of getting lipodystrophy (pits in skin or thickened skin) and localized cutaneous amyloidosis (skin with lumps) at the injection sites. Do not use the same injection site for each injection. Do not inject where the skin has pits, is thickened, or has lumps. Do not inject where the skin is tender, bruised, scaly or hard, or into scars or damaged skin.

How should I inject LEVEMIR with a syringe?

If you clean your injection site with an alcohol swab, let the injection site dry before you inject. Talk with your healthcare provider about how to rotate injection sites and how to give an injection.

1. Pinch your skin between two fingers, push the needle into the skinfold, using a dart like motion and push the plunger to inject the insulin under your skin. The needle will be straight in.

Pinch your skin between two fingers, push the needle
into the skinfold, using a dart like motion and push the plunger to inject the
insulin under your skin - Illustration

2. Keep the needle under your skin for at least 6 seconds to make sure you have injected all the insulin. After you pull the needle from your skin you may see a drop of Levemir at the needle tip. This is normal and has no effect on the dose you just received.

3. If blood appears after you pull the needle from your skin, press the injection site lightly with an alcohol swab. Do not rub the area.

4. After each injection, remove the needle without recapping and dispose of it in a puncture resistant container. Used vials, syringes, needles, and lancets should be placed in sharps containers (such as red biohazard containers), hard plastic containers (such as detergent bottles), or metal containers (such as an empty coffee can). Such containers should be sealed and disposed of properly.

How should I store LEVEMIR?

  • Do not freeze LEVEMIR. Do not use LEVEMIR if it has been frozen.
  • Keep LEVEMIR away from heat or light.
  • All unopened vials:
    • Store unopened LEVEMIR vials in the refrigerator at 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C).
    • Unopened vials may be used until the expiration date printed on the label, if they have been stored in the refrigerator.
    • Unopened vials should be thrown away after 42 days, if they are stored at room temperature up to 86 F (30 C).
  • After vials have been opened:
    • Opened LEVEMIR vials can be stored in the refrigerator at 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) or at room temperature up to 86°F (30°C).
    • Throw away all opened LEVEMIR vials after 42 days, even if they still have insulin left in them.

INSTRUCTION FOR USE

Levemir®
(LEV uh mere) (insulin detemir) injection, for subcutaneous use FlexTouch® Pen

Please read the following instructions carefully before using your Levemir FlexTouch Pen.

  • Do not share your Levemir FlexTouch Pen with other people, even if the needle has been changed. You may give other people a serious infection, or get a serious infection from them.
  • Levemir FlexTouch Pen (“Pen”) is a prefilled disposable, single patient use insulin pen containing 300 units insulin detemir. You can inject from 1 to 80 units in a single injection.
  • People who are blind or have vision problems should not use this Pen without help from a person trained to use the Pen.

Supplies you will need to give your Levemir injection:

  • Levemir FlexTouch Pen
  • a new NovoFine, NovoFine Plus or NovoTwist needle
  • alcohol swab
  • 1 sharps container for throwing away used Pens and needles. See “Disposing of used Levemir FlexTouch Pens and needles” at the end of these instructions.

Preparing your Levemir FlexTouch Pen:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Before you start to prepare your injection, check the Levemir FlexTouch Pen label to make sure you are taking the right type of insulin. This is especially important if you take more than 1 type of insulin.
  • Levemir should look clear and colorless. Do not use Levemir if it is thick, cloudy, or is colored.
  • Do not use Levemir past the expiration date printed on the label or 42 days after you start using the Pen.
  • Always use a new needle for each injection to help ensure sterility and prevent blocked needles. Do not reuse or share your needles with other people. You may give other people a serious infection, or get a serious infection from them.

Figure A

Preparing your Levemir FlexTouch Pen - Illustration

Step 1:

  • Pull Pen cap straight off (See Figure B).

Figure B

Pull Pen cap straight off - Illustration

Step 2:

  • Check the liquid in the Pen (See Figure C). Levemir should look clear and colorless. Do not use it if it looks cloudy or colored.

Figure C

Check the liquid in the Pen - Illustration

Step 3:

  • Select a new needle.
  • Pull off the paper tab from the outer needle cap (See Figure D).

Figure D

Pull off the paper tab from the outer needle cap - Illustration

Step 4:

  • Push the capped needle straight onto the Pen and twist the needle on until it is tight (See Figure E).

Figure E

LEVEMIR® (insulin detemir) injection, for subcutaneous use Structural Formula - Illustration

Step 5:

  • Pull off the outer needle cap. Do not throw it away (See Figure F).

Figure F

Pull off the outer needle cap. Do not throw it away - Illustration

Step 6:

  • Pull off the inner needle cap and throw it away (See Figure G).

Figure G

LEVEMIR® (insulin detemir) injection, for subcutaneous use Structural Formula - Illustration

Priming your Levemir FlexTouch Pen:

Step 7:

  • Turn the dose selector to select 2 units (See Figure H).

Figure H

LEVEMIR® (insulin detemir) injection, for subcutaneous use Structural Formula - Illustration

Step 8:

Hold the Pen with the needle pointing up. Tap the top of the Pen gently a few times to let any air bubbles rise to the top (See Figure I).

Figure I

Hold the Pen with the needle pointing up - Illustration

Step 9:

  • Hold the Pen with the needle pointing up. Press and hold in the dose button until the dose counter shows “0”. The “0” must line up with the dose pointer.
  • A drop of insulin should be seen at the needle tip (See Figure J).
    • If you do not see a drop of insulin, repeat steps 7 to 9, no more than 6 times.
    • If you still do not see a drop of insulin, change the needle and repeat steps 7 to 9.

Figure J

A drop of insulin should be seen at the needle tip - Illustration

Selecting your dose:

Step 10:

  • Turn the dose selector to select the number of units you need to inject. The dose pointer should line up with your dose (See Figure K).
  • If you select the wrong dose, you can turn the dose selector forwards or backwards to the correct dose.
  • The even numbers are printed on the dial.
  • The odd numbers are shown as lines.

Figure K

Turn the dose selector to select the number of units
    you need to inject - Illustration

  • The Levemir FlexTouch Pen insulin scale will show you how much insulin is left in your Pen (See Figure L).

Figure L

The Levemir FlexTouch Pen insulin scale will show you how
    much insulin is left in your Pen  - Illustration

  • To see how much insulin is left in your Levemir FlexTouch Pen:
    • Turn the dose selector until it stops. The dose counter will line up with the number of units of insulin that is left in your Pen. If the dose counter shows 80, there are at least 80 units left in your Pen.
    • If the dose counter shows less than 80, the number shown in the dose counter is the number of units left in your Pen.

Giving your injection:

  • Inject your Levemir exactly as your healthcare provider has shown you. Your healthcare provider should tell you if you need to pinch the skin before injecting.
  • Levemir can be injected under the skin (subcutaneously) of your stomach area (abdomen), upper legs (thighs) or upper arms.
  • For each injection, change (rotate) your injection site within the area of skin that you use to reduce your risk of getting lipodystrophy (pits in skin or thickened skin) and localized cutaneous amyloidosis (skin with lumps) at the injection sites. Do not use the same injection site for each injection. Do not inject where the skin has pits, is thickened, or has lumps. Do not inject where the skin is tender, bruised, scaly or hard, or into scars or damaged skin.

Step 11:

  • Choose your injection site (abdomen, thighs or upper arms) and wipe the skin with an alcohol swab. Let the injection site dry before you inject your dose (See Figure M).

Figure M

Choose your injection site - Illustration

Step 12:

  • Insert the needle into your skin (See Figure N).
  • Make sure you can see the dose counter. Do not cover it with your fingers; this can stop your injection.

Figure N

Insert the needle into your skin - Illustration

Step 13:

  • Press and hold down the dose button until the dose counter shows “0” (See Figure O).

Figure O

Press and hold down the dose button until the dose
counter shows “0” - Illustration

  • The “0” must line up with the dose pointer. You may then hear or feel a click.
  • Keep the needle in your skin after the dose counter has returned to “0” and slowly count to 6 (See Figure P).

Figure P

Keep the needle in your skin after - Illustration

    • When the dose counter returns to “0”, you will not get your full dose until 6 seconds later.
    • If the needle is removed before you count to 6, you may see a stream of insulin coming from the needle tip.
    • If you see a stream of insulin coming from the needle tip you will not get your full dose. If this happens you should check your blood sugar levels more often because you may need more insulin.

Step 14:

  • Pull the needle out of your skin (See Figure Q).
  • If you see blood after you take the needle out of your skin, press the injection site lightly with a piece of gauze or an alcohol swab. Do not rub the area.

Figure Q

LEVEMIR® (insulin detemir) injection, for subcutaneous use Structural Formula - Illustration

Step 15:

  • Carefully remove the needle from the Pen and throw it away (See Figure R).
    • Do not recap the needle. Recapping the needle can lead to needle stick injury.

Figure R

Carefully remove the needle from the Pen and throw it
    away - Illustration

  • If you do not have a sharps container, carefully slip the needle into the outer needle cap (See Figure S). Safely remove the needle and throw it away as soon as you can.
  • Do not store the Pen with the needle attached. Storing without the needle attached helps prevent leaking, blocking of the needle, and air from entering the Pen.

Figure S

If you do not have a sharps container, carefully slip the
    needle into the outer needle cap - Illustration

 Step 16:

  • Replace the Pen cap by pushing it straight on (See Figure T).

Figure T

Replace the Pen cap by pushing it straight on  - Illustration

After your injection:

  • The used Levemir FlexTouch Pen may be thrown away in your household trash after you have removed the needle.
  • You can put your used needles in a FDA cleared sharps disposal container right away after use. Do not throw away (dispose of) loose needles in your household trash.
  • If you do not have a FDA cleared sharps disposal container, you may use a household container that is:
    • made of a heavy duty plastic
    • can be closed with a tight fitting, puncture resistant lid, without sharps
    • being able to come out
    • upright and stable during use
    • leak resistant
    • properly labeled to warn of hazardous waste inside the container
  • When your sharps disposal container is almost full, you will need to follow your community guidelines for the right way to dispose of your sharps disposal container. There may be state or local laws about how you should throw away used needles and syringes. Do not reuse or share your needles or syringes with other people. For more information about safe sharps disposal, and for specific information about sharps disposal in the state that you live in, go to the FDA’s website at: http://www.fda.gov/safesharpsdisposal.
  • Do not dispose of your used sharps disposal container in your household trash unless your community guidelines permit this. Do not recycle your used sharps disposal container.

How should I store my Levemir FlexTouch Pen?

  • Store unused Levemir FlexTouch Pens in the refrigerator at 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C).
  • Store the Pen you are currently using out of the refrigerator up to 86°F.
  • Do not freeze Levemir. Do not use Levemir if it has been frozen.
  • Keep Levemir away from heat or light.
  • Unused Pens may be used until the expiration date printed on the label, if kept in the refrigerator.
  • The Levemir FlexTouch Pen you are using should be thrown away after 42 days, even if it still has insulin left in it.

General Information about the safe and effective use of Levemir:

  • Keep Levemir FlexTouch Pens and needles out of the reach of children.
  • Always use a new needle for each injection.
  • Do not share your Levemir FlexTouch Pen or needles with other people. You may give other people a serious infection, or get a serious infection from them.

This Instructions for Use has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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