Levemir vs. Tresiba

Reviewed on 1/20/2021

Are Levemir and Tresiba the Same Thing?

Levemir (insulin detemir [rDNA origin] injection) and Tresiba (insulin degludec injection) are long-acting human insulin analogs used to treat diabetes in adults.

Levemir is also used to treat diabetes in children.

Side effects of Levemir and Tresiba that are similar include low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), injection site reactions (e.g., pain, redness, irritation), weight gain, headache, and cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.

Side effects of Levemir that are different from Tresiba include swelling of the hands/feet, thickening of the skin where you inject Levemir, back pain, stomach pain, and flu symptoms.

Side effects of Tresiba that are different from Levemir include allergic reactions, body fat redistribution (lipodystrophy), itching, rash, swelling, upper respiratory tract infection, sinusitis, upset stomach or stomach pain, and diarrhea.

Both Levemir and Tresiba may interact with oral antidiabetic medications, pramlintide acetate, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, disopyramide, fibrates, fluoxetine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), propoxyphene, pentoxifylline, salicylates, somatostatin analogs, sulfonamide antibiotics, corticosteroids, niacin, danazol, diuretics, sympathomimetic agents (e.g., epinephrine, albuterol, terbutaline), glucagon, isoniazid, phenothiazine derivatives, somatropin, thyroid hormones, estrogens, progestogens (e.g., in oral contraceptives), protease inhibitors, atypical antipsychotic medications (e.g., olanzapine and clozapine), reserpine, guanethidine, beta-blockers, clonidine, lithium salts, alcohol, and pentamidine.

Tresiba may also interact with other insulin products, angiotensin II receptor blocking agents, GLP-1 receptor agonists, DDP-4 inhibitors, and SGLT-2 inhibitors.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Levemir?

Common side effects of Levemir include:

  • injection site reactions (e.g., pain, redness, irritation),
  • swelling of the hands/feet,
  • thickening of the skin where you inject Levemir,
  • weight gain,
  • headache,
  • back pain,
  • stomach pain,
  • flu symptoms, or
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of Levemir including:

  • signs of low potassium level in the blood (such as muscle cramps, weakness, or irregular heartbeat).

What Are Possible Side Effects of Tresiba?

Common side effects of Tresiba include:

  • low blood sugar (hypoglycemia),
  • allergic reactions,
  • injection site reactions,
  • body fat redistribution (lipodystrophy),
  • itching,
  • rash,
  • swelling,
  • weight gain,
  • runny or stuffy nose,
  • upper respiratory tract infection,
  • headache,
  • sinusitis,
  • upset stomach or stomach pain, and
  • diarrhea.

QUESTION

Diabetes is defined best as... See Answer

What Is Levemir?

Levemir (insulin detemir [rDNA origin] injection) is a man-made form of a hormone that is produced in the body used to treat diabetes in adults and children.

What Is Tresiba?

Tresiba (insulin degludec injection) is a long-acting human insulin analog indicated to improve glycemic control in adults with diabetes mellitus.

What Drugs Interact With Levemir?

Levemir may interact with albuterol, clonidine, reserpine, guanethidine, or beta-blockers. Other medicines can increase or decrease the effects of insulin Levemir on lowering your blood sugar. Tell your doctor all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use.

What Drugs Interact With Tresiba?

Tresiba may interact with other insulin products, beta-blockers, clonidine, guanethidine, reserpine, other antidiabetic agents, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blocking agents, disopyramide, fibrates, fluoxetine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, pentoxifylline, pramlintide, propoxyphene, salicylates, somatostatin analogs, sulfonamide antibiotics, GLP-1 receptor agonists, DDP-4 inhibitors, SGLT-2 inhibitors, atypical antipsychotics, corticosteroids, danazol, diuretics, estrogens, glucagon, isoniazid, niacin, oral contraceptives, phenothiazines, progestogens, protease inhibitors, somatropin, sympathomimetic agents, thyroid hormones, alcohol, lithium salts, or pentamidine. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking Tresiba. During pregnancy, Tresiba should only be taken if prescribed. It is unknown if Tresiba passes into breast milk. Women with diabetes who are nursing may require adjustments in insulin dose, meal plan, or both. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

How Should Levemir be Taken?

Levemir is for once- or twice-daily subcutaneous (under the skin) administration. Patients treated with Levemir once-daily should administer the dose with the evening meal or at bedtime. Patients requiring twice-daily dosing can administer the evening dose with the evening meal, at bedtime, or 12 hours after the morning dose.

How Should Tresiba be Taken?

The dose of Tresiba is individualized based on type of diabetes, metabolic needs, blood glucose monitoring results, and glycemic control goal.

SLIDESHOW

Diabetes: What Raises and Lowers Your Blood Sugar Level? See Slideshow
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References
Levemir Prescribing Information.

http://www.novo-pi.com/levemir.pdf

Novo Nordisk. Tresiba Product Information.

https://www.tresibapro.com

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