Introducing Detemir/Levemir

Move over, Lantus! Another long-acting insulin is on its way: Detemir, brand-name Levemir, from Novo Nordisk. This new Lantus competitor was approved by the FDA last June and is expected to be available in both pen and vial delivery forms (pen-only in Canada) in the first half of 2006. It is already available in more than 10 European countries and sales have been extremely impressive, according to diabetes consultancy CloseConcerns.

“Detemir is characterized as a once-daily insulin in Canada, whereas in the US, it is labeled for one or two injections per day. In clinical trials, the long-acting insulins appear to have similar effects on glycemic control, and neither Levemir nor Lantus is meant to be mixed with other insulins.”

Apparently the competitive differentiator for Novo here is that its product shows better absorption by patients, and reduced weight gain effects. Although, as CloseConcerns notes: “Unfortunately, we haven’t yet seen a head-to-head study of Lantus versus Levemir.” I’d wager that study is surely on its way, so if you like participating in clinical studies (which I’ve found that many Type 1 diabetics do), check with your local diabetes research institute soon :)


10 Responses

  1. Elizabeth Snouffer
    Elizabeth Snouffer December 7, 2005 at 6:31 am | | Reply

    Thought it was time I said hello! I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and want to introduce you to another blog written by me — today is my first post!

    I live in London, and I have lived abroad for almost eight years now (also in Rome). I am a former New Yorker, a mother, and I work in the healthcare marketing/advertising/PR industry focusing on diabetes products and programmes. How lucky am I?! Oh, and I am a person with diabetes…

    What I hope to do is bridge the gap between all diabetes communities around the world, with information, both international and local.

    I hope you enjoy my perspective as much I as I appreciate yours.

    Keep blogging!

  2. mercedes
    mercedes December 26, 2005 at 2:10 am | | Reply

    Tengo un hijo de seis a񯳬 se llama Gonzalo y es diabetico 1 desde agosto pasado, le han cambiado hace tres dias a Levemir, y Novorapid. Cualquier comentario es bien recibido por nosotros para aprender a llevar una vida normal y feliz. Gracias mil. Feliz a񯠮uevo.

  3. Alexis
    Alexis April 22, 2006 at 1:00 am | | Reply

    I just started using Levemir a couple of days ago. Right now I am going through some difficulty figuring out my doses. Previously I was using 40 units of Lantus and then 1 unit of Humalog for each 5 grams of carbohydrates during meals. My doctor started me on 10 units of Levemir,but this seems to be way off. My sugars have been all over the place and I think I need to up that amount considerably. I’ll let you know how it goes and what I think about Levemir. FYI my Anthem insurance covered the Levemir Flex Pen so that as nice considering that its a new drug.

  4. fred wilson
    fred wilson June 26, 2006 at 8:37 pm | | Reply

    Hi I also started on Levemer on 10 units and ended on 22 and my glucose bounced all over the place for a week or more but my doctor said that was normal for any new insulin because of antibodies which effect the insulin absorption. Now it has settled down and my dose is the same every day, so is my morning sugars. I wonder if anyone here can advise have they seen any weight change because I haven’t yet but maybe it’s just early days (and I’m a big boy, perhaps I hope too much).

  5. Tammy
    Tammy July 28, 2006 at 8:22 am | | Reply

    My son is 20 years old and has recently started taking levemer. He has lost over 30 pounds since startedabout 7 months ago, He only weighed 115 to begin with , now he is at 83 ounds. I am wondering if anyone has had any problems with this drug as far as too much weight loss. medically he is fading fast and we are lost as to what to do.. Any comments

  6. estelle long
    estelle long August 18, 2006 at 9:04 am | | Reply

    I have been on lantus for a few years now and seem to have developed most of all the side effects, depression, very hot sweats all over the body, tingles, hard breathing, very bad headaches you name it doctors want to pout me on anti depressants and diabetic clinic thinks it is low eastrogen I am thinking or changing to levemir and would like to know what side effects people have had before I change email

  7. Evonne
    Evonne August 24, 2006 at 7:31 am | | Reply

    My daughter who is 10 yrs old started on Levemir in June and her urinalaysis just came back w/ proteins in it. Has anyone came across any problems linking Levemir to Kidney problems. Does anyone have any diabetic type 1 children who take an ACI inhibitor?

  8. Maree Reghenzani
    Maree Reghenzani September 18, 2006 at 9:53 pm | | Reply

    Just started on Levermir last week and it will be on our Australia PBS list 1st October 2006 for $29-50 instead of the Lantus at $159-05.
    Big money saver. Three diabetics in this family. So far the Levermir is agreeing with me as I have had to cut back on this insulin. Previously on Humulin NPH.

  9. Karen Wilkinson
    Karen Wilkinson March 1, 2007 at 2:45 pm | | Reply

    I’ve been on Lantus a couple of years & just switched to Levemir. I’m interested to know if users are splitting their dose (at what time) or whether they take only one shot daily. None of it seems to last the 24 hours for me.

  10. Norma Homer
    Norma Homer November 22, 2010 at 12:47 pm | | Reply

    Hello I started in Levemir about a year ago and yes my blood sugars
    were all over the place I started with 7 units and later adjusted the
    insulin at 10 until I got up to 20-25. One thing people with diabetes
    have to understand is that diabetes is progressive so with the help
    of your endocrinologist you will be able to manage your blood sugars
    and if your blood sugars are high with diet and exercise then is time
    to adjust the insulin and tell your doctor, I have an excellent PA that
    she knows how well I manage my disease, and also allows me to make
    decisions when it comes right down to it. I have been a diabetic for
    6 and half years and I don’t have a single problem my labs have been
    perfect for a long time.

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