#lantus #insulin #dosage
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Levemir vs. Lantus: Similarities and Differences
Diabetes and insulin
Levemir and Lantus are both long-acting injectable insulins that can be used for long-term management of diabetes.
Insulin is a hormone that is naturally produced in the body by the pancreas. It helps convert the glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream into energy. This energy is then distributed to cells throughout your body.
With diabetes, your pancreas produces little or no insulin or your body is unable to use the insulin correctly. Without insulin, your body can’t use the sugars in your blood and can become starved for energy. The excess sugar in your blood can also damage different parts of your body, including your blood vessels and kidneys. Everyone with type 1 diabetes and many people with type 2 diabetes must use insulin to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Levemir is a solution of insulin detemir, and Lantus is a solution of insulin glargine. Both are basal insulin formulas. That means that they work slowly to lower your blood sugar levels. They’re both absorbed into your body over a 24-hour period. They keep blood sugar levels lowered for longer than short-acting insulins do.
Although the formulations are slightly different, Levemir and Lantus are very similar drugs. There are only a few differences between them.
Both Levemir and Lantus are given through injection in the same way. You can give the injections to yourself or have someone you know give them to you. The injection should go under your skin. Never inject these drugs in a vein or muscle. It’s important to rotate the injection sites around your abdomen, upper legs, and upper arms. Doing so helps you avoid lipodystrophy (a buildup of fatty tissue) at the injection sites.
You shouldn’t use either drug with an insulin pump. Doing so can result in severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This can be a life-threatening complication.
Strength and forms
Your initial dose of either drug depends on the specifics of your diabetes. The solution for injection for Levemir and Lantus is 100 units/mL. Both are available in 10-mL vials. They’re also available in 3-mL injection devices. The solution is clear and colorless.
The injection devices are more convenient because the solution is already in the device that injects it. The device also has clear numeric marks that help make incorrect dosing less likely.
You should monitor your blood sugar levels closely during the early weeks of long-acting insulin use. Depending on your results, your doctor may need to adjust your dosage.
Levemir: You can take Levemir once or twice per day depending on how quickly your body clears the drug. You should monitor your blood sugar levels closely when you first start taking it. Report these numbers to your doctor so they can make adjustments to your dosage if necessary. If you take Levemir once per day, you should take it with dinner or when you’re ready for bed. If you take Levemir twice per day, separate the doses by 12 hours.
Lantus: You usually take Lantus once per day. Your doctor will time your Lantus dose and choose the number of units you use according to your blood sugar level control target.
The rate at which Levemir absorbs into your body depends on your dose. It also depends on whether you take your daily dose all at once or at two different times. Levemir generally reaches a peak concentration in your blood six to eight hours after you take it. The concentration of Levemir in your blood can remain close to peak levels for up to 24 hours.
On the other hand, Lantus has no clear peak. It absorbs into your body more slowly and steadily than Levemir. It maintains a fairly constant concentration for about 24 hours.
That said, absorption of either product may vary. It’s important for you check your blood sugar level regularly.