Precautions and Warnings With Insulin Detemir
Prior to starting any medication, it is important to become familiar with the medication's precautions and warnings. With insulin detemir, possible risks and complications should be understood. For example, you may not be able to take insulin detemir if you have certain health conditions, such as certain allergies or liver or kidney disease. Also, let your healthcare provider know about all other medications you are taking, including vitamins.
Insulin Detemir: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?Talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking insulin detemir (Levemir®) if you have:
- An insulin pump
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Precautions and Warnings With Insulin DetemirWarnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking insulin detemir include the following:
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is the most common (and usually most serious) side effect of insulin medications, including insulin detemir. Make sure you and those around you know how to identify the warning signs for low blood sugar and how to respond. You must test your blood sugar levels regularly while taking insulin detemir or any other insulin. Low blood sugar levels can be a life-threatening problem.
- Insulin detemir should not be used in insulin pumps. Also, it should not be mixed with other insulins in the same syringe.
- Any time you start, stop, or change your insulin detemir dosage, you may need to monitor your blood sugar more closely than usual.
- Insulin detemir must be given as a subcutaneous injection (just under the skin). It should never be injected into a vein, given by IV, or injected into a muscle.
- Liver and kidney problems may affect your insulin detemir dosage. Also, changes in diet or exercise, illness, or stress may affect your blood sugar levels in a way that may require an adjustment in your insulin detemir dosage.
- Make sure your healthcare provider shows you exactly how to inject insulin detemir, how to store it, and how to dispose of your used needles.
- This diabetes medication can potentially interact with several other medications (see Drug Interactions With Insulin Detemir).
- Insulin detemir is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Levemir and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if insulin detemir passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Levemir and Breastfeeding).