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Levemir Dosage

For those who are beginning diabetes treatment with Levemir, dosage recommendations will vary, based on factors such as your weight, the dosage of other insulin medications you are taking, and other medical conditions you have. Levemir comes in injectable form, and is typically used once or twice a day. Your Levemir dosage can be injected into the skin and fat layer of the stomach, upper arm, or thigh.

Levemir Dosage: An Introduction

The dose of Levemir® (insulin detemir) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
  • Your current dose of other insulins
  • Your weight
  • How you respond to Levemir (especially as measured by your blood sugar levels)
  • Other medications you are taking, including other diabetes medications
  • Other medical conditions you may have.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.

What Is a "Unit" of Levemir?

In order to understand the dosing of Levemir and other insulin medications, it is important to understand what exactly a "unit" of insulin means. There are various different types of insulin. A single unit of insulin should have the same biological activity, no matter what type of insulin you use, as all insulins are compared to a single standard.

Levemir Dosing Guidelines

You can take Levemir once or twice a day. If you take it just once a day, you should take it consistently, either at bedtime or with your evening meal. If you take it twice a day, the first dose should be in the morning, and the second dose can be with your evening meal, at bedtime, or 12 hours after the first dose. Your healthcare provider will help you determine which way is best for you.
If you are currently using a "basal-bolus" insulin regimen (a long- or intermediate-acting insulin, plus a rapid-acting insulin for meals), Levemir can replace your long- or intermediate-acting insulin. In general, a unit-for-unit dose conversion will work fine. (In other words, if you currently take 20 units of a long-acting insulin per day, your Levemir dosage would be 20 units once daily or 10 units twice daily). Some dose adjustment may be necessary, based on how you react to Levemir.
If you are currently using a "basal-only" insulin regimen (just a long- or intermediate-acting insulin), Levemir can replace your current insulin on a unit-for-unit basis, although some dose adjustments may be necessary.
If you are not currently using any insulin, there are two different recommended ways to find a starting Levemir dosage:
  • Based on your weight -- 0.1 to 0.2 units per kg (about 0.045 to 0.09 units per pound) once a day in the evening
  • A general standard starting dose -- 10 units once or twice daily.
Your healthcare provider will use your response to the starting Levemir dosage (as measured by your blood sugar levels) to recommend any dose changes.
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Levemir Insulin Information

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