Levemir Side Effects
Although most Levemir side effects are minor, this medication can also cause serious side effects. Notify your healthcare provider immediately if you experience symptoms of low blood sugar while taking it, such as difficulty speaking, loss of coordination, or seizures. It is also important to contact your healthcare provider if you experience anything that "just does not seem right," which could be a side effect of Levemir.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Levemir® (insulin detemir). However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. In fact, many people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, they are often minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Levemir. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Levemir side effects with you.)
Levemir has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people taking the drug were documented and compared to the side effects that occurred in another group of people taking a different form of insulin, usually NPH insulin or insulin glargine (Lantus®).
While studies for most medications compare the medication to a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients), this is not usually possible for diabetes medication like Levemir. It would be unethical to give a placebo to people with diabetes, as it is essential to keep blood sugar under control. This is why Levemir was compared to other insulins rather than to a placebo.
In clinical studies, possible Levemir side effects included:
- Low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia)
- A skin reaction at the injection site
- Skin thickening or pitting at the injection site
- Weight gain (although studies suggest that people may gain less weight with Levemir, compared to those using NPH insulin or Lantus).