Levemir Warnings and Precautions
There are several Levemir warnings and precautions to be aware of before starting the medication. For instance, you may not be able to safely take it if you have certain health conditions, such as liver or kidney disease. Also, because Levemir can cause dangerously low blood sugar levels, it is important to know the warning signs of low blood sugar and how to respond.
Levemir: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?Talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Levemir® (insulin detemir) 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 Levemir Warnings and PrecautionsWarnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Levemir include the following:
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is the most common (and usually most serious) side effect of insulin medications, including Levemir. 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 Levemir or any other insulin. Low blood sugar levels can be a life-threatening problem.
- Levemir 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 Levemir dosage, you may need to monitor your blood sugar more closely than usual.
- Levemir 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 Levemir dosage. Also, changes in diet or exercise, illness, or stress may affect your blood sugar levels in such a way that your dosage needs to be adjusted.
- Make sure your healthcare provider shows you exactly how to inject Levemir, how to store the drug, and how to dispose of your used needles.
- This diabetes medication can potentially interact with several other medications (see Levemir Drug Interactions).
- Levemir 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 Levemir 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).