Levemir (insulin detemir) is a prescription brand-name medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to lower blood sugar levels in adults and children with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Levemir comes as a liquid solution that’s given by subcutaneous injection. It’s available in two forms: a vial and syringe, and a prefilled pen.
For information on the dosage of Levemir, including its forms, strength, and how to take the drug, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Levemir, see this article.
This article describes typical dosages for Levemir provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Levemir, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
Levemir comes as a liquid solution. It’s available in two forms:
- 3-milliliter (mL) prefilled FlexTouch pen
- 10-mL vial of liquid that’s injected using a syringe
Levemir comes in a strength of 100 units of insulin detemir per mL (units/mL). This strength of insulin (100 units/mL) is commonly abbreviated as “U-100.”
Typically, your doctor will prescribe a low starting dose for you. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The following information describes insulin dosing that’s commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to follow the dosing instructions your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Monitoring your blood sugar levels while you’re taking Levemir will help you and your doctor assess how well the drug is working. You’ll likely use a glucometer (blood glucose meter) to monitor your blood sugar. Be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations for how and when to check your levels and what your goal blood sugar range is.
Dosage for type 1 diabetes
If you’re switching from a different insulin to Levemir, your doctor will recommend a starting dose that’s based on your past average dose of insulin. The typical starting dose is about one-third to one-half of your usual total daily insulin requirement. You’ll get the rest of your daily insulin requirement from mealtime insulin.
If you’re just starting to take insulin, your total daily insulin requirement will depend on your body weight in kilograms (kg).* The usual total daily insulin dosage ranges from 0.2 units per kg (units/kg) to 0.4 units/kg.
Here’s an example of a Levemir dosage chart for type 1 diabetes:
|Body weight||Prescribed daily dose of insulin||Total daily insulin requirement||Starting daily dose of Levemir|
|80 kg (about 175 pounds [lb])||0.4 units/kg||32 units||10 units|
To check how well Levemir is working for you, you’ll monitor your blood sugar. Then your doctor will likely adjust your dosage based on your blood sugar levels. They’ll give you personalized dosing instructions based on your treatment goals.
* One kilogram equals about 2.2 lb.
Dosage for type 2 diabetes
For type 2 diabetes, the usual starting dosage of Levemir is 10 units once per day in the evening.
Or your doctor may prescribe a dose that’s based on your body weight in kg. The usual dosage range is 0.1 units/kg to 0.2 units/kg once per day in the evening.
Here’s an example of a Levemir dosage chart for type 2 diabetes:
|Body weight||Prescribed daily dose of insulin||Prescribed dose of Levemir|
|100 kg (about 220 lb)||0.2 units/kg||20 units in the evening|
Another Levemir dosage option for type 2 diabetes is twice-daily dosing. If your doctor recommends Levemir dosing twice daily, you’ll inject your first dose in the morning and your second dose in the evening. The second dose may be with your evening meal, at bedtime, or 12 hours after your morning dose. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
To check how well Levemir is working for you, you’ll monitor your blood sugar. Your doctor will likely adjust your dosage based on your blood sugar levels. They’ll give you personalized dosing instructions based on your blood sugar goals.
In children, the dosage of Levemir will be calculated the same way it is for adults. Levemir dosing for children is based on the child’s total daily insulin requirement or based on their body weight.
As with adults, your child’s blood sugar levels should be monitored to check how well Levemir is working. Your child’s doctor will likely adjust your child’s dosage based on their blood sugar levels and goals.
Levemir is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Levemir is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
Get answers to some frequently asked questions about Levemir’s dosage.
How much Levemir is too much?
You should take the dosage of Levemir that your doctor prescribes for you. The best way to judge how Levemir is working is to monitor your blood sugar levels. You’ll likely use a glucometer (blood glucose meter) to monitor your blood sugar throughout the day.
If your blood sugar is high throughout the day, your doctor may need to increase your dosage of Levemir or other insulin. If you develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), it’s possible that your doctor may need to decrease your Levemir dosage. (If you have taken more Levemir than you should, see the “Levemir and overdose” section below.)
It’s important to talk with your doctor before changing your dosage. They may recommend dosage adjustments based on your blood sugar levels and goals.
When would my doctor have me split a Levemir dose?
Levemir’s effects usually last for 24 hours. But some people may notice that their blood sugar levels start to increase shortly before their next dose of Levemir is due. Splitting once-daily Levemir dosing into twice-daily dosing may help to keep a more consistent amount of the drug in your body. This may help you better manage your blood sugar levels and diabetes.
There could be other reasons that your doctor may have you split your Levemir dose into two daily doses. If you have questions about your dosage, talk with your doctor. And make sure not to adjust your Levemir dosage without your doctor’s recommendation.
Is there a dosage calculator for Levemir?
There isn’t a standard dosage calculator for Levemir. Instead, the dosage that your doctor prescribes is based on several factors, such as your blood sugar levels or your body weight. (For more information, see the “Factors that can affect dosage” section below.)
The starting dosage for Levemir is sometimes calculated based on your body weight in kilograms (kg).* For example, the usual starting dosage range for type 2 diabetes is 0.1 units per kg (units/kg) to 0.2 units/kg. For example, if you weigh 100 kg (about 200 pounds), this would be 10 to 20 units per day.
If you have questions about how many units of Levemir to inject, talk with your doctor.
* One kilogram equals about 2.2 pounds.
Levemir comes as a liquid solution that’s injected subcutaneously using either a prefilled FlexTouch pen or a syringe and vial.
Your healthcare professional will show you how to inject Levemir at home. It can be injected into your thigh, upper arm, or abdomen (belly).
Levemir is typically taken once or twice daily. For each dose, it’s best to rotate the injection site (the spot where you inject your dose). Using the same injection site can cause hard lumps or fat deposits to form in your skin. And injecting insulin into areas of thickened or damaged skin can affect your blood sugar levels.
The FlexTouch pen requires you to attach a pen needle to inject your dose. The pen can be used with NovoFine and NovoTwist pen needles.
You should always use a new syringe or pen needle for each dose. See this article for details about how to store and dispose of Levemir.
Pen needles and syringes aren’t included with Levemir. They’re sold or dispensed separately and may require a prescription in some states. Ask your pharmacist for more details.
If you have questions about taking Levemir, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Also, step-by-step instructions are included with every package of Levemir and in the drug’s patient information.
Levemir dosage scale
One 3-milliliter (mL) prefilled Levemir FlexTouch pen contains 300 units of insulin. The FlexTouch pen has a dial that you’ll set to your prescribed dose. The dial goes up to a maximum dose of 80 units per injection.
So if your prescribed Flextouch dosage is more than 80 units per day, you’ll give yourself two injections, one right after the other. You can give these in the same area of your body but not in the same spot.
The Levemir FlexTouch pen also contains an insulin scale. When you hold the pen with the needle end pointing up, the scale shows you how many units of insulin are left in the pen.
Your healthcare professional can answer any questions you have about using Levemir.
If you miss a dose of Levemir, take it as soon as you remember. If you remember when it’s almost time for your next dose, just skip the missed dose and take your next dose at your usual time. You should not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose. Doing so could increase your risk of side effects, such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.
The Levemir dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of your diabetes
- your age
- your weight
- other medical conditions you may have
- other medications you take
- your past insulin dosage (if you’ve taken insulin before)
- the goal range for your blood sugar levels
Depending on how well Levemir works to lower your blood sugar levels, your doctor may adjust your dosage.
Also, if you have a history of liver problems or kidney problems, you may need a higher or lower dosage of Levemir than usual. Make sure to discuss this with your doctor before starting Levemir treatment, even if you’ve taken insulin before.
If you have questions about dosage adjustments with Levemir, talk with your doctor.
Taking more Levemir than your doctor prescribes may lead to severe hypoglycemia (severely low blood sugar). Severe hypoglycemia is a medical emergency that can be life threatening.
If you take more than the recommended amount of Levemir
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Levemir. Another option is to call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by Levemir’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Levemir, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Levemir without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Levemir that’s right for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Levemir.
- More about Levemir. For information about other aspects of Levemir, refer to this article.
- Drug comparison. To find out how Levemir compares with Lantus, read this article.
- Details on diabetes. For details on diabetes, see our diabetes hub and list of diabetes articles.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.