Lantus Vs Levemir: Insulin Glargine Vs Insulin Detemir

Lantus Vs Levemir

Insulin Glargine Vs Insulin Detemir is a comparison of two types of long-acting insulins – Levemir and Lantus that are used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus

The pancreas secretes insulin, a hormone, naturally in the body. It aids in transforming the sugar and glucose in your blood into energy. Your body’s cells then receive this energy in various locations.

When you have diabetes, either your body can’t properly utilize the insulin it generates or your pancreas produces little to no insulin.

Your body can become energy-starved if you don’t have enough insulin because it can’t utilize the carbohydrates in your blood.

Your blood vessels and kidneys may also be harmed by the excessive blood sugar levels in your body. Insulin is required to maintain normal blood sugar levels in all persons with type 1 diabetes and many people with type 2 diabetes.

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What are the basics?


When someone with diabetes takes Levemir, also known as insulin detemir, their blood glucose levels are reduced. If this medicine’s color has changed, don’t take it.

Once or twice a day, patients can take this drug. If it’s taken just once, it should be given with dinner.

You should eat your morning meal and your evening meal after taking the dose if it is to be taken twice. One day following the morning dosage, the evening dose should be taken.


Lantus, also known as insulin glargine, is a long-acting insulin that functions by substituting human insulin, which is made by the pancreas.

Typically injected subcutaneously into the upper arm, abdomen, or thighs, insulin glargine is available in injectable form.


Insulin Lantus

Insulin Levemir

Type of InsulinLong-actingLong-acting
Active IngredientInsulin glargineInsulin detemir
Onset of Action1-2 hours1-2 hours
Peak EffectNo pronounced peak effectNo pronounced peak effect
Duration of ActionUp to 24 hoursUp to 24 hours
AdministrationSubcutaneous injectionSubcutaneous injection
DosageOnce-dailyOnce-daily or twice-daily
Mixing with other InsulinsCan be mixed with rapid-acting insulinCannot be mixed with other insulins
Side EffectsHypoglycemia, weight gain, injection site reactionsHypoglycemia, weight gain, injection site reactions
CostHigher costLower cost
AvailabilityPrescription requiredPrescription required
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Uses – Lantus Vs Levemir

Levemir and Lantus can be taken by both adults and children.

  • Levemir is specifically prescribed for patients 2 years of age and older.
  • Users of Lantus must be 6 years of age or older.

The everyday control of diabetes can be aided with Levemir or Lantus. Short-acting insulin may still be required, though, to address blood sugar swings and diabetic ketoacidosis (a dangerous buildup of acids in your blood).

 How to administer?

Lantus and Levemir are both administered through injection. The shots can be administered by a friend or by you on your own.

Your skin should be penetrated by the injection. Never administer these medications by vein or muscle injection.

It’s crucial to alternate the injection sites around your upper legs, upper arms, and belly. By doing this, you can prevent lipodystrophy or the accumulation of fatty tissue at the injection sites.

Neither medication is appropriate for use with an insulin pump. This may cause severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This issue has the potential to be fatal.

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Frequency of dosages of Lantus Vs Levemir:

Depending on how rapidly your body processes the medication, you can take Levemir once or twice daily. When you initially begin taking it, you should maintain a close eye on your blood glucose levels.

Inform your doctor of these statistics so they can, if required, change your dosage. If you only take one dose of Levemir a day, you should take it after supper or right before bed.

Levemir should be taken twice daily, with a 12-hour gap between each dosage.

Lantus is typically used once a day. Your doctor will schedule your Lantus dosage and determine how many units you need to take in order to achieve your blood sugar control goal.

Initial doses

Depending on the details of your diabetes, any medication’s initial dose will vary. Levemir and Lantus injectable solutions contain 100 units/mL of the active ingredient.

10-mL vials are offered for both. Injection devices with a 3-mL capacity are also offered. It’s a transparent, colorless solution.

The usual starting dose for any long-acting insulin is 6 to 12 units depending on the body weight. The usual maintenance dose is 50% of the total insulin required.

Suppose a person required 40 units of total insulin per day, half of it (20 units) will be given as bolus insulin while the other half will be administered as short-acting insulin in divided doses.

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Your dosage determines how quickly Levemir enters your body. The timing of your daily dose depends on whether you take it all at once or in two separate doses.

Normally, six to eight hours after taking Levemir, its blood concentration peaks. Levemir can stay in your blood for up to 24 hours at levels that are near its peak concentration.

Lantus appears to lack a distinct peak in contrast. More gradually and steadily than Levemir, it absorbs into your body. Over the course of around 24 hours, it keeps a pretty steady concentration.

The absorption of any substance, however, may differ. You should routinely monitor your blood sugar levels.

Efficacy of both insulins

Both Levemir and Lantus seem to be equally efficient in lowering blood sugar levels in diabetics on a daily basis. Levemir and Lantus for type 2 diabetes are equally safe and effective, according to a review of studies published in 2011. [ref]

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Possible side effects – Lantus Vs Levemir

The two medications’ adverse effects differ in some ways. According to one study, Levemir caused decreased weight gain. Lantus often required a lower daily dosage and caused fewer skin responses at the injection site.

Additional negative effects of both medications may include:

  • Lower levels of potassium
  • Lower levels of glucose
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Nausea
  • Hunger
  • Headaches
  • Higher heart rates
  • Blurry vision

Any medicine, including Lantus and Levemir, has the potential to result in an allergic response. Anaphylaxis can occur on occasion. If you have swelling, hives, or a skin rash, inform your doctor.

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Lantus Vs Levemir – Cost analysis

Cost is the other significant distinction between Levemir and Lantus. Without insurance, both drugs are costly, although Glargine’s retail cost is somewhat more than that of glargine.

If you have insurance, the copay for both insulins will probably be the same at the pharmacy counter as long as you are not in the deductible or coverage gap phases of your plan.

However, it’s also conceivable that certain insurance policies will only cover one brand out of the available options.

In either case, don’t forget to consider manufacturer discount cards, patient aid programs, and coupons as additional options to save costs.

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Summary: Lantus Vs Levemir




Generic nameInsulin DetemirInsulin Glargine
AdministrationInjected subcutaneouslyInjected subcutaneously
Age for administration2 years or older6 years or older
DosageOnce or twice a dayThe typical dosage is once daily
Peak concentration6 to 8 hoursAround 24 hours
CostExpensiveMore Expensive

Both Insulin Glargine and Insulin Detemir are long-acting insulin analogs used to manage blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. They work by mimicking the action of insulin in the body to help move glucose into the cells for energy.

However, there are some differences between the two medications.

  • Insulin Glargine has a duration of action of up to 24 hours and is typically taken once daily. It has no pronounced peak effect and is often used as a basal insulin to provide a steady background insulin level.
  • Insulin Detemir also has a duration of action of up to 24 hours but can be taken once daily or twice daily. It also has no pronounced peak effect and is often used as a basal insulin.
  • Insulin Glargine can be mixed with rapid-acting insulin, while Insulin Detemir cannot be mixed with other insulins.

Both medications have similar side effects, including hypoglycemia, weight gain, and injection site reactions. Insulin Glargine tends to be more expensive than Insulin Detemir, but availability may vary depending on the location and healthcare coverage.

What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

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