- Type 1 and type 2 diabetes in adults
- Type 1 diabetes in children aged six years and over
$49 per month
- Type 1 and type 2 diabetes in adults.
- Type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children aged two years and over
$49 per month
Drug facts and comparison
You should not use Basaglar if you:
You should talk to your doctor before using Basaglar if you:
You should not use Levemir if you:
You should talk to your doctor before using Levemir if you:
Once per day
Once or twice per day
5, 300 unit Basaglar KwikPen self-injecting pens costs around $326
A 10ml, 100 unit vial of Levemir costs approximately $330
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs Basaglar and Levemir are both types of long-acting insulin that can be taken to manage blood sugar control, but they are not the same. Your doctor will prescribe the most suitable insulin product for your needs, but it is important to know the differences between those available.
Here we unpick the key differences between Basaglar and Levemir as well as detail the similarities.
The most important hormone to understand in diabetes is insulin. It is made in your pancreas which is located just behind your stomach.
Without getting too medical, insulin travels in your blood through your body. It opens up cells in your body so that glucose can enter them. After glucose enters cells, the cells immediately use it for energy in the form of glycogen or convert it to fat for use later. When glucose leaves your blood and enters cells, your blood glucose level falls. Your pancreas detects your glucose falling and turns off the release of insulin. This stops your blood sugar from going too low (hypoglycemia). At the same time, your liver begins to make more glucose in your blood.
This system in the body helps to keep the level of glucose balanced. Insulin is the only means that the body has of lowering blood glucose levels. When this system fails diabetes occurs.
There are different types of insulin but the basic difference is in how quickly they take effect, so they can be divided into:
Basaglar is the brand name of a long-acting human insulin analog manufactured by Eli Lilly to reduce high blood sugar levels. It’s prescribed to:
Levemir is a prescription medication manufactured by Novo Nordisk for:
Basaglar and Levemir should not be used to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.
The active ingredient in Basaglar is called insulin glargine and the active ingredient in Levemir is called insulin detemir. Glargine and detemir are a type of synthetic (man-made) insulin that are similar to the insulin your body makes naturally. One of the main differences is that it has been designed to be longer acting than natural insulin, so it works over a longer time period.
When you inject Basaglar or Levemir under your skin their active ingredients are released into your bloodstream. As it travels around your body and attaches itself to cells it causes your cells to release a substance that helps them absorb sugar from your blood. Insulin glargine and insulin detemir can keep working for up to 24 hours, covering your insulin needs for up to a day.
Long-acting insulins also called background insulin or basal insulin are usually injected once every 24 hours to help your body maintain a healthy blood glucose level throughout the day and night. They were invented to provide a smooth, basal level of control ideally requiring only one injection a day. They can act differently in different people looking more like intermediate insulin in some patients. Long-acting and short-acting/rapid-acting insulins are often used together due to the differences in duration of action.
Your dose of Basaglar or Levemir should be administered by subcutaneous injection in the abdomen, thigh, or deltoid. The insulin injection sites should be rotated to prevent small fatty lumps or hard lumps from forming in areas that are continuously used as injection sites. These can interfere with insulin absorption and also cause discomfort. Switching between injecting sites will help prevent problems. Injection site reactions tend to be pain, redness, itchiness, or swelling around the area of your injection.
Basaglar and Levemir both come in a disposable, prefilled pen formulation. Basaglar comes as a KwikPen and a Tempo Pen. Levemir comes as a FlexTouch pen.
These pens contain the following amounts of insulin:
Levemir also comes in a vial, which holds 10 mL of drug solution. Each vial contains 1,000 units of insulin detemir. You shouldn’t use either drug with an insulin pump.
Basaglar is a once-daily dose and Levemir is taken once or twice daily. Your starting dose and dosing regime are determined by your healthcare professional. Doses must be individualized based on clinical response and blood glucose monitoring is essential in all patients receiving insulin therapy.
Although they are both long-acting insulins that are used to treat diabetes, there are some important differences between Basaglar and Levemir:
The most common side effects seen with Basaglar and Levemir are the following:
In rare instances, Basaglar and Levemir can cause more serious side effects. These may include:
The following medications are some that interact with Basaglar and Levemir:
There are many types of insulin but factors such as the severity of your diabetes, your lifestyle, diet, and other medical conditions can influence which is best for you. Talking to your healthcare provider is important to help them understand how well Basaglar or Levemir are working for you and to allow any drug interactions to be identified. Give your healthcare provider a complete list of all the prescription drugs, including over-the-counter meds, supplements, and medical conditions you may have, and always seek their medical advice if you are experiencing side effects or if your blood sugar levels are not under control.