For people who are struggling to control their diabetes and require regular insulin injections, two of the most common long-lasting options are Levemir and Lantus. In the Levemir vs Lantus debate, both are intended for daily use and neither one is intended to help with an immediate spike of blood sugar should it occur. Neither one won’t treat ketoacidosis should it occur either.
When both insulin options are considered, the risks of side effects and the benefits they provide are also the same. With so little between these two injections, are there any differences that can help to decide which one is better to take? Here are some answers to some common comparison questions.
1. How Often Does An Injection Need To Occur?
Levemir can be taken either once or twice per day. The doses must be spread out over the course of 12 hours to prevent low blood sugar levels from forming. For those who inject Levemir just once per day, it should be taken around bedtime or at dinner so that it can provide the best results possible.
Lantus is only taken once per day. It doesn’t matter what time of day that it is taken, but a routine should be established so that one dose occurs every 24 hours or so. Taking it in the morning one day and then in the evening the next day is not recommended.
2. What About Weight Gain?
Levemir has been shown to lessen the risks of gaining weight while taking insulin injections. This may be beneficial to those who are working to control their Type 2 diabetes especially. Lantus provides a higher overall risk of weight gain, but people can gain weight while using either product.
Lantus, on the other hand, was developed to produce fewer injection site reactions when used regularly. There is less of a risk of developing a rash or other similar skin reaction when using Lantus compared to Levemir. Both insulin products, however, have the potential of developing an allergic reaction that can cause a rash or skin reaction.
3. Is One Absorbed Better Than The Other?
Levemir tends to peak in its absorption rate about 6 to 8 hours after it has been injected. The height of that peak depends on whether the 12 hour or 24 hour dose has been injected. In comparison, Lantus is absorbed more slowly and consistently, never really obtaining a true peak in the absorption rate. The concentration stays consistent for a full day in a majority of people.
4. How Are They Produced?
Levemir is created through the use of baker’s yeast, while Lantus is created through the use of E.coli. Lantus also contains zinc, glycerol, and some hydrochloric acid. Depending on a person’s personal allergies or health history, one injection type may be preferred over the other. Both are clear solutions that are based on repurposed DNA an human insulin, but Levemir won’t form a precipitate after being injected. It binds to the albumin instead.
5. Which One Does Insurance Cover?
This is probably the most important question to ask. Most health insurance plans will cover one of the insulin products, but they won’t cover both of them. This means your choice could be based on the overall cost since their safety profiles are so similar. Because some Levemir prescriptions will require a twice daily dosage, however, some people may prefer Lantus because it only needs to be injected once per day.
6. How Are They Distributed?
Both Levemir and Lantus are distributed through a classic insulin pen. They typically come in a package of 5 pens and both are formatted with the twist dial dosage and removable needle for hygienic injections. Some people may find Levemir or Lantus a little easier to inject based on the design of the pen itself, but both items are easy to use and store.
Which One Is the Best One To Choose?
If you struggle with NPH insulin and having high blood sugar at night, then switching to Lantus might be the best solution for you. Otherwise people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes both respond well to either insulin product. Both have advantages over NPH insulin, however, so many doctors will leave the choice up to you. Most patients who choose Levemir will require two doses per day, however, so this may also be part of the decision process.
Check with your insurance provider for cost and if you are in a small community, look for availability as you weigh your decision of Levemir vs Lantus.