Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex
Never share insulin pens or cartridges with others under any circumstances. It is not safe for one pen to be used for more than one person. Sharing needles or pens can result in transmission of hepatitis viruses, HIV, or other bloodborne illnesses.
It is very important that your doctor will want to check your progress at regular visits, to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests will be needed to check unwanted effects.
It is very important to follow carefully any instructions from your health care team about:
Alcohol—Drinking alcohol may increase or decrease your blood sugar. Discuss this with your health care team.
Other medicines—Do not take other medicines during the time you are taking insulin detemir unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This especially includes nonprescription medicines such as aspirin, and medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems.
Counseling—Other family members need to learn how to prevent side effects or help with side effects if they occur. Also, patients with diabetes may need special counseling about diabetes medicine dosing changes that might occur because of lifestyle changes, such as changes in exercise and diet. Furthermore, counseling on contraception and pregnancy is needed because of the problems that can occur in patients with diabetes during pregnancy.
Travel—Keep a recent prescription and your medical history with you. Be prepared for an emergency as you would normally. Make allowances for changing time zones and keep your meal times as close as possible to your usual meal times.
In case of emergency: There may be a time when you need emergency help for a problem caused by your diabetes. You need to be prepared for these emergencies. It is a good idea to:
Wear a medical identification (ID) bracelet or neck chain at all times. Also, carry an ID card in your wallet or purse that says that you have diabetes and a list of all of your medicines.
Keep an extra supply of insulin detemir and syringes with needles or injection devices on hand in case high blood sugar occurs.
Keep some kind of quick-acting sugar handy to treat low blood sugar.
Have a glucagon kit and a syringe and needle available in case severe low blood sugar occurs. Check and replace any expired kits regularly.
This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, swelling of the face, tongue, and throat, trouble with breathing, or chest pain after you receive the medicine.
You may have some skin redness, rash, itching, or swelling at the injection site. If this irritation is severe or does not go away, call your doctor. Do not inject insulin detemir into a skin area that is red, swollen, or itchy.
Using this medicine together with other diabetes medicine (eg, pioglitazone, rosiglitazone, Actos®, Actoplus Met®, Avandia®) may cause serious heart problem or edema (fluid retention). Check with your doctor immediately if you are rapidly gaining weight, having chest pain or discomfort, extreme tiredness or weakness, trouble breathing, uneven heartbeat, or excessive swelling of the hands, wrist, ankles, or feet.
Too much insulin detemir can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Low blood sugar also can occur if you use insulin detemir with another antidiabetic medicine, changes in insulin regimen (eg, insulin strength, type of insulin, injection site), delay or miss a meal or snack, exercise more than usual, or drink alcohol. Low blood sugar must be treated before it causes you to pass out (unconsciousness). People feel different symptoms of low blood sugar. It is important that you learn which symptoms of low blood sugar you usually have so that you can treat it quickly.
Symptoms of low blood sugar include anxiety, behavior change similar to being drunk, blurred vision, cold sweats, confusion, cool, pale skin, difficulty with thinking, drowsiness, excessive hunger, fast heartbeat, headache (continuing), nausea, nervousness, nightmares, restless sleep, shakiness, slurred speech, or unusual tiredness or weakness.
If symptoms of low blood sugar occur, eat glucose tablets or gel, corn syrup, honey, or sugar cubes, or drink fruit juice, non-diet soft drink, or sugar dissolved in water to relieve the symptoms. Also, check your blood for low blood sugar. Glucagon is used in emergency situations when severe symptoms including seizures or unconsciousness occur. Have a glucagon kit available, along with a syringe and needle, and know how to use it. Members of your family should also know how to use it.
This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do other jobs that require you to be alert. .
Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) may occur if you do not take enough or skip a dose of your antidiabetic medicine, changes in insulin regimen, overeat or do not follow your meal plan, have emotional stress or infection, or do not exercise as much as usual.
Symptoms of high blood sugar include blurred vision, drowsiness, dry mouth, flushed, dry skin, fruit-like breath odor, increased urination (frequency and amount), ketones in the urine, loss of appetite, stomachache, nausea, or vomiting, tiredness, trouble breathing (rapid and deep), unconsciousness, or unusual thirst.
If symptoms of high blood sugar occur, check your blood sugar level and then call your doctor for instructions.
This medicine may cause hypokalemia (low levels of potassium in your blood). Do not use medicines, supplements, or salt substitutes that contain potassium unless you have discussed this with your doctor.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.