Compare Human Insulin vs. Levemir

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Humulin (Human Insulin)

Prescription only

Levemir (insulin detemir)

Prescription only
Lowers blood sugar.

This form of insulin is one of the few medications in its class that you can get without a prescription, but it's expensive.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 57 reviewsforHuman Insulin
Lowers blood sugar.

Levemir (insulin detemir) is an effective, long-acting insulin that provides all-day sugar control, but there are similar medications that can be used instead.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 130 reviewsforLevemir
Upsides
  • Some types of this medication are available without a prescription.
  • Available as a shot to be injected into the fatty part of the skin, and as a powder to be inhaled through your nose.
  • Available in different combinations so that you can do one shot or multiple shots a day.
  • Insulin is the most effective blood sugar lowering medication, as it lowers A1c (average blood sugar over time) up to 2 or 3%. When used correctly, it'll prevent the harmful effects of high blood sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
  • Levemir (insulin detemir) is a long lasting insulin that provides consistent, all-day blood sugar control with less risk of low blood sugar.
  • Doses can be easily adjusted to make a customized regimen that's tailored to your body's needs.
  • Starting insulin early in the treatment of type 2 diabetes can maintain your body's insulin producing cells and slow down disease progression.
  • Levemir (insulin detemir) can be used in people with liver or kidney problems.
Downsides
  • Has to be taken exactly as directed or it can cause high or low blood sugar.
  • As with all insulins, you have to work with your doctor closely to make sure you're giving yourself the correct dose, or you can have low or high blood sugar.
  • You have to take Levemir (insulin detemir) by injection.
  • You have to check your blood sugar regularly.
  • There is a risk of low blood sugar episodes with use of Levemir (insulin detemir).
  • Levemir (insulin detemir) can cause tiredness, moderate weight gain, and swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Injection
  • Inhaler
  • Injection
Price
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Reviews
57 reviews so far
67%
saidit'sworth it
46%
saiditworked well
11%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Humulin (Human Insulin)?

Leave a review
130 reviews so far
45%
saidit'sworth it
35%
saiditworked well
22%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Levemir (insulin detemir)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Humulin (Human Insulin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
5possible side effects
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
    26%
  • Headache
    23%
  • Sore throat
    10%
  • Flu-like symptoms
    8%
  • Stomach pain
    6%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Changes in blood sugar
  • Changes in skin appearance
  • Weight gain
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Life-threatening low blood sugar (Hypoglycemia)
    • Insulin dose too high
    • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
    • Poor injection techniques
  • Complications due to low potassium
    • Use of other medicine that lower potassium
    • Current electrolyte imbalance
  • Severe allergic reactions
    • Allergy to insulin
See more detailed risks and warnings