Levemir vs. Apidra

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

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(Insulin Detemir)

(Insulin Glulisine)

Lowers blood sugar. Levemir is a long-acting insulin that provides all-day sugar control. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you know what the symptoms are and always have a source of sugar nearby.Coming soon.
How it works
Levemir is a long-acting insulin medicine for diabetes. It acts like the insulin that your body normally makes to process sugars and fats, and it keeps your blood sugar stable throughout the day.Coming soon.
Type of medication
Prescription only
Coming soon.
Available as
  • Injection
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
  • Diabetes mellitus type 1 Diabetes mellitus type 2
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
Reviews for Levemir (Insulin Detemir)
of people say Levemir (Insulin Detemir) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Side effects

The Levemir FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Levemir side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Apidra side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Apidra »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Insulin dose too high
  • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
  • Poor injection techniques
  • Unstable kidney functions
  • Unstable liver functions
  • Use of other medicine that lowers potassium
  • Current electrolyte imbalance
    Detailed Levemir (Insulin Detemir) risks & warnings »
    Coming soon.
    Pregnancy category
    BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

    Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

    See the FDA package insert
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

    See the FDA package insert
    No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
    No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
    • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
    • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
    No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    • Insulin is the most effective blood sugar-lowering medicine. When used correctly, it'll lower blood sugar every time you use it and prevent the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
    • Levemir is a long-lasting insulin that provides consistent, all-day sugar control with less risk of low blood sugar.
    • Dose can be easily adjusted to make a customized regimen that's tailored to your body.
    • Starting insulin early in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes can maintain your body's insulin-producing cells and slow down disease progression.
    • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
    Coming soon.
    Downsides and risks
    • You have to take insulin by injection.
    • You have to check your blood sugar every day.
    • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
    • Higher risk of low blood sugar episodes than other kinds of diabetes medicines.
    Coming soon.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    • Long-acting insulin good for baseline blood sugar control.
    • Works in 1 hour and lasts about 24 hours.
    • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
    • Make sure you and your family know the symptoms of low blood sugar: sweating, shakiness, weakness, fast heartbeat, nervousness, headache, blurry vision, trouble thinking clearly, or passing out.
    • Always have a good source of sugar nearby for low blood sugar episodes.
    • Take it at the same time every day.
    • Make sure you understand how to give yourself the injections.
    • Don't shake the vial or mix with another insulin. Store unopened vials in the refrigerator. Opened vials are good at room temperature for 28 days.
    • Check your blood sugar levels every day.
    Coming soon.
    Learn more
    More about LevemirSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about ApidraSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert