Compare Levemir vs. Glucotrol

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

Levemir
(insulin detemir)

Glucotrol XL
(glipizide)

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.Lowers blood sugar. Glucotrol XL (glipizide) is an effective medicine for lowering blood sugar, but it can cause your blood sugar level to be too low, so you must always carry some form of sugar with you that can be readily used.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.39Levemir
Reviews for Levemir
45%
of people (All ages) say Levemir is worth it
35%
say it works well
22%
say it's a big hassle
130 reviews
Have you used Levemir (insulin detemir)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Glucotrol
50%
-5% worse vs. Levemir
32%
+3% better vs. Levemir
19%
-3% worse vs. Levemir
332 reviews
Have you used Glucotrol XL (glipizide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LevemirGlucotrol
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 26%
  • Headache 23%
  • Sore throat 10%
  • Influenza-like illness 8%
  • Abdominal pain 6%
  • "stomach flu" 17%
  • Fever 10%
  • Cough 8%
  • Viral infection 7%
  • Nausea 7%
More Levemir side effects »
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Nervousness 1%
  • Tremor 4%
  • Passing gas 2%
  • Low blood sugar 3%
  • Constipation 3%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Headache 2%
More Glucotrol side effects »
How it works
LevemirGlucotrol
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.Glucotrol XL (glipizide) stimulates your body to release insulin and lower blood sugar.
Type of medication
LevemirGlucotrol
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
LevemirGlucotrol
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
Used for
LevemirGlucotrol
Risk factors for serious side effects
LevemirGlucotrol
  • Insulin dose too high
  • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
  • Poor injection techniques
  • Unstable kidney functions
  • Unstable liver functions
Detailed Levemir (insulin detemir) risks & warnings »
  • Skipping meals or having inconsistent meal times
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Using other blood sugar-lowering medicine
  • People age 60 or older
  • Those with kidney and/or liver problems
Detailed Glucotrol XL (glipizide) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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

Alcohol
LevemirGlucotrol
No alcohol related info.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Glucotrol XL (glipizide).
Food
LevemirGlucotrol
No food related info.
  • Eat regular and well-balanced meals to keep your blood sugar levels normal.
Kidneys and liver
LevemirGlucotrol
  • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
  • People with kidney and/or liver problems take a longer time to get rid of Glucotrol XL (glipizide) from their body. They are more sensitive to the effects of low blood sugar that include symptoms such as fast heartbeat, sweating, pale skin, shakiness, confusion and irritability. They need to make sure to carry with them some form of sugar such as hard candies or glucose tablets at all times while they are on this medicine.
  • Can be used in those with kidney problems.
Weight
LevemirGlucotrol
  • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
  • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
  • Can cause mild weight gain of 2 to 3 pounds on average.
Upsides and benefits
LevemirGlucotrol
  • 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.
  • Lowers A1c levels by 1-2%. (A1c is a test that measures your average blood sugars over the past 3 months).
  • Glucotrol XL (glipizide) is an oral medicine so it might be a good alternative for those who don't like injections.
  • Protects your organs and blood vessels by preventing the harmful effects of high blood sugar levels.
  • Can be used in those with kidney problems.
  • Available as a generic form and is relatively cheap.
Downsides and risks
LevemirGlucotrol
  • 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.
  • Has a higher risk than other diabetes medicine for causing blood sugar levels to be too low.
  • While taking Glucotrol XL (glipizide), your blood sugars should be checked 2 to 5 times a week, but less often once you are on a stable dose.
  • Can cause mild weight gain of 2 to 3 pounds on average.
  • Might lose its effectiveness over time.
  • Needs to be taken 30 minutes before a meal for it to be most effective.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
LevemirGlucotrol
  • 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.
  • Take the medicine 30 minutes before eating, usually before your first big meal of the day.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Glucotrol XL (glipizide).
  • Eat regular and well-balanced meals to keep your blood sugar levels normal.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly.
  • Glucotrol XL (glipizide) can cause dizziness so avoid activities that require coordination until you know how your body can handle the medicine.
Learn more
More about LevemirSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Levemir (insulin detemir)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about GlucotrolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Glucotrol XL (glipizide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it