ClickCease Basal Insulin | Insulin Discount | Levemir and Lantus insulin types

Levemir vs. Lantus – What’s The Difference?

Levemir and Lantus are both basal insulins, sometimes called “long-acting” insulin. Read on to understand what basal insulin is used for and the similarities and differences between these two medications.

What is basal insulin used for?

All cells in your body need sugar to function properly and your body transports these sugars throughout your blood. The levels of sugar in your blood are regulated by insulin, which is a hormone made by your pancreas. Diabetes is a disorder caused by high levels of sugar in your blood. People with diabetes can use insulin to keep their blood sugars within a normal range and prevent more serious health problems.

Also see our blog on Tips to Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

There are many different types of insulin available, including some over the counter options. All insulin works to lower blood sugar, but some types work faster or last longer than others. Basal insulin, like Lantus and Levemir, work slowly in your body over a period of 24 hours to help control your blood sugar.

What are the similarities between Levemir and Lantus?

Levemir and Lantus are both injectable insulins that are available as vials and pens. They are both approved by the FDA to treat Type 1 and 2 diabetes.

They’re both very effective at lowering blood sugar. Several studies have shown that Levemir and Lantus provide the same level of blood sugar control. They have also been shown to have similar rates and types of side effects, which can include:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Stinging or pain at the injection site
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Weight gain


Because basal insulins work slowly in your body over a long period of time, they are less likely to cause low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, when compared to other insulins. This means Levemir and Lantus can be injected without regard to meals.

So what are the differences?
Although Levemir and Lantus are very similar, there are some important differences between these medications.

One key difference between Levemir and Lantus is dosing. Lantus is usually dosed once daily, while Levemir may be dosed once or twice daily. This is because Lantus and Levemir are absorbed differently in your body. It is important to check your blood sugar regularly because absorption and blood sugar control can vary from patient to patient.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Joanna L. Hodder

Dr. Joanna L. Hodder is a transitions of care pharmacist for a large hospital system in Denver, Colorado. She received her BA in English Literature from Iowa State University and PharmD from University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. Dr. Hodder completed a post-graduate year 1 (PGY-1) residency at Northeast Iowa Family Practice Center, where she delivered quality patient care in both hospital and primary care settings. She is passionate about empowering patients to take charge of their health through evidence-based education and improving access to medications. When she isn’t working closely with patients, Dr. Hodder enjoys gardening, hiking with her dog, and yoga.

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