Tresiba vs Levemir – Uses, Side Effects, Differences


It is the trade name of an injection that contains insulin degludec, a long-acting basal human insulin analog. This drug has been on the market in Europe since 2013. It can be used by people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

In patients with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas can only produce insulin in small quantities or not at all. Regular insulin injections are required to supply the body with sufficient insulin – a naturally occurring hormone produced by the pancreas which helps the human body to use or store the sugar it gets from food.

Without sufficient insulin, sugar (glucose) stays in your bloodstream, raising blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can cause the following signs and symptoms:

  • blurry vision;
  • needing to go to the bathroom more frequently;
  • feeling extreme hunger or thirst.

According to the CDC, more than 100 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes. Improvement in blood glucose control can reduce the risk of some of the long-term complications which include –  blindness, heart disease, kidney damage, and nerve damage.


It is typically used to treat adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. After this medication is injected under the skin, it forms a reservoir of insulin which is slowly released into the bloodstream.

This medication can be used alone or in combination with oral antidiabetic drugs or bolus insulin in sufferers with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.


It comes as a solution to be injected under the skin once per day. For type 1, the usual recommended dose is:

  • insulin-naive – the initial dose is 1/3 to 1/2 the total daily insulin dose;
  • patients already on insulin therapy – start the dose at 80 percent of the total daily long or intermediate-acting insulin unit dose.

It has a duration of action that lasts up to 42 hours (compared to up to 26 hours provided by other marketed long-acting insulins). Individuals who miss a dose should inject their daily dose during waking hours upon discovering the missed dose, then continue with their normal dosing schedule.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Insulin Degludec

Common side effects may include:

  • hollowing of the skin where the drug is injected;
  • mild skin rash;
  • low blood sugar.

Rare side effects may include:

  • inflammation of the nose;
  • problems breathing;
  • head pain;
  • low amount of potassium in the blood;
  • a cough;
  • abnormally low blood pressure;
  • a backache;
  • unexplained weight gain;
  • acute infection of the throat.


Alcoholic beverages should be avoided while taking this type of insulin.

To make sure that this medication is 100 percent safe for you, tell your healthcare professional if you have:

  • diabetic ketoacidosis (extremely high blood sugar levels, along with a severe lack of insulin);
  • low levels of potassium in your blood;
  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease.


It is the brand name for the prescription drug called insulin detemir – a long-acting form of insulin that works by replacing the insulin which is normally made by the human body to help the body to use glucose as energy.

Levemir is produced by Novo Nordisk, a Danish multinational pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Bagsværd, Denmark, and was first approved by the FDA in 2006.


It is used for treating type 1 diabetes in children (2 years or older) and adults, and type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults who need long-acting insulin.


The dose of this medication must be individualized based on a number of factors, such as:

  • other medical conditions you may have;
  • how you respond to this drug;
  • other drugs you are taking, especially other diabetes drugs;
  • your body weight;
  • your current dose of other insulins.

It is the first and only long-acting insulin to receive a pregnancy category B rating.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Detemir

Common side effects may include:

  • unexplained weight gain;
  • a sore throat;
  • headaches;
  • sneezing;
  • a stuffy nose;
  • stomach pain;
  • back pain;
  • thickening of the skin where you inject this medication;
  • swelling of the feet.

Rare side effects may include:

  • muscle weakness;
  • leg discomfort;
  • increased urination;
  • extreme thirst;
  • uneven heart rate;
  • confusion;
  • redness where you injected this drug.

To make sure that this medication is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • diabetic ketoacidosis;
  • an episode of hypoglycemia;
  • allergy to any medications;
  • low levels of potassium in your blood;
  • kidney or liver disease.

Drug Interactions

Possible drug interactions include:

  • gabapentin (a medication which is used to treat restless legs syndrome);
  • furosemide (brand name Lasix);
  • carvedilol;
  • Basaglar;
  • atorvastatin;
  • aspirin;
  • amlodipine.

Tresiba vs Levemir – Which Is The Better Type 1 Diabetes Medication?

Tresiba is an ultra-long-acting insulin that helps keep blood sugar at normal levels for long periods of time. It may be used by type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus sufferers and lasts up to 42 hours.

Levemir is a form of insulin that is used to control blood glucose levels. It is used as an injection under the skin and lasts up to 24 hours.

According to studies, the long-term tolerability and safety profile of insulin degludec in sufferers with type 1 diabetes mellitus provides a lower risk of nocturnal hypoglycemia than insulin detemir.

5 Natural Remedies To Lower Blood Sugar Levels

#1 Curcumin

It is the main active compound in a renowned spice, called turmeric. According to a 2008 study, it preserves pancreatic islet cell survival and transplantation efficiency.

#2 Garlic

Garlic (botanical name – Allium sativum) is thought to offer potent antioxidant and micro-circulatory properties. According to research, its allium content is strongly associated with lower blood sugar levels.

#3 Goldenseal

It is a medicinal herb with a long history of use both in the West and the East. It contains berberine, a bioactive compound which has been shown to stimulate the production of the pancreatic beta cells that the human body requires to produce insulin.

#4 Avocado

It is prized for its high nutritional profile and is added to all types of dishes. For instance, this fruit contains nearly 20 minerals and vitamins. A 2007 study shows that it has a protective and restorative effect on pancreatic islet cells.

#5 Foods Rich In Vitamin C

Vitamin C is fantastic for your skin as well as it can help improve blood sugar levels. Good sources of vitamin C include:

  • oranges;
  • mandarines;
  • tamarinds;
  • tomatoes;
  • blackberries;
  • blueberries;
  • chickpeas;
  • red kidney beans;
  • raspberries;
  • mangoes;
  • plums;
  • papayas;
  • alma.

Images credit – Shutterstock & Getty

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