If you have diabetes, your doctor might prescribe Levemir as a treatment option.

The active drug in Levemir is insulin detemir, which is a long-acting insulin. It’s used to lower blood sugar levels in:

Levemir comes as a liquid solution that you inject under your skin. It’s available in two forms: a prefilled pen and a vial.

This article describes the dosages of Levemir, as well as its forms, strength, and how to use it. To learn more about Levemir, see this in-depth article.

Note: This article covers Levemir’s standard dosages, which are provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But when using Levemir, always inject the dosage your doctor prescribes.

This section covers the usual dosages of Levemir for type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

What are the forms of Levemir?

Levemir is a medication that you inject under your skin. It’s a liquid solution that comes in two forms:

  • 10-milliliter (ml) vial
  • 3-ml FlexTouch pen*

* Levemir came in FlexPens in the past, but these were discontinued and replaced by FlexTouch pens.

What strength does Levemir come in?

Levemir comes in one strength of 100 units of insulin detemir per ml (units/ml). This strength of insulin is abbreviated as “U-100.”

What are the typical dosages of Levemir?

Doctors usually prescribe a low starting dose of Levemir. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the right amount for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The information below describes dosages that are commonly prescribed or recommended. But be sure to inject the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the insulin dosage that best fits your needs. And you’ll need to monitor your blood sugar levels according to their instructions.

Dosage for type 1 diabetes

If you have type 1 diabetes, Levemir isn’t the only kind of insulin you’ll use. Levemir is a long-acting insulin you’ll likely inject once per day in the evening. And for type 1 diabetes, it’s used together with a rapid-acting mealtime insulin.

The dosage your doctor prescribes for type 1 diabetes depends on whether or not you’ve had insulin treatment before.

If you’ve used insulin before, your doctor will calculate a dose of Levemir based on your past average insulin use. The typical starting dose of Levemir is about one-third to one-half of your total daily insulin requirement. The rest of your daily insulin requirement will come from your mealtime insulin.

If you haven’t used insulin before, your total daily insulin requirement will depend on your body weight in kilograms (kg).* The usual total daily insulin dose range is 0.2 units/kg to 0.4 units/kg.

The Levemir dosage chart below shows a dosing example for someone with type 1 diabetes:

Body weightStarting daily insulin doseTotal daily insulin requirementStarting daily Levemir dose
70 kg (about 155 pounds [lb])0.4 units/kg28 units12 units

* 1 kg equals about 2.2 lb.

Dosage for type 2 diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor may prescribe Levemir with or without other diabetes medications or insulins.

The usual starting dose of Levemir for type 2 diabetes is 10 units. Or your doctor may prescribe a dose based on your body weight. The usual dosage range is from 0.1 units/kg to 0.2 units/kg.

You’ll likely inject your dose once per day in the evening. There’s also a twice-daily dosing option for Levemir. Your doctor can tell you whether this once- or twice-daily dosing is better for you.

If your doctor prescribes Levemir twice per day, you’ll inject one dose in the morning and another dose in the evening. You can inject the second dose with your evening meal, at bedtime, or 12 hours after your morning dose. Just be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.

The Levemir dosage chart below shows a dosing example for someone with type 2 diabetes:

Body weightStarting daily insulin doseTotal daily insulin requirementStarting daily Levemir dose
114 kg (about 250 lb)0.2 units/kg50 units20 units

Monitoring your blood sugar

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it’s important to monitor your blood sugar level. Be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations for how and when to check it. They can also tell you what your goal blood sugar range is.

Tracking your blood sugar level will help you and your doctor see how well Levemir is working. Then your doctor will adjust your dosage accordingly. They’ll give you personalized instructions based on your treatment goals.

There isn’t a maximum daily dose of Levemir, but you should not inject more than your doctor prescribes.

What’s the dosage of Levemir for children?

The dosage of Levemir for children is calculated the same way it is for adults. Dosing for children is based on the child’s total daily insulin requirement or their body weight.

The child’s blood sugar level needs to be monitored to see how well Levemir is working. Their doctor will adjust the child’s dosage based on their blood sugar level and goals.

Is Levemir used long term?

Yes, Levemir is typically a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Levemir is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely use it long term.

Dosage adjustments

If you have certain medical conditions or take certain medications, your doctor may monitor you more carefully during your treatment. They may adjust your dosage of Levemir to avoid interactions or worsening of your condition.

You’ll monitor your blood sugar while taking Levemir. This will help you and your doctor see how well Levemir is working for you. Your doctor may then adjust your dosage based on your blood sugar levels.

Get answers to frequently asked questions about Levemir’s dosage.

What is sliding-scale dosage? And should I use this sort of dosing method with Levemir?

Sliding-scale dosage is an insulin dosing method that’s used in certain situations for mealtime (rapid-acting) insulin. But a sliding scale should not be used with Levemir.

With sliding scale dosing, you check your blood sugar using a glucometer (blood sugar meter) just before a meal. Then you take your dose of insulin based on your blood sugar level. The higher your blood sugar, the larger your dose of insulin.

But this method isn’t effective for Levemir since it’s not a mealtime insulin. Levemir is a basal (long-acting) insulin. These are injected once or twice daily to help keep your insulin levels consistent throughout the day.

If you have questions about insulin dosing, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

What factors might make a twice-daily dosage of Levemir better than a once-daily dosage?

For some people, twice-daily dosing of Levemir may help to manage blood sugar levels better than once-daily dosing.

When you first start taking Levemir, your doctor will likely prescribe it once daily. But if your blood sugar level stays too high, your doctor may split your dose into two daily doses instead. (Either way, your total daily amount of Levemir is the same.)

Levemir usually works to lower blood sugar for approximately 24 hours. But this isn’t the case for everyone. If you notice that your blood sugar starts to rise before it’s time for your next dose, tell your doctor. They may suggest splitting your once-daily dose of Levemir into two daily doses.

Be sure to talk with your doctor before making any changes to your Levemir dosage.

Does Levemir dosage need to be adjusted during pregnancy?

Probably. Your body’s daily insulin requirement will likely increase as you gain weight during pregnancy.

If you’re pregnant, your doctor will tell you how often to check your blood sugar while taking Levemir. You and your doctor will use this information to make dosage adjustments throughout your pregnancy.

Is there a maximum dose per injection of Levemir?

Levemir FlexTouch pen has a dial that you’ll set to your dose before each injection. The dial goes up to a maximum dose of 80 units per injection.

If you use FlexTouch pens and your dose is more than 80 units, you’ll give yourself two consecutive injections to complete your dose. You can give these doses in the same body area, but not in the same exact spot.

The maximum dose you can inject with a vial and syringe can vary. This depends on the size of your insulin syringe.

If you have questions about injecting your dose of Levemir, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

The dosage of Levemir you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of your diabetes
  • your weight
  • your age
  • your past insulin usage
  • other medications you take
  • other conditions you have (see “Dosage adjustments” under “What is Levemir’s dosage?”)

Levemir comes as a liquid solution. Your healthcare professional will show you how to give yourself injections under your skin. You’ll use either a FlexTouch pen or a syringe and vial.

To give yourself injections using Levemir FlexTouch pens, you’ll use pen needles. With Levemir vials, you’ll need insulin syringes (with needle attached). You should always use a new pen needle or syringe for each dose.

Note: Levemir doesn’t include needles or syringes. These are sold or dispensed separately. Ask your pharmacist for details.

You can inject Levemir under the skin of your belly, thigh, or upper arm. It’s best to choose a different injection site (the spot where you inject your dose) each time. Using the same injection site over and over can make your skin irritated, hardened, or lumpy. You should also avoid injecting insulin into areas of skin that are already damaged or thickened. Doing so can cause changes in your blood sugar level.

Detailed instructions on how to use Levemir vials or FlexTouch pens are available in the drugs’ labeling. If you have questions about how to inject Levemir, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

For information on Levemir expiration, storage, and disposal, see this article.

If you miss a dose of Levemir, inject it as soon as possible. But if it’s almost time for your next dose, just skip the missed dose. Then inject your next dose at your regular time.

Do not inject a double dose to make up for a missed dose. This could increase your risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

If you need help remembering to inject your dose of Levemir on time, try using a medication reminder. These include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.

Don’t inject more Levemir than your doctor prescribes. Taking more than this can lead to severe low blood sugar. And this can be life threatening in some cases.

Symptoms of overdose

Symptoms of Levemir overdose are the symptoms of low blood sugar and can include:

If you have low blood sugar, you should eat or drink a small amount of a fast-acting carbohydrate. You should do this within 15 minutes of your symptoms starting. Examples include:

  • fruit juice
  • regular (not diet) soda
  • a piece of candy
  • glucose tablets, gel, liquid, or powder

Extremely low blood sugar is a medical emergency. If your blood sugar level drops too low, it can lead to seizures or even coma. Because of this, it’s important that someone around you knows how to recognize and treat the symptoms of low blood sugar. If the symptoms seem life threatening, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.

What to do in case you inject too much Levemir

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve injected too much Levemir. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers, or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.

The sections above describe the standard dosages provided by Levemir’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Levemir for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Remember, you shouldn’t change your dosage of Levemir without your doctor’s recommendation. Only inject Levemir exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.

Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • Should I adjust my own dosage of Levemir in certain situations?
  • Does my dosage need to change if I’m taking other types of insulin?
  • Would twice-daily dosing of Levemir be better for me?

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.