Lantus and Levemir comparison

I started trying Levemir this past month.

For basal insulin, I need daily adjustments because of the things I do. I need to be able to adjust and change, not only day-to-day, but for differences between day and night. I split the Levemir into 2 doses, and I noticed a few differences with Lantus.

Is it better or worse? Well, that really depends on your needs and schedule. But it is different.

Levemir is shorter. For me, Lantus lasts about 16 hours. But Levemir bails out at 12 hours.

Levemir has been predictable. No surprises.

Mostly flat:
Levemir is flat for most of its duration. But… it turns up a bit at 10 hours. This is different from Lantus, which remains flatter through its end and then tails off.

The Fade:
Lantus slowly walks out the door as it waves goodbye. When Levemir quits, it runs out the door and slams it shut without saying anything. It drops right off. Again, this can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you need.

Below is a great image of Levemir quitting at 12 hours (I didn’t do the 2nd basal shot here, just so I could get a good picture of it quitting).

For Levemir, the advantage for me is being able to wake up without needing morning insulin. So I have now begun taking it in the evening about 10 hours before I wake up, and it actually would ramp up right when I wake up, which generally removes the need for morning wake-up insulin. BUT…the potential danger is being low when I wake up.

I do not like taking it in the morning, because the turn-up at 10 hours was causing problems with evening runs. And with the 12 hour duration, if dinner was late, I would be left with nothing.

But I like taking it at night. I need more insulin at night for basal. Levemir covers me well at night and since it ends at 12 hours, it would not drop me during the day like Lantus would (since it lasts longer).

So I have changed my basal routine. It’s kinda the best of both for me - Lantus in the morning, Levemir at night. I like that better than using only one.

One other thing I noticed - Levemir seems a bit “stickier”. If I use a Lantus pen only once a day, it comes out fine. I don’t need to re-prime it. But the Levemir seems to get stuck in the needle. I have to force the re-prime to get the Levemir to come out when it has been sitting for 24 hours.This has been consistent.

There is one thing I came up with from all of this that was really useful for me. I will share it in another post because it goes a bit beyond Levemir.


@Eric you hang out at 50 all day (prior to long lasting insulin running it’s course that is)? Looks like that’s where your bottom line is.

Nice write up!

Well, Dexcom always exagerates my lows. So at that time I was probably closer to mid 60’s. But I am pretty comfortable where a lot of people feel low. If I am flat, 60 feels pretty good to me.