Levemir or Lantus?

I am thinking about starting using a basal insulin, and am wondering about the difference between Levemir and Lantus. I heard that Lantus stings when you inject it and I don’t like the sound of that. Also, that Lantus is a bit longer lasting. Any other things you can tell me?

I have since moved to the pump, but I used Lantus as part of my MDI therapy for about a year. I do remember my Lantus stinging occasionally, but not all the time. It also depended on where I injected it. Also, it might not last for the full 24 hours in your body. I think mine only lasted for about 20-22, and I have read accounts of people who inject their Lantus twice because it lasts even less in their bodies.

You’re not stuck with the decision forever. Pick the one you like the best, and if it doesn’t work out try the other one. :slight_smile:

My daughter was on Lantus and it did sting - she would always say ouch! It stings because of the PH level - as soon as it would enter the body it would crystalize. Her blood sugar would drop alot during the middle of the night and we would always have to treat a low around 3am. We then switched to Levemir which seems to keep her steady throughout the night. Lantus we gave once day and Levemir we have to give twice a day (morning and at dinner). We could not mix Lantus so that was an extra shot. Our doctor says that it is okay to mix Levemir even though the directions say not too. With an almost three year old - being able to eliminate a shot is a big deal around our household. I hope this helps.

my lantus last the full 24 hours, and i’ve never had a stinging sensation.

I am on Lantus but Ihave to inject it twice a day because my sugar levels. My blood sugars would drop very low after I injected and then were very high when the medicine wore off. It does sting some times but not every time. I thought it was the achohol on the point of the needle.

I used to use Lantus and never had any stinging-- I think that it also depends on the amount injected (I gave maximum 15 units). I used to have night time lows with Lantus because it is somewhat more active in the first 6 hours. So for many people it works better to give it morning, midday or before dinner-- but if you have dawn effect maybe it’s not bad to give before bed.
Also giving twice a day may help stabilize sugars. Though I always only gave once a day. I don’t know anything about Levemir though… so maybe try one and then the other and compare!
Good luck!

I have used Lantus for the past three years. Yes, it does sting very rarely, but not any more than an awkward stick does and the sting quickly goes away. I haven’t had any issues with the lasting effects of it, but it was a tricky transition going from NPH to it in balancing my nighttime snack. I have always had issues of determining how many carbs to eat so that I could keep from going low overnight, but not wake up with a 200+ reading. Part of it, I think, has to do with what they call “pooling effect” – depending upon where you inject, the body may choose to absorb the insulin, or it may pool and absorb slower. For some reason, I was better at estimating carb intake with my NPH at bed time.

I used Lantus for a couple of years. I did not find any stinging. After a while though, Lantus became very unpredictable for me. I was doing constant dosage adjustments, etc., but my fastings were just too high; my daytimes were lower than normal. I switched to Levemir, and the problem was solved. I’ve been on it a few years now, and it’s still working out fine. I take one shot at bed (12 units) and use Humalog on sliding scale.

I have not used the Levemir, but like the Lantus. I shoot twice a day now and call it my cruise control. I still have to use the Humalog for the fast acting as well. I think it just has to do with the way your body handles it. I was started on Novalog with the Lantus as my basal. Millions of people use the Novalog just fine, but the better one for me with a lower usage dose is the Humalog. Which ever one works for you. Try one, if it doesn’t work, try the other. The nice thing about insulin is that we get better control by adjusting to fit us.

Lantus does seem to last longer whether its dosed once daily or twice daily. I like Levemir because it last about 45 days before it needs to be changed whereas Lantus is more around 30 days. Levemir is also better for travel as its less sensitive to temperature changes than Lantus. All in all they’repretty simlar there could be some slight differences in the amount you’ll have to dose between the 2 insulins as well as when you’d need to inject them to achieve ideal fasting/sleeping/waking glucose numbers. I think Lantus stings due to it being more acidic than other insulins, but you might be able to get around this by letting it reach room temperature before injecting it.

Levemir is supposed to be better in that it does not make you gain weight. I certainly haven’t gained any. Depending on the site where you inject, it can sting. Especially if you took it out of the fridge, it may sting a lot. The sensation goes away in a few minutes so it’s not that bad. I am upto 44 units being taken at bedtime – am supposed to increase by two units every 3 days. My RN suggested that if I get to 50 units, I should split the dosage, i.e. 25/25; One midday, and one in the evenings. I find that Metformin XR (Extended Release) tablets do wonders as well and help you lose weight. The regular non-XR version caused me a ton of gastronomical issues including the very annoying bloating!

Something to consider is the fact that Lantus and Levemir bind to albumin, whereas older insulins like NPH bind to fat. That is not really related to the “pooling effect” but to the way in which these products function.

If you review the clinical evidence on this, what you will find is that there are no blinded, widescale clinical trials to validate the claim that Levemir (insulin detemir rDNA origin) does not make you gain weight. In fact, a few tiny trials (on fewer than 20 patients each, one had as few as 8 patients if I recall correctly) have shown something to this effect. But that is not considered sufficient or even valid evidence for submission to regulators to make such a claim, therefore we should not assume that to be a fact). Novo Nordisk does have a product in development which is supposed to have this feature, but it is now in clinical trials and has not been approved by regulators in any country for the treatment of diabetes … yet!


You are right about the trials. BUT and it is a huge “but” anecdotally many of us have found that switching from Lantus to Levemir makes a huge difference in weight gain.

I only used Lantus for a month, but ended up packing on a few pounds. I think it subtly changed my hunger patterns. Switching to Levermir made it easy to drop all the weight I’d gained. Not only that, but it gives me much better fasting blood sugars.

I have heard the same thing from several low carbing Type 2s who were gaining on Lantus.

It may not be the insulin so much as the way it absorbs and the timing that subtly alters hunger.

I stand corrected: there was a trial done which did find a SLIGHT benefit as far as weight is concerned (the findings showed that with Levemir, patients were less likely to cause weight gain or hypoglycemia). However, the same trial revealed that patients taking the Levemir were actually slightly less likely to achieve blood sugar control. The findings were based on results from the first year of a three-year, 5,000 patient study. Bottom line is that the so-called weight benefits associated with Levemir are small (at best) and the comparisons were done against NPH, not Lantus. However, if someone does find such a benefit, there is no reason they should not switch.

Up until getting on the pump recently, I had been on Lantus since it was available. I’ve never had the “stinging” sensation while on it. I am a little overweight (by 15lbs), but have never related it to the Lantus, although I’m sure it is a possibility. I’ve honestly never had any issues with Lantus and would use it again if I needed to.

It has never been an issue for me & I have used it since it was first available except when I went on the pump for a year. I am now back using it as it really works well for me. Good Luck!

I’ve used both. For me Levemir was a nightmare. I had terrible control over my BG and was constantly crashing or swinging wildy. Not fun at all. I’m back on Lantus and life is good.

I’ve used Levemir along with Novorapid for about 4 years now and have never had any major problems with it, but you could maybe try one for a few months and if you don’t feel it’s right for you, switch to the other. Good luck!

I use Lantus and I have for a few years. Mine was not lasting all day, so I take one when i get up and one right before bed. I hardly ever notice it stinging, maybe once or twice a week you get one that isn’t so pleasant. but i take humalog too and you always have a few that hurt worse than others. overall, i love lantus.