Frequently asked questions for Insulin detemir
Q. What kind of insulin is Insulin detemir?Insulin detemir is a long-acting, man-made version of human insulin. It has a long and steady blood-sugar-lowering action. This helps to control blood sugar levels for an entire day. It is used to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults, adolescents, and children aged 1 year and above.
Q. How is Insulin detemir administered?Insulin detemir is injected just below the skin (subcutaneously). Your doctor will train you on the correct method and the areas (abdomen or stomach, thighs, arms, hips or buttocks) where you should inject it. It is advised that the site of injection should be changed within the chosen area of skin, for every dose. For example, if you have been advised to inject it into the skin of your stomach, avoid puncturing the same point on your stomach every day. Rather, inject the needle at a site that is slightly away, say around 1cm, from the previous injection. You can also consider switching sides while injecting, like choosing the right side on one day and the left side on the next day. This way, you can reduce the complications associated with repeated injections in the same site such as thickening of the fat tissue below the skin known as lipodystrophy, irritation, pain etc. After one to two weeks, you should move to another area of your body (eg. from the stomach to the arms or thighs) as advised by your doctor. Consult your doctor if you face any problems while injecting Insulin detemir.
Q. Can I take Insulin detemir twice a day?Use Insulin detemir in the dose and duration prescribed by the doctor. Insulin detemir is a long-acting type of insulin and may be taken once or twice a day. Your dose will depend on your blood sugar levels and blood sugar control after taking Insulin detemir. Your doctor will inform you in case two doses are required in a day. Follow your doctor's instructions while taking Insulin detemir. It can be taken at any time of the day, but try to take it at the same time each day.
Q. What will happen if I accidentally inject more than the recommended dose of Insulin detemir?If you have accidentally taken more than the prescribed dose of Insulin detemir, your blood sugar levels may become too low (hypoglycemia). This hypoglycemia may be mild or severe. Monitor your blood sugar levels more frequently for the next 24 hours. Mild episodes of hypoglycemia (with symptoms like anxiety, sweating, weakness, tremors, fast heartbeat) can usually be corrected with the help of sugary foods such as sugar candy, fruit juice and glucose/glucon-D. However, it is important to consult your doctor to decide the further course of treatment. More severe episodes of hypoglycemia may even lead to a seizure (fit) or unconsciousness. This can be life-threatening and the patient should be rushed to an emergency.
Q. How should Insulin detemir be stored?Keep this medication out of the reach of children in the container it came in. Store unopened Insulin detemir vials and pens in the refrigerator, but do not freeze them. Moreover, never use Insulin detemir that has been frozen or defrosted. When unopened, Insulin detemir can be stored in a refrigerator until the date shown on the company's label. If a refrigerator is unavailable, store the vials at room temperature and away from direct sunlight and extreme heat.
Q. In what circumstances will the dose of Insulin detemir need to be changed?You should consult your doctor for dose adjustment if you change your diet or experience weight gain or loss, increased stress or illness. Your dose may also change if you have recently changed your exercise regime. Let your doctor know about all the other medicines, particularly any other diabetes medicines you are taking because they may affect, or be affected by, this medicine. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should consult their doctor before taking Insulin detemir as they may need to change their dose.
Q. Is Insulin detemir a basal insulin? How does it work?Yes, Insulin detemir is a type of basal insulin or background insulin. These are long-acting insulins that keep working in the background over a 24 hour period (or more), to keep your blood sugar levels under control throughout your daily routine.
Q. Is Insulin detemir safe in pregnancy?Yes, Insulin detemir is considered safe to be used during pregnancy, if it has been prescribed by a doctor. However, you might need dose adjustments during pregnancy and after delivery. Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly as advised by your doctor. Please consult your doctor before using Insulin detemir if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Q. What is the significance of an HbA1c test?Your doctor may ask you to get your HbA1c tested every 3 months. This test indicates your blood sugar control for the past 2-3 months. On the basis of this test, your doctor will decide if your dosage of Insulin detemir needs to be changed or if you need any additional diabetes medicines.