Tresiba vs Levemir, Similarities, Advantages, Side Effects

Posted March 15, 2021 by Michael Chamberlain - See Editorial Guidelines

Tresiba vs Levemir are both brand-name medications, which are FDA-approved to help manage blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Both these drugs are long-acting insulins that treat diabetes, which is a chronic or long-lasting health condition that affects your body’s ability to use glucose for energy.

This article will discuss Tresiba vs Levemir, including the differences, similarities, how they work, and which is more effective.

Let’s start with a quick summary to get us started before we get into the details.   

Tresiba vs Levemir? Both drugs are basal, long-lasting insulins. Both are effective in the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Tresiba can be taken at different times of the day, is longer lasting (up to 42 hours) than Levemir, and has a flatter, more predictable profile

With this brief explanation in mind, let’s begin to look into the specifics around Tresiba vs Levemir.

Overview of Tresiba

Tresiba vs Levemir

Tresiba is manufactured by Novo Nordisk and contains a type of insulin called insulin degludec. This is known as a long-acting insulin. 

Insulin degludec is normally used in combination with short-acting insulin, which is given before meals to control increasing blood glucose levels after eating.

After Tresiba is injected under the skin, it forms a reservoir of insulin that is slowly released into the bloodstream over 42 hours. 

It is used to help provide background control of blood glucose throughout the day.

Tresiba can be prescribed and administered in different forms. These include – two different Tresiba FlexTouch pens or vials.

Overview of Levemir

This drug is made by Novo Nordisk. Levemir is the trade name for insulin detemir, a human-made form of insulin that is used as a substitute for the body’s natural insulin in diabetic patients.

Levemir is used to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is administered by injection under the skin and is effective for up to 24 hours.

You should not use Levemir if you are allergic to insulin detemir, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis.

How they work – Tresiba vs Levemir 

Both Tresiba and Levemir work in similar ways. 

Like all insulins, they are designed for use as a subcutaneous injection.

Both these drugs are long-acting insulins. They work steadily throughout the day to help manage your blood sugar between meals and overnight. 

Long-acting insulins control blood sugar for an entire day or sometimes longer. 

Neither Tresiba nor Levemir has a peak as short-acting insulin does. This is why they are referred to as basal or background insulin.

Now we’ve understood how both Tresiba and Levemir work, we can now explore the similarities of both of these drugs, which are often prescribed for diabetics. 

Similarities between Tresiba and Levemir 

Both Tresiba and Levemir are insulin’s which will lower blood sugar in diabetic patients. 

They are both referred to as basal insulins. Basal insulins are important as they keep your blood sugar level consistent while fasting, such as when you are sleeping.

Both are available to administer from disposable prefilled injection pens called FlexTouch pens.

Tresiba and Levemir are used to treat both children and adults who have diabetes. 

These two types of long-lasting insulin are only available with a doctor’s prescription. 

With the understanding in mind as to Tresiba and Levemir’s similarities, we can consider both drugs’ advantages.

Advantages of Tresiba 

Tresiba is approved for use in adults and children ages 1 year and older, unlike Levemir, which can only be taken by children aged two years and upwards. 

One of the chief advantages of Tresiba is its flexibility. 

With Tresiba, diabetic patients won’t have to remember to take it at precisely the same time of day, which gives leeway on the time you need to take the next dose. 

Tresiba is very long-lasting and can work for up to 42 hours, which allows doses to be taken at different times of day, if needed, without any impact on blood glucose control. 

New research trials have shown insulin degludec (Tresiba) to help reduce the incidence of hypoglycemia, also known as a ‘hypo’ or low blood sugar.

Here’s your Tresiba coupon you can use.

Advantages of Levemir

The main benefit of Levemir is its duration of action, with a single injection of the medication working for up to 24 hours to keep blood sugar levels stable.

Results based on data from 179 people with type 1 diabetes, from one of the largest global observational studies ever conducted in diabetes, show that patients switching from human insulin to Levemir benefited from: 

  • Improved glycemic control
  • Reduction in the rate of overall hypoglycemia
  • Reduction in the rate of nocturnal hypoglycemia
  • Did not suffer from any weight gain

Here’s the Levemir coupon you can use.

Which is more effective, Tresiba or Levemir? 

When it comes to Tresiba vs Levemir, although both drugs effectively treat diabetes, Tresiba has the advantage of being taken at any time throughout the day. 

This is because Tresiba lasts longer than Levemir. It can last up to 42 hours, so patients do not need to worry if they inject their dose at a different time each day.

For example, individuals with a busy schedule may only be able to administer their injection at 10 am on Tuesday, 7 am on Wednesday, and 9 pm on Thursday.

Tresiba vs Levemir

It is important to note that patients using Tresiba must wait at least 8 hours between each injection.

This flexibility is a major plus, as all other basal insulins, such as Levemir, must be taken at the same time every day, according to the label. 

Tresiba also works in a flatter, more predictable way than Levemir or Lantus.

Find out if your Levemir dose can be split, and if so, then when!

Side effects – Tresiba vs Levemir 

Tresiba and Levemir both have similar side effects to be aware of. 

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Tresiba and Levemir.  

It’s not known how often people using Tresiba have allergic reactions to the drug. Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • Skin rashes
  • Itchiness
  • Warmth and redness in your skin (flushing)

Other reactions of taking both Tresiba and Levemir can include: 

  • Swelling in your hands or feet
  • Extreme thirst or hunger
  • Increased urination
  • Lumpy skin at injection sites
  • Weight gain
  • Mild headache
  • Back or stomach pain
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

Serious side effects from both Tresiba and Levemir aren’t common, but they can occur.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness or feeling faint

Further help for diabetes patients

We hope this has provided a good overview of Tresiba vs Levemir. As always, if you’re concerned about which suits you best, or you’re considering which option, then be sure to consult with your doctor on the best course of action.

However, when it comes to your medication supply, we can help further.

If you’re having trouble affording any of your medications, then Prescription Hope may be able to help. Enroll with us and see if you qualify to pay only $50 a month for each of your medications.