The most frequently reported adverse reaction during treatment is hypoglycaemia, please see following discussion on Hypoglycaemia.
From clinical investigations it is known that major hypoglycaemia, defined as requirement for third party intervention, occurs in approximately 6% of the patients treated with Levemir.
Injection site reactions are seen more frequently during treatment with Levemir than with human insulin products. These reactions include pain, redness, hives, inflammation, bruising, swelling and itching at the injection site. Most of the injection site reactions are minor and of a transitory nature, i.e. they normally disappear during continued treatment in a few days to a few weeks.
At the beginning of the insulin treatment, refraction anomalies and oedema may occur; these reactions are usually of a transitory nature. Fast improvement in blood glucose control may be associated with acute painful neuropathy, which is usually reversible. Intensification of insulin therapy with abrupt improvement in glycaemic control may be associated with temporary worsening of diabetic retinopathy, while long-term improved glycaemic control decreases the risk of progression of diabetic retinopathy.
Tabulated list of adverse reactions: Adverse reactions listed in Table 4 are based on clinical trial data and classified according to MedDRA frequency and System Organ Class. Frequency categories are defined according to the following convention: Very common (≥1/10); common (≥1/100 to <1/10); uncommon (≥1/1,000 to <1/100); rare (≥1/10,000 to <1/1,000); very rare (<1/10,000); not known (cannot be estimated from the available data). (See Table 4.)
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Description of selected adverse reactions: Allergic reactions, potentially allergic reactions, urticaria, rash, eruptions: Allergic reactions, potentially allergic reactions, urticaria, rash and eruptions are uncommon when Levemir is used in basal-bolus regimen. However, when used in combination with oral antidiabetic medicinal products, three clinical studies have shown a frequency of common (2.2% of allergic reactions and potentially allergic reactions have been observed).
Anaphylactic Reactions: The occurrence of generalised hypersensitivity reactions (including generalised skin rash, itching, sweating, gastrointestinal upset, angioneurotic oedema, difficulties in breathing, palpitation and reduction in blood pressure) is very rare but can potentially be life threatening.
Hypoglycaemia: The most frequently reported adverse reaction is hypoglycaemia. It may occur if the insulin dose is too high in relation to the insulin requirement. Severe hypoglycaemia may lead to unconsciousness and/or convulsions and may result in temporary or permanent impairment of brain function or even death. The symptoms of hypoglycaemia usually occur suddenly. They may include cold sweats, cool pale skin, fatigue, nervousness or tremor, anxiousness, unusual tiredness or weakness, confusion, difficulty in concentration, drowsiness, excessive hunger, vision changes, headache, nausea and palpitation.
Lipodystrophy: Lipodystrophy (including lipohypertrophy, lipoatrophy) may occur at the injection site. Continuous rotation of the injection site within the particular injection area reduces the risk of developing these reactions.
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