Before travelling between different time zones the patient should seek the doctor's advice since this means that the patient has to take the insulin and meals at different times.
Hyperglycaemia: Inadequate dosing or discontinuation of treatment, especially in type 1 diabetes, may lead to hyperglycaemia and diabetic ketoacidosis. Usually the first symptoms of hyperglycaemia develop gradually over a period of hours or days. They include thirst, increased frequency of urination, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, flushed dry skin, dry mouth, loss of appetite as well as acetone odour of breath. In type 1 diabetes, untreated hyperglycaemic events eventually lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which is potentially lethal.
Hypoglycaemia: Omission of a meal or unplanned strenuous physical exercise may lead to hypoglycaemia. In children, care should be taken to match insulin doses (especially in basal-bolus regimens) with food intake and physical activities in order to minimise the risk of hypoglycaemia.
Hypoglycaemia may occur if the insulin dose is too high in relation to the insulin requirement (see Adverse Reactions and Overdosage).
Patients whose blood glucose control is greatly improved, e.g. by intensified insulin therapy, may experience a change in their usual warning symptoms of hypoglycaemia, and should be advised accordingly. Usual warning symptoms may disappear in patients with longstanding diabetes.
Concomitant illness, especially infections and feverish conditions, usually increases the patient's insulin requirement. Concomitant diseases in the kidney, liver or affecting the adrenal, pituitary or thyroid gland can require changes in the insulin dose.
Transfer from other insulin products: Transferring a patient to another type or brand of insulin should be done under strict medical supervision. Changes in strength, brand (manufacturer), type, origin (human insulin, insulin analogue) and/or method of manufacture may result in the need for a change in dosage. Patients transferred to Levemir from another type of insulin may require a change in dosage from that used with their usual insulin products. If an adjustment is needed, it may occur with the first dose or during the first few weeks or months.
Injection site reactions: As with any insulin therapy, injection site reactions may occur and include pain, redness, hives, inflammation, bruising, swelling and itching. Continuous rotation of the injection site within a given area may help to reduce or prevent these reactions. Reactions usually resolve in a few days to a few weeks. On rare occasions, injection site reactions may require discontinuation of Levemir.
Effects on ability to drive and use machines: The patient's ability to concentrate and react may be impaired as a result of hypoglycaemia. This may constitute a risk in situations where these abilities are of special importance (e.g. driving a car or operating machinery).
Patients should be advised to take precautions to avoid hypoglycaemia while driving. This is particularly important in those who have reduced or absent awareness of the warning signs of hypoglycaemia or have frequent episodes of hypoglycaemia. The advisability of driving should be considered in these circumstances.