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What is Long-acting Insulin?

Unlike short-acting insulins, long-acting insulins can maintain blood sugar levels all day. We can compare this to how your body produces insulin to help regulate blood sugar levels during meals.

Additionally, long-acting insulins are also known as basal or background insulins. This is because they keep working in the “background” to keep your blood sugar under control throughout the day.

Currently, there are various brands of long-acting insulins available:

  • Insulin glargine (Lantus) lasts up to 24 hours
  • Insulin detemir (Levemir) lasts 18 to 23 hours
  • Insulin glargine (Toujeo) lasts more than 24 hours
  • Insulin degludec (Tresiba) lasts up to 42 hours
  • Insulin glargine (Basaglar) lasts up to 24 hours


Reminder. The dose may need slight adjusted even though Lantus and Toujeo are both insulin glargine medications produced by the same manufacturer. This is because their formula concentrations differ, which differentiate their blood sugar method.


How To Take Long-acting Insulin?

To maintain stable blood sugar levels, it is typically injected once daily. You administer the injection to yourself using a needle or a pen. Be sure to inject your long-acting insulin on the same schedule each day.

To avoid a blood sugar surge after you eat, your doctor may also recommend short-acting insulin before a meal. Meanwhile, if you switch brands of long-acting insulin, you may need a different dose. It is essential to talk to your doctor if you change the brands of any insulin.


Side Effects

Long-acting insulin can have some adverse effects, just like any other medication. Here are the following side effects of long-acting insulin that you may want to take note of:

  • dizziness
  • chills
  • blurred vision
  • weakness
  • headache
  • fainting

Other possible side effects of long-acting insulin injections also include:

  • pain
  • redness

swelling at the injection site

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