What is insulin degludec?

Insulin therapy is used to treat people with diabetes and comes in many different forms, as differentiated by many factors like the onset of action. Insulin degludec is 1 such version. Insulin degludec is an ultra-long-acting basal insulin used to keep blood glucose at a consistent level throughout the day, even through periods of fasting. Taking a single dose of a long-acting insulin mimics the action of the pancreas creating and secreting insulin as it is required by the body. It is an important feature of long-acting insulin to not peak in its activity during the day. An activity peak can cause hypoglycemia in patients with diabetes. Insulin degludec has been shown to keep serum insulin levels consistent in people that use it.

What are the brands of insulin degludec?

There are a few brands that are made up of or contain insulin degludec. Tresiba is administered as an injection and boasted as being able to keep insulin at a consistent level for over 42 hours. Next, Ryzodeg is a drug that contains mixed types of insulin, namely 70% insulin degludec and 30% fast-acting insulin aspart. The fast action of insulin aspart allows for rapid glucose uptake by the body while insulin degludec helps to extend this effect for several hours. Ryzodeg is not yet available in the North American market. Another brand is Xultophy, or Xultophy 100/3.6, which contains 100units/ml of insulin degludec and 3.6mg/ml of liraglutide. Liraglutide is derived from the naturally occurring hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). When it is released, it stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreas and increases the uptake of insulin into the cells.

Should I take it?

Each medication has a specific indication for use and requires a prescription from a doctor prior to use. It is important to speak to your doctor about your symptoms and the side effects as well as the risks of each drug before administering the recommended dose.

Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.