Toujeo and Levemir are both long-acting basal insulin used to moderate high blood glucose levels in individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
These insulin drugs contain active ingredients from insulin analogs derived from human insulin. Toujeo and Levemir get absorbed by the body several hours after injection to assist the pancreas in producing and utilizing glucose as energy in the body for more than 24 hours.
The active ingredient in Toujeo is insulin glargine, while Levemir is derived from insulin detemir.
What is Toujeo?
Toujeo is the first-ever concentrated long-acting insulin prescribed for adults with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes over the of age 18. Toujeo contains 300 units of insulin glargine per milliliter (U300), thrice the concentration of most long-acting insulins, including Levemir, which has formulation at 100 units per milliliter (U100).
Toujeo’s onset to action is 5 hours and its half-life is reached after 19 hours. It takes 5 days for Toujeo to reach its steady-state, which is the amount of time the medication settles into the body to provide consistent glycemic controls.
The concentration of Toujeo demands for longer absorption. This also results in a longer duration in the body. Toujeo lasts for more than 24 hours in the body.
What is Levemir?
Levemir is a long-acting insulin used to regulate blood sugar levels in individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes over the age of 2. It is derived from insulin detemir, which provides slow, consistent absorption with no identified peak effect in insulin release.
Levemir is available as an injectable 100 units/mL (U-100) solution in a 10 mL vial or 3 mL prefilled pen. The onset of Levemir depends on the dosage of the medication and how often it is taken daily, but it is generally given around 3 – 4 hours. Levemir lasts for up to 24 hours in the body.
Difference Between Toujeo and Levemir
The main difference between Toujeo and Levemir is its formulation and concentration.
Toujeo is derived from insulin glargine, a modified form of human insulin which is achieved by replacing an amino acid with glycine and 2 arginines at the A21 position. This results in a relatively constant, non-dose-dependent concentration for insulin that lasts for more than 24 hours.
Levemir is from insulin detemir, a modified form of human insulin achieved by the addition of a fatty acid group at B29. This results in a slow absorption rate but a more even, consistent response. Levemir is considered to be the most consistent long-acting insulin for all-day glucose regulation.
Toujeo is prescribed only for adults aged 18 and older, while Levemir can be used for all diabetic individuals of 2 years and older. Toujeo is only available as an injectable, and Levemir is available both in pen and vial form.
Toujeo’s concentration (U300) accounts for a longer duration in the body than Levemir. Levemir’s formulation allows for a more steady and consistent blood sugar level regulation. Overall, both medications have been proven effective for managing glycemic controls in the body.
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.