In clinical trials of LEVEMIR, 64 of 1624 patients (4%) in the type 1 diabetes trials and 309 of 1082 patients (29%) in the type 2 diabetes trials were 65 years or older. A total of 52 (7 type 1 and 45 type 2) patients (2%) were 75 years or older. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these patients and younger patients, but small sample sizes limits conclusions. Greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out. In elderly patients, the initial dosing, dose increments, and maintenance dosage should be conservative to avoid hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia may be difficult to recognize in the elderly.
No difference was observed in the pharmacokinetics of LEVEMIR between non-diabetic individuals with renal impairment and healthy volunteers. However, some studies with human insulin have shown increased circulating insulin concentrations in patients with renal impairment. Careful glucose monitoring and dose adjustments of LEVEMIR, may be necessary in patients with renal impairment [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Non-diabetic individuals with severe hepatic impairment had lower systemic exposures to insulin detemir compared to healthy volunteers. However, some studies with human insulin have shown increased circulating insulin concentrations in patients with liver impairment. Careful glucose monitoring and dose adjustments of LEVEMIR, may be necessary in patients with hepatic impairment [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
An excess of insulin relative to food intake, energy expenditure, or both may lead to severe and sometimes prolonged and life-threatening hypoglycemia and hypokalemia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3,5.6)]. Mild episodes of hypoglycemia usually can be treated with oral glucose. Adjustments in drug dosage, meal patterns, or exercise may be needed. More severe episodes with coma, seizure, or neurologic impairment may be treated with intramuscular/subcutaneous glucagon or concentrated intravenous glucose. After apparent clinical recovery from hypoglycemia, continued observation and additional carbohydrate intake may be necessary to avoid recurrence of hypoglycemia. Hypokalemia must be corrected appropriately.
LEVEMIR (insulin detemir injection) is a solution for subcutaneous use. Insulin detemir is a long-acting recombinant human insulin analog. LEVEMIR is produced by a process that includes expression of recombinant DNA in Saccharomyces cerevisiae followed by chemical modification.
Insulin detemir differs from human insulin in that the amino acid threonine in position B30 has been omitted, and a C14 fatty acid chain has been attached to the amino acid B29. Insulin detemir has a molecular formula of C267 H402 O76 N64 S6 and a molecular weight of 5916.9. It has the following structure:
Figure 1: Structural Formula of Insulin Detemir
LEVEMIR is a clear, colorless, aqueous, neutral sterile solution. Each milliliter of LEVEMIR contains 100 units (14.2 mg/mL) insulin detemir, 65.4 mcg zinc, 2.06 mg m-cresol, 16.0 mg glycerol, 1.80 mg phenol, 0.89 mg disodium phosphate dihydrate, 1.17 mg sodium chloride, and water for injection. Hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide may be added to adjust pH. LEVEMIR has a pH of approximately 7.4.
The primary activity of insulin, including LEVEMIR, is regulation of glucose metabolism. Insulins and its analogs lower blood glucose by stimulating peripheral glucose uptake, especially by skeletal muscle and fat, and by inhibiting hepatic glucose production. Insulin also inhibits lipolysis and proteolysis, and enhances protein synthesis.
Insulin detemir is a soluble, long-acting basal human insulin analog with up to a 24-hour duration of action. The pharmacodynamic profile of LEVEMIR is relatively constant with no pronounced peak.
The duration of action of LEVEMIR is mediated by slowed systemic absorption of insulin detemir molecules from the injection site due to self-association of the drug molecules. In addition, the distribution of insulin detemir to peripheral target tissues is slowed because of binding to albumin.
Figure 2 shows results from a study in patients with type 1 diabetes conducted for a maximum of 24 hours after the subcutaneous injection of LEVEMIR. The mean time between injection and the end of pharmacological effect for insulin detemir ranged from 7.6 hours to > 24 hours (24 hours was the end of the observation period).
Figure 2: Activity Profiles in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes in a 24-hour Glucose Clamp Study
For doses in the interval of 0.2 to 0.4 units/kg, insulin detemir exerts more than 50% of its maximum effect from 3 to 4 hours up to approximately 14 hours after dose administration.
Figure 3 shows glucose infusion rate results from a 16-hour glucose clamp study in patients with type 2 diabetes. The clamp study was terminated at 16 hours according to protocol.
Figure 3: Activity Profiles in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes in a 16-hour Glucose Clamp Study
After subcutaneous injection of LEVEMIR in healthy subjects and in patients with diabetes, insulin detemir serum concentrations had a relatively constant concentration/time profile over 24 hours with the maximum serum concentration (Cmax) reached between 6-8 hours post-dose. Insulin detemir was more slowly absorbed after subcutaneous administration to the thigh where AUC0-5h was 30-40% lower and AUC0-inf was 10% lower than the corresponding AUCs with subcutaneous injections to the deltoid and abdominal regions.
The absolute bioavailability of insulin detemir is approximately 60%.
Insulin detemir has an apparent volume of distribution of approximately 0.1 L/kg. More than 98% of insulin detemir in the bloodstream is bound to albumin. The results of in vitro and in vivo protein binding studies demonstrate that there is no clinically relevant interaction between insulin detemir and fatty acids or other protein-bound drugs.
After subcutaneous administration in patients with type 1 diabetes, insulin detemir has a terminal half-life of 5 to 7 hours depending on dose.
The pharmacokinetic properties of LEVEMIR were studied in pediatric patients 6-12 years, 13-17 years, and adults with type 1 diabetes. In pediatric patients 6-12 years, the insulin detemir plasma area under the curve (AUC) and Cmax were increased by 10% and 24%, respectively, as compared to adults. There was no difference in pharmacokinetics between pediatric patients 13-17 years and adults.
In a clinical trial studying differences in pharmacokinetics of a single subcutaneous dose of LEVEMIR in young (20 to 35 years) versus elderly (≥68 years) healthy subjects, the insulin detemir AUC was up to 35% higher among the elderly subjects due to reduced clearance [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].
No clinically relevant differences in pharmacokinetic parameters of LEVEMIR are observed between males and females.
In two clinical pharmacology studies conducted in healthy Japanese and Caucasian subjects, there were no clinically relevant differences seen in pharmacokinetic parameters. The pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of LEVEMIR were studied in a clamp study comparing patients with type 2 diabetes of Caucasian, African-American, and Latino origin. Dose-response relationships for LEVEMIR were comparable in these three populations.
A single subcutaneous dose of 0.2 units/kg of LEVEMIR was administered to healthy subjects and those with varying degrees of renal impairment (mild, moderate, severe, and hemodialysis-dependent). In this study, there were no differences in the pharmacokinetics of LEVEMIR between healthy subjects and those with renal impairment [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6)].
A single subcutaneous dose of 0.2 units/kg of LEVEMIR was administered to healthy subjects and those with varying degrees of hepatic impairment (mild, moderate and severe). LEVEMIR exposure as estimated by AUC decreased with increasing degrees of hepatic impairment with a corresponding increase in apparent clearance [see Use in Specific Populations (8.7)].
The effect of smoking on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of LEVEMIR has not been studied.
No pharmacokinetic interaction was observed between liraglutide and LEVEMIR when separate subcutaneous injections of LEVEMIR 0.5 units/kg (single-dose) and liraglutide 1.8 mg (steady state) were administered in patients with type 2 diabetes.
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