Let’s face it, we all appreciate the insulin that keeps us alive, but wish it worked more effectively and was easier to dose. Novo Nordisk’s latest innovation, new ultra long-lasting Tresiba basal insulin, is potentially huge news for people with diabetes (PWDs) because it offers options on when and how we take our insulin. It actually has the potential to last for nearly two days between doses (!).
On Sept. 25, the New Jersey-based Pharma giant received word from the FDA that it had the green light to begin selling Tresiba insulin in the U.S. Known in official medical lingo as « insulin degludec » but sold under brand name Tresiba (pronounced Tra-seeba), the product is already available in 30 countries around the globe, and will begin shipping here in the States in late 2015 or early 2016.
On the same day, the FDA also approved Novo’s secondary 70/30 insulin mix known as Ryzodeg, which is a combo of 70% Tresiba basal and 30% rapid-acting NovoLog insulin. That means you can take this insulin mix with a meal, and get both the short- and long-term effects of these Novo insulins.
These approvals are a big milestone for Novo, coming two years after the FDA first shot down Tresiba approval based on concerns over cardiovascular risks; the company conducted a number of additional clinical studies since and submitted the new data earlier this year.
Although it’s ideal practice, most of us patients find it next to impossible to take our insulin at the exact same time every single day. So with Tresiba’s long-lasting effectiveness and the combo Ryzodeg adding in a meal-time insulin, we get much more flexibility for successful dosing.
What’s Really Different About Tresiba?
What’s new about Tresiba is that it is actually a long-lasting basal insulin. It stays effective for 42 hours between doses, meaning it offers patients the flexibility to take some injections every other day, if they need to. Granted, Novo recommends that patients take it daily and that’s what the FDA’s approved it for, but with that 42-hour effectiveness it offers flexibility unprecedented by other background insulins.
So let’s say you take one Tresiba dose on Monday at 9 a.m. You could theoretically wait to take the next dose until Tuesday at 5 p.m., and you might want to take Ryzodeg instead with dinner before you take the next dose of Tresiba on Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. again. Go, flexibility!
Another unique aspect of this new Tresiba is that it’s available in both U100 and U200 concentrations. In the U100 pen, you can give a max of 80 units for a single dose, while in the U200 pen, you can give a maximum single dose of 160 units. That’s way more than any competitors offer, and a big benefit for anyone with T2 who needs large amounts of insulin.
Apparently, Tresiba can also last longer outside the refrigerator compared to other insulins of its kind. It holds up for as long as 8 weeks at room temperature before losing its potency. This means you’ll be less likely to waste any by having…