Toujeo versus Tresiba: What Is the Difference?

By Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD

November 30, 2020

Toujeo Vs Tresiba

From insulin derived from animal pancreas to recombinant DNA human insulin, insulin has come a long way since Frederick Banting and Charles Best first used it almost 100 years ago. Years of research have brought today’s insulin preparations, which mimic the body’s natural insulin. Read on to learn more about two long-acting insulins that act like your body’s basal insulin.

What Are Toujeo and Tresiba?

Toujeo (insulin glargine) and Tresiba (insulin degludec) are insulin injections that work slowly in your body over a day or longer. Insulin is the hormone responsible for helping your body turn sugar from the food you eat into energy and storing energy for later use. People with diabetes do not produce enough insulin to control blood sugar levels or cannot utilize it properly.

Toujeo and Tresiba are designed to work like your body’s natural basal insulin and produce steady insulin levels throughout the day.

How Long Do Toujeo and Tresiba Last?

Toujeo is a long-acting insulin that starts working about 6 hours after injecting it and lasts about 24 hours. Tresiba is an ultra-long acting insulin that starts working about 30 to 90 minutes after injecting it and lasts about 42 hours. Although the effect of Tresiba lasts longer than that of Toujeo, both medications are dosed once a day.

Who Can Use Toujeo and Tresiba?

Toujeo is used to control blood sugar levels in children and adults ages 6 years and older with diabetes. Tresiba may be used in children and adults ages 1 year and older with diabetes.

What Are the Side Effects of Toujeo and Tresiba?

Toujeo and Tresiba have similar side effects. The following are common side effects seen with Toujeo and Tresiba:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium)

As with any insulin, dosing errors can occur with Toujeo or Tresiba. Because you may be using Toujeo or Tresiba in combination with other insulin products, be sure to check your medication label for the proper dose before each injection. To avoid potential insulin overdoses, never use a syringe to draw up your Toujeo or Tresiba dose. Always use your pen and pen needles to deliver your medication.

How Do You Store Toujeo and Tresiba?

You should store your Toujeo or Tresiba pens in the refrigerator at 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit until you are ready to use them. Once you begin to use your Toujeo or Tresiba pen, do not refrigerate it.  You can keep the pen you are using at room temperature (below 86 degrees Fahrenheit) for 56 days or eight weeks.

How Much Do Toujeo and Tresiba Cost?

Toujeo is available in boxes of three or five prefilled pens, each containing 300 units/mL of insulin. The average retail cost for one box of three Toujeo pens is about $467.

Tresiba is available in packages of three prefilled pens, each containing 200 units/mL of insulin or five prefilled pens, each containing 100 units/mL of insulin. The average retail price for one box of three pens containing 200 units/mL of insulin is about $742.

What Is the Difference Between Toujeo and Tresiba?

Although Toujeo and Tresiba are similar in several aspects, there are a few differences between the two. The following are the main differences between Toujeo and Tresiba:

  • Tresiba can be used in children ages 6 years and older. Toujeo can be used in children as young as 1 year of age.
  • Tresiba starts working 30 to 90 minutes after injection, while Toujeo takes about 6 hours to begin working.
  • Toujeo works for about 24 hours, and Tresiba works for about 42 hours. However, both products are used once a day.
  • The cost of Toujeo without insurance is less than the cost of Tresiba.

When it comes to efficacy, a 2018 review of studies in the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism journal showed that Toujeo and Tresiba controlled blood sugar equally well. However, less hyperglycemia was seen with Tresiba than with Toujeo.

How Do You Get the Lowest Price for Toujeo and Tresiba?

Although some insurance plans may cover Toujeo or Tresiba, sometimes the copay is still high. If your insurance does not cover your Toujeo or Tresiba, or the price is too high even with insurance, you can use a free Rx savings card to get the lowest prescription price.

Before heading to a pharmacy near you, be sure to compare prescription prices using the ScriptSave WellRx mobile app or website.

Rosanna Sutherby is a freelance medical writer who has been a practicing pharmacist in her community for close to 20 years. She obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. She utilizes her clinical training in the pharmacy, where she helps patients manage disease states such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and many others. Dr. Sutherby reviews and recommends drug regimens based on patients’ concurrent conditions and potential drug interactions.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3714061/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6205949/

https://www.wellrx.com/TOUJEO%20SOLOSTAR/drug-information/

https://www.wellrx.com/TRESIBA%20FLEXTOUCH%20U-200/drug-information/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/insulin-parenteral-route/description/drg-20069501

https://www.wellrx.com/health-conditions/about/health-condition/type-2-diabetes/~default/

https://www.diabetes.co.uk/insulin/basal-bolus.html#:~:text=The%20role%20of%20basal%20insulin,our%20cells%20supplied%20with%20energy.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2015/206538lbl.pdf

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2015/203314lbl.pdf

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=c9561d96-124d-48ca-982f-0aa1575bff36#S5.4

https://dom-pubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/dom.13614

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