Insulin Degludec Effective Alternative to Insulin Glargine

May reduce dosing frequency from once daily to three times weekly

THURSDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- Insulin degludec appears to provide comparable glycemic control to insulin glargine, without increased adverse events, and may reduce dosing frequency from once per day to three times weekly, according to a study published online March 10 in The Lancet.

In a 16-week, open-label, parallel-group, phase 2 study, Bernard Zinman, M.D., of the University of Toronto, and colleagues randomized patients, aged 18 to 75 years with type 2 diabetes and glycosylated hemoglobin of 7 to 11 percent, to receive insulin degludec once a day at a starting dose 10 U ([1 U = 6 nmol]; group A), insulin degludec once a day at a starting dose 10 U ([1 U = 9 nmol]; group B), insulin degludec three times a week, or insulin glargine once a day -- all in combination with metformin.

The investigators found that mean HbA1c levels were similar across the four treatment groups. They also found that estimated mean HbA1c treatment differences from insulin degludec by comparison with insulin glargine were 0.08 percent for the three dose per week schedule, 0.17 percent for group A, and 0.28 percent for group B. Adverse events were similar across the four treatment groups, with fewer patients experiencing hypoglycemia in the insulin degludec once-daily groups compared to the other groups.

"In summary, findings from this trial show that insulin degludec can provide equivalent glycemic control to insulin glargine without new or increased rates of adverse events in insulin-naive people with type 2 diabetes. The safety, efficacy, and optimum use of treatment regimens for insulin degludec need to be established," the authors write.

The study was funded by Novo Nordisk; several authors disclosed financial relationships with Novo Nordisk and/or other medical device and pharmaceutical companies.

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