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Basal insulin, diabetes mellitus, ultra-long-acting basal insulin



  1. Davis, Courtney S. PharmD, BCACP (Clinical Associate Professor)
  2. Fleming, Joshua W. PharmD, BCACP (Clinical Assistant Professor)
  3. Malinowski, Scott S. PharmD (Clinical Assistant Professor)
  4. Brown, Meagan A. PharmD, BCACP (Clinical Associate Professor)
  5. Fleming, Laurie W. PharmD, BC-ADM, BCACP (Clinical Associate Professor)


Background and purpose: In the past decade, there has been much advancement in oral antidiabetic agents, but few changes in insulin therapy. With the addition of the ultra-long-acting insulins, insulin glargine U300 (IGlar 300) and insulin degludec (IDeg 100 and IDeg 200), it is important to understand key aspects in the agents' clinical properties, efficacy, safety, dosing, packaging, and place in therapy.


Methods: A literature review was conducted using PubMed database and was limited to English, full-text articles published from January 2000 to January 2018. The following search terms were used: insulin glargine 300, insulin degludec, Toujeo, Tresiba, and ultra-long-acting insulin.


Conclusions: These agents are longer acting with sustained insulin coverage as compared with other basal insulins while having a low potential for hypoglycemia. Efficacy and safety profiles are quite good, and potential for weight gain was similar to IGlar 100.


Implications for practice: Depending on the patient's needs, these newer agents may offer some advantages. Insulin glargine U300 and IDeg 200 are concentrated, allowing for administration of large doses by less volume, thereby theoretically improving absorption. For patients needing flexible dosing, IDeg may be beneficial. The ultra-long-acting agents may also be useful if it is suspected that the basal insulin is not lasting the entire day.