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Diabetes Obes Metab. 2000 Mar;2 Suppl 1:S43-8.

Repaglinide: prandial glucose regulation in clinical practice.

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  • 1Diabetes Research Unit, Llandough Hospital, Penarth, South Glamorgan, UK.


Prandial glucose regulation represents a new concept in the management of type 2 diabetes: targeting postprandial glycaemic excursions as a means of achieving long-term glycaemic control. Although control of the overall glycaemic load is the most important factor for the success of long-term management of type 2 diabetes, control of postprandial hyperglycaemia also has positive implications for preventing the development of diabetic complications. Repaglinide is the first prandial glucose regulator to become available in the clinical setting. It has a rapid and short-lived insulinotropic action and can therefore reduce postprandial glucose excursions without increasing the risk of hypoglycaemia. Short-term clinical studies showed that repaglinide is superior to glibenclamide in improving postprandial glycaemic control. Longer-term studies confirmed that improved PGR is accompanied by improved overall glycaemic control that is at least equivalent to that achieved by sulphonylurea treatment. Moreover, because repaglinide can be used with flexible meal patterns without compromising glucose control, it can improve quality of life as indicated by overall treatment satisfaction, well-being and health status. Repaglinide has few contraindications or drug interactions and can be used in a wide range of patients. Although careful titration of repaglinide dose is recommended for patients with mild to moderate renal impairment, no dosage adjustment is otherwise needed in the elderly. In addition to being an effective first-line hypoglycaemic agent, repaglinide is highly effective in combination therapy for patients with type 2 diabetes who require more intensive treatment. When glucose targets are not met using repaglinide monotherapy, the combination of repaglinide with metformin can further improve glycaemic control by enhancing insulin secretion and improving insulin sensitivity. Similarly, when required combination of repaglinide with troglitazone or NPH-insulin can produce better glycaemic control than monotherapy alone. Given that most patients with type 2 diabetes require a multitherapy approach to achieve and sustain adequate glycaemic control, repaglinide will be an important element in future intensive therapy regimens.

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