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Diabet Med. 2009 Apr;26(4):409-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2009.02691.x.

Nateglinide combination therapy with basal insulin and metformin in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

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  • 1Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.



To compare the effect of adding nateglinide or placebo on postprandial glucose excursions (PPGEs), glycated haemoglobin (HbA(1c)), diurnal glucose profiles and hypoglycaemia in patients with Type 2 diabetes treated with the combination of basal insulin and metformin.


This was an investigator-initiated, double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, study in five centres. Patients with Type 2 diabetes (n = 88, age 56.0 +/- 0.9 years, duration of diabetes 9.4 +/- 0.5 years, HbA(1c) 7.8 +/- 0.1%, body mass index 32.4 +/- 0.5 kg/m(2)) treated with basal insulin and metformin entered a 24-week period, during which basal insulin was titrated to optimize glucose control. Thereafter, the patients were randomized to receive either nateglinide (120 mg three times daily) or placebo before their main meals for 24 weeks.


During the optimization period, HbA(1c) decreased by -0.3 +/- 0.1 and -0.4 +/- 0.2% (NS) and insulin doses increased by 10.0 IU (2.0-32.0) [0.09 IU/kg (0.02-0.34)] and 10.0 IU (0.0-19.0) [0.11 IU/kg (0.0-0.25)] (NS) in the nateglinide and placebo groups. Mean postprandial glucose during weeks 20-24 averaged 9.0 +/- 0.3 and 10.0 +/- 0.3 mmol/l in the nateglinide and placebo groups (P = 0.025) and mean PPGE averaged 2.4 +/- 0.2 and 3.1 +/- 0.2 mmol/l, respectively (P = 0.019). At 24 weeks as compared with 0 weeks, mean HbA(1c) had decreased by 0.41 +/- 0.12% in the nateglinide group and by 0.04 +/- 0.12% in the placebo group (P = 0.023). The frequency of confirmed, symptomatic hypoglycaemia was 7.7 episodes/patient-year vs. 4.7 episodes/patient-year in the nateglinide and placebo groups (P = 0.031).


Addition of a short-acting insulin secretagogue at main meals improves postprandial hyperglycaemia during combination therapy with basal insulin and metformin, but increases the frequency of hypolycaemia.

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