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Diabetes Obes Metab. 2013 Mar;15(3):241-5. doi: 10.1111/dom.12016. Epub 2012 Oct 22.

A direct comparison of the pharmacodynamic properties of insulin detemir and neutral protamine lispro insulin in patients with type 1 diabetes.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.



To compare the pharmacodynamic properties of insulin detemir (detemir) and neutral protamine lispro (NPL) insulin using a euglycaemic glucose clamp.


In a double-blind, crossover study, 30 patients with C-peptide negative type 1 diabetes were randomly assigned to a single dose (0.4 U/kg) of detemir and NPL. Plasma glucose (PG) was normalized with a variable insulin infusion and then decreased stepwise, followed by a euglycaemic clamp at 5.5 mmol/l over 32 h. Duration of action was defined as time from dosing until PG exceeded 8.3 mmol/l for at least 30 min.


Duration of action was similar for detemir [23.0 (range 2.25-32) h] and NPL [22.0 (9.5-32) h], p = 0.55. Using glucose infusion rate (GIR) parameters, detemir showed a flatter pharmacodynamic profile versus NPL: area under the curve, AUC(GIR) ((0-32))  = 1326 vs. 1841 mg/kg, p < 0.01 (detemir vs. NPL, respectively); AUC(GIR) ((0-12))  = 784 vs. 1392 mg/kg, p < 0.05; AUC(GIR) ((12-32))  = 455 vs. 274 mg/kg, p = 0.051; GIR(late) (12-32)/GIR(early) (0-12) ratio = 0.33 vs. 0.04, p < 0.001. Detemir also showed a lower and later peak of action than NPL [GIR(max) 2.0 vs. 3.2 mg/kg/min, p < 0.01; T(max) 9.1 (95% confidence interval: 3.0-14.7) vs. 7.0 h (1.8-15.2)].


Detemir and NPL had similar duration of action of approximately 24 h in patients with type 1 diabetes. Compared with NPL, detemir had a flatter profile with a more even distribution of metabolic effect over 24 h.

© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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