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Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2002 Jun;15(3):143-51.

The effect of combination treatment with acarbose and glibenclamide on postprandial glucose and insulin profiles: additive blood glucose lowering effect and decreased hypoglycaemia.

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Krankenhaus Sachsenhausen, Inn Med, Frankfurt, Germany.


This study compared the effects of acarbose plus glibenclamide combination therapy with acarbose or glibenclamide treatment alone on postprandial blood glucose, serum insulin and C-peptide levels, and the tendency to develop hypoglycaemia. A total of 84 patients with Type 2 diabetes (fasting blood glucose: 120-180 mg/dl; postprandial blood glucose: 140-240 mg/dl) was included in this two-centre, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled study. Patients were randomised to one of 4 treatment groups: acarbose (100 mg); glibenclamide (3.5 mg); acarbose plus glibenclamide; or placebo. Treatment was administered before a standard breakfast, and fasting (07.30 h, 08.00 h) and postprandial (09.00, 10.00, 11.00, 12.00 h) blood glucose, serum insulin and C-peptide levels were determined. Acarbose plus glibenclamide treatment significantly reduced the mean increase in postprandial blood glucose levels (23.7+/-17.3 mg/dl) compared with either acarbose (58.4+/-31.6 mg/dl), glibenclamide (56.9+/-42.8 mg/dl) or placebo (101.6+/-49.2 mg/dl) (p<0.05 for all). Serum insulin levels (mean AUC(7.30-12 h)) observed with acarbose plus glibenclamide combination therapy were significantly lower than those observed with glibenclamide monotherapy (243.5+/-161.1 vs 383.4+/-215.8 hr x microU/ml; p=0.02), and comparable with the values seen with placebo (226.0+/-166.6 hr x microU/ml), suggesting that acarbose modifies the insulin secretion induced by glibenclamide. Glibenclamide monotherapy resulted in a significantly higher rate of decrease in blood glucose level than with acarbose plus glibenclamide (71.8+/-29.9 vs 46.2+/-18.0 mg/dl x h(-1); p=0.0003), and blood glucose levels at 11.00 h were also markedly lower with glibenclamide (84.4+/-29 mg/dl) than acarbose plus glibenclamide (102.0+/-41 mg/dl), suggesting a reduced tendency for hypoglycaemic episodes with acarbose plus glibenclamide than with glibenclamide alone. In all, 6 (29%) hypoglycaemic episodes occurred with glibenclamide, 2 (10%) with acarbose plus glibenclamide and none with acarbose. Acarbose plus glibenclamide combination therapy results in an additive glucose lowering effect and reduced risk for hypoglycaemia. Acarbose modifies the insulin secretion induced by glibenclamide, which explains the lower risk of hypoglycaemia compared with glibenclamide monotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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