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Pharmacology. 2008;82(2):156-63. doi: 10.1159/000149569. Epub 2008 Aug 1.

Indirect comparison of once daily insulin detemir and glargine in reducing weight gain and hypoglycaemic episodes when administered in addition to conventional oral anti-diabetic therapy in patients with type-2 diabetes.

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IMS Health, London, UK.



Basal insulin administered to type-2 diabetic patients with poor glycaemic control when managed with oral anti-diabetics (OADs) alone can lead to an increased risk of weight gain and hypoglycaemia. In the absence of head-to-head trials, an indirect comparison of the once-daily insulin detemir with insulin glargine was conducted on the following outcomes: weight gain, hypoglycaemic episodes, and HbA(1c).


Parallel-group randomised controlled trials of at least 20 weeks duration that compared once-daily evening glargine or detemir with a common comparator, neutral protamine Hagedorn insulin (evening), were selected. Trials focused on insulin-naïve, type-2 diabetic patients poorly controlled with OAD. Five open-label trials were identified (n = 2,092 patients; n = 1 detemir and n = 4 glargine trials), with an indirect comparison of glargine (n = 869 patients) and detemir trials (n = 169 patients) carried out using meta-regression to control for covariates. Weight gain was analysed as weighted mean differences (WMD), hypoglycaemic episodes as odds ratios (OR), and HbA(1c) at the end of study as standardised mean differences (SMD).


Patients receiving evening detemir gained significantly less weight (unadjusted WMD -1.22 kg, 95% CI -2.15, -0.29 kg; p = 0.010) and significantly fewer of them experienced hypoglycaemic episodes versus evening glargine (unadjusted OR 0.52, 95% CI 0.28, 0.98; p = 0.044). There was no significant difference between treatments for the mean HbA(1c) level at study endpoint (unadjusted SMD 0.09, 95% CI -0.16, 0.33; p = 0.480).


Once-daily use of insulin detemir resulted in significantly less weight gain and fewer hypoglycaemic episodes than glargine, while maintaining clinically appropriate HbA(1c) levels in type-2 diabetic patients currently receiving OAD.

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