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Endocr Pract. 2009 Nov-Dec;15(7):696-704. doi: 10.4158/EP09117.ORR.

Safe and simple emergency department discharge therapy for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and severe hyperglycemia.

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Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County and Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA.



To investigate the safety and effectiveness of 2 simple discharge regimens for use in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) and severe hyperglycemia, who present to the emergency department (ED) and do not need to be admitted.


We conducted an 8-week, open-label, randomized controlled trial in 77 adult patients with DM2 and blood glucose levels of 300 to 700 mg/dL seen in a public hospital ED. Patients were randomly assigned to receive glipizide XL, 10 mg orally daily (G group), versus glipizide XL, 10 mg orally daily, plus insulin glargine, 10 U daily (G+G group). The primary outcome was to maintain safe fasting glucose and random glucose levels of <350 and <500 mg/dL up to 4 weeks and <300 and <400 mg/dL, respectively, thereafter and to have no return ED visits (responders).


Baseline characteristics were similar between the 2 treatment groups. The primary outcome was achieved in 87% of patients in both treatment groups. The enrollment mean blood glucose values of 440 and 467 mg/dL in the G and G+G groups, respectively, declined by the end of week 1 to 298 and 289 mg/dL and by week 8 to 140 and 135 mg/dL, respectively. Homeostasis model assessment of beta-cell function and early insulin response improved 7-fold and 4-fold, respectively, in responders at the end of the 8-week study.


Sulfonylurea with and without use of a small dose of insulin glargine rapidly improved blood glucose levels and beta-cell function in patients with DM2. Use of sulfonylurea alone once daily can be considered a safe discharge regimen for such patients and an effective bridge between ED intervention and subsequent follow-up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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