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Drugs. 2007;67(17):2557-84.

Defining the role of insulin detemir in Basal insulin therapy.

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Advanced Internal Medicine Group, New Hyde Park, New York 11042, USA.


Insulin detemir is a novel long-acting insulin analogue with a unique mechanism underlying its prolonged duration of action. Unlike neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin (insulin suspension isophane) and insulin glargine, which precipitate after administration, insulin detemir remains soluble after it is injected. The prolonged duration of action of insulin detemir is a result of the ability to self-associate into hexamers and dihexamers, and to bind reversibly to albumin. This mechanism of protraction provides a more prolonged, consistent and predictable glycaemic effect in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus compared with NPH insulin. Clinical studies have demonstrated that insulin detemir administered once or twice daily is at least as effective as NPH insulin and insulin glargine in achieving glycaemic control. Most trials have also shown that insulin detemir exhibits less intrapatient variability in glycaemic control compared with NPH insulin and insulin glargine. One of the benefits of insulin detemir is its favourable effect on bodyweight. Insulin detemir has shown weight neutrality in patients with type 1 diabetes and is associated with less weight gain than NPH insulin in clinical studies. Patients with type 2 diabetes using insulin detemir gain less weight than patients using NPH insulin and insulin glargine. In addition, a reduced risk of hypoglycaemia, particularly nocturnal hypoglycaemia, has been reported with insulin detemir compared with NPH insulin in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. A reduced risk of major and nocturnal hypoglycaemia compared with insulin glargine in patients with type 1 diabetes has also been observed. Together, these data indicate that insulin detemir is a valuable new option for basal insulin therapy in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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