In patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes on basal insulin, prandial insulin may be initiated. We assessed the efficacy and safety of initiating insulin degludec/liraglutide fixed-ratio combination (IDegLira) versus basal-bolus insulin.
A phase 3b trial examined patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes on insulin glargine (IGlar U100) 20–50 units/day and metformin, randomized to IDegLira or IGlar U100 and insulin aspart ≤4 times per day.
Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) decreased from 8.2% (66 mmol/mol) to 6.7% (50 mmol/mol) with IDegLira and from 8.2% (67 mmol/mol) to 6.7% (50 mmol/mol) with basal-bolus (estimated treatment difference [ETD] –0.02% [95% CI –0.16, 0.12]; –0.2 mmol/mol [95% CI –1.7, 1.3]), confirming IDegLira noninferiority versus basal-bolus (P < 0.0001). The number of severe or blood glucose–confirmed symptomatic hypoglycemia events was lower with IDegLira versus basal-bolus (risk ratio 0.39 [95% CI 0.29, 0.51]; rate ratio 0.11 [95% CI 0.08, 0.17]). Body weight decreased with IDegLira and increased with basal-bolus (ETD –3.6 kg [95% CI –4.2, –2.9]). Fasting plasma glucose reductions were similar; lunch, dinner, and bedtime self-monitored plasma glucose measurements were significantly lower with basal-bolus. Sixty-six percent of patients on IDegLira vs. 67.0% on basal-bolus achieved HbA1c <7.0% (53 mmol/mol). Total daily insulin dose was lower with IDegLira (40 units) than basal-bolus (84 units total; 52 units basal).
In patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes on IGlar U100 and metformin, IDegLira treatment elicited HbA1c reductions comparable to basal-bolus, with statistically superior lower hypoglycemia rates and weight loss versus weight gain.