Deleterious outcomes after abrupt transition from insulin glargine to insulin detemir in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Iowa Care (Iowa Medicaid), USA, switched insulin glargine to insulin detemir in subjects with diabetes mellitus without the approval of healthcare providers. This study set out to examine the impact of transition on parameters of diabetes management in type 1 diabetes. This was a retrospective review of the records of subjects with type 1 diabetes up to August 2007 in whom transition occurred. Subjects completing 6 months of insulin detemir therapy were included. Twenty-four subjects switching from insulin glargine to insuline detemir (group 1) fulfilled the duration with insulin detemir. Glycaemic control (glycosylated haemoglobin [HbA1c]), bodyweight, daily insulin dose (units), total and insulin glargine or insulin detemir and rapid-acting insulin aspart and hypoglycaemic events during the last 4 weeks, pre-switch and again at 6 months post-switch were assessed. Records of 21 age-matched subjects and continuing insulin glargine for 6 months (group 2) were examined. Subjects switched from insulin glargine to insulin detemir in the same daily dose. The daily doses of insulin detemir and aspart in group 1 were adjusted by telephone weekly based on blood glucose monitoring until stabilization occurred. Subjects were followed up in the outpatient clinic every 3 months. Subjects in group 1 changed to insulin detemir twice a day because of a significant rise in hypoglycaemia with the daily dose used once a day. Glycaemic control remained stable on continuing insulin glargine; HbA1c 7.6+/-0.3 to 7.8+/-0.3%, while it worsened on switching to insulin detemir; HbA1c 7.9+/-0.6 to 8.8+/-0.8 despite a higher daily dose; insulin detemir 46+/-9 U/day versus pre-switch insulin glargine 36+/-8 U/day and group 2 insulin glargine 35+/-6 U/day; and greater total insulin dose: 80+/-12 U/day versus 68+/-10 pre-switch and group 2 insulin glargine 62+/-10 U/day (p<0.05 for all comparisons). Bodyweight and hypoglycaemic events were not significantly different pre- and post-switch. Switching to insulin detemir from glargine is likely to result in lapse of glycaemic control despite a higher daily insulin dose, increased number of injections and need for frequent evaluations.