Efficacy and safety of degludec insulin. A meta-analysis of randomised trials.
Abstract Objectives: Degludec is a novel long-acting insulin analogue, providing an adequate supply of basal insulin over the 24 hours with one daily injection, with a supposed greater reproducibility and flexibility than other basal insulins. Methods: An extensive search of Medline and the Cochrane Library for "degludec" was performed, up to July 1st, 2012, collecting all randomised trials with a duration of at least 16 weeks and enrolling patients with diabetes. The principal outcome was the effect of degludec, compared with other basal insulins, on endpoint HbA1c and hypoglycemia. Secondary outcomes included BMI, FPG at endpoint, and the incidence cardiovascular events and cancer. Results In the four trials comparing degludec with glargine, endpoint HbA1c was similar in the two groups, whereas FPG was significantly lower in degludec-treated patients. Degludec was associated with a lower rate of overall and nocturnal hypoglycaemia in type 2 and type 1 diabetes, respectively. No differences were observed for cardiovascular events and cancer. Study limitations: The number of available trials and the duration of exposure is limited, so that the results obtained should be considered preliminary. Conclusions: Degludec appears to be associated with a lower incidence of hypoglycaemia in comparison with glargine, for similar levels of glycemic control. The use of this agent could represent one step further in insulin therapy.