A variety of basal insulin preparations are used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We aimed to summarize scientific evidence on relative efficacy and safety of insulin glargine (IGlar) and other insulins in T2DM.
A systematic review was carried out in major medical databases up to December 2012. Relevant studies compared efficacy and safety of IGlar, added to oral drugs (OAD) or/and in combination with bolus insulin, with protamine insulin (NPH) or premixed insulin (MIX) in the same regimen, as well as with insulin detemir (IDet), in T2DM. Target HbA1c level without hypoglycemic events was considered the primary endpoint.
Twenty eight RCTs involving 12,669 T2DM patients followed for 12–52 weeks were included in quantitative analysis. IGlar + OAD use was associated with higher probability of reaching target HbA1c level without hypoglycemia as compared to NPH + OAD (RR = 1.32 [1.09, 1.59]) or MIX without OAD (RR = 1.61 [1.22, 2.13]) and similar effect as IDet + OAD (RR = 1.07 [0.87, 1.33]) and MIX + OAD (RR = 1.09 [0.86, 1.38]). IGlar + OAD demonstrated significantly lower risk of symptomatic hypoglycemia as compared to NPH + OAD (RR = 0.89 [0.83, 0.96]), MIX + OAD (RR = 0.75 [0.68, 0.83]) and MIX without OAD(RR = 0.75 [0.68, 0.83]), but not with IDet + OAD (RR = 0.99 [0.90, 1.08]). In basal-bolus regimens, IGlar demonstrated similar proportion of T2DM patients achieving target HbA1c as compared to NPH (RR = 1.14 [0.91, 1.44]) but higher than MIX (RR = 1.26 [1.12, 1.42) or IDet (RR = 1.38 [1.11, 1.72]). The risk of severe hypoglycemia was lower in IGlar than in NPH (RR = 0.77 [0.63, 0.94]), with no differences in comparison with MIX (RR = 0.74 [0.46, 1.20]) and IDet (RR = 1.10 [0.54, 2.25]). IGlar + OAD has comparable safety profile to NPH, with less frequent adverse events leading to treatment discontinuation than MIX + OAD (RR = 0.41 [0.22, 0.76]) and IDet + OAD (RR = 0.40 [0.24, 0.69]). Also severe adverse reactions were less common for IGlar + OAD when compared to MIX + OAD (RR = 0.71 [0.52; 0.98]).
For the majority of examined efficacy and safety outcomes, IGlar use in T2DM patients was superior or non-inferior to the alternative insulin treatment options.