A 1-year multicenter randomized double-blind comparison of repaglinide and glyburide for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Dutch and German Repaglinide Study Group.
OBJECTIVE: Repaglinide is a newly developed oral blood glucose-lowering agent that exerts its effect by stimulating insulin secretion. This multicenter study was designed to compare the efficacy and safety of this drug with glyburide in a 1-year randomized double-blind study of outpatients with type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 424 subjects (154 women, 270 men) participated and had the following characteristics: age, 61 +/- 9 years; duration of diabetes. 8 years (range 0.5-35); BMI, 28.3 +/- 3.5 kg/m2; HbA1c, 7.1 +/- 1.4%; and fasting plasma glucose, 10.8 +/- 3.1 mmol/l. The majority of the subjects (91%) were previously treated with sulfonylurea, alone or in combination with metformin. The patients were randomized to a 2:1 ratio of repaglinide (0.5-4 mg t.i.d.) or glyburide (1.75-10.5 mg daily) treatment. The study protocol included a screening visit to assess patient eligibility; a titration period of 6-8 weeks, during which the dosages of repaglinide and glyburide were optimized; and a subsequent 12-month treatment period on fixed, optimal dosages. RESULTS: The trial was completed by 320 subjects, 211 (74%) in the repaglinide and 109 (78%) in the glyburide group. HbA1c initially decreased in both groups and then increased during the second half-year of the maintenance period to a similar extent in the repaglinide and glyburide subjects (0.58 and 0.45% vs. at screening, respectively). In the small group of subjects who previously controlled their condition with diet only (n = 37), a sustained improvement of metabolic control could be observed with both drugs, which was slightly better with glyburide than with repaglinide (theta HbA1c -2.4 vs. -1.0%; P < 0.05). The same trends were seen with fasting plasma glucose. There were no changes in serum lipids. Over the course of the study, 15% of the repaglinide-treated and 13% of glyburide-treated subjects withdrew due to adverse events, mostly hyperglycemia. No differences in adverse events between both drugs were reported. There were no differences in incidences of hypoglycemia. CONCLUSIONS: Repaglinide is a safe and efficacious oral blood glucose-lowering agent, with a potency similar to that of glyburide. Its rapid onset of action and hepatic clearance allows meal-related administration, including in subjects with impaired kidney function.