Effects of Adding Linagliptin to Basal Insulin Regimen for Inadequately Controlled Type 2 Diabetes

A ≥52-week randomized, double-blind study

  1. Hans-Juergen Woerle, MD5
  1. 1Department of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  2. 2Dallas Diabetes and Endocrine Center at Medical City, Dallas, Texas
  3. 3Valme Hospital Medical School, University of Sevilla, Seville, Spain
  4. 4Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG, Biberach, Germany
  5. 5Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG, Ingelheim, Germany
  6. 6Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd., Bracknell, U.K.
  1. Corresponding author: Hannele Yki-Järvinen, ykijarvi{at}


OBJECTIVE To evaluate the efficacy and long-term safety of linagliptin added to basal insulins in type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled on basal insulin with or without oral agents.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS A total of 1,261 patients (HbA1c ≥7.0% [53 mmol/mol] to ≤10.0% [86 mmol/mol]) on basal insulin alone or combined with metformin and/or pioglitazone, were randomized (1:1) to double-blind treatment with linagliptin 5 mg once daily or placebo for ≥52 weeks. The basal insulin dose was kept unchanged for 24 weeks but could thereafter be titrated according to fasting plasma glucose levels at the investigators’ discretion. The primary end point was the mean change in HbA1c from baseline to week 24. The safety analysis incorporated data up to a maximum of 110 weeks.

RESULTS At week 24, HbA1c changed from a baseline of 8.3% (67 mmol/mol) by −0.6% (−6.6 mmol/mol) and by 0.1% (1.1 mmol/mol) with linagliptin and placebo, respectively (treatment difference −0.65% [95% CI −0.74 to −0.55] (−7.1 mmol/mol); P < 0.0001). Despite the option to uptitrate basal insulin, it was adjusted only slightly upward (week 52, linagliptin 2.6 IU/day, placebo 4.2 IU/day; P < 0.003), resulting in no further HbA1c improvements. Frequencies of hypoglycemia (week 24, linagliptin 22.0%, placebo 23.2%; treatment end, linagliptin 31.4%, placebo 32.9%) and adverse events (linagliptin 78.4%, placebo 81.4%) were similar between groups. Mean body weight remained unchanged (week 52, linagliptin −0.30 kg, placebo −0.04 kg).

CONCLUSIONS Linagliptin added to basal insulin therapy significantly improved glycemic control relative to placebo without increasing hypoglycemia or body weight.

  • Received December 31, 2012.
  • Accepted July 9, 2013.

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