Prescribing Advice for GPs

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Insulin detemir weight advantage in type 1 diabetes

The manufacturer has insulin detemir (Levemir®) has announced that previously observed weight benefits extend to 2 years in patients with type 1 diabetes. PharmaTimes has reported this finding following presentation of the results at the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).

The study was a 2 year open-label study in 497 patients with type 1 diabetes comparing insulin detemir with NHP insulin. Both groups were also treated with short acting insulin at mealtimes.

In patients who were treated with insulin detemir:

  • Average HbA1c was lower (7.36% versus 7.58%)
  • More patients reached a HbA1c target of <7% (22% versus 13%; p = 0.019)
  • Were at 69% less risk of major hypoglycaemia
  • Were at 46% less risk of nocturnal hypoglycaemia
  • Weight gain was reduced (1.7kg versus 2.7kg; p=0.024)

While these are interesting results it should be noted that this study relates to patients with type 1 diabetes and may not be applicable to patients with type 2 diabetes.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this study but take care to ensure that the results are not automatically applied to patients with type 2 diabetes.

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