Evaluation of insulin glargine and exenatide alone and in combination: a randomized clinical trial with continuous glucose monitoring and ambulatory glucose profile analysis
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Objective: Characterize the effectiveness of insulin glargine alone, exenatide alone, or combined in subjects taking stable doses of metformin and evaluate their impact on hemoglobin A1C, hypoglycemia, weight, and glucose variability. Methods: Open-label, randomized, parallel-arm study of adults with type 2 diabetes naive to both insulin and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonist who were not at A1C goal despite treatment with metformin. This prospective interventional study employed blinded continuous glucose monitoring ambulatory glucose profile (AGP) reports over 32 weeks. Subjects were randomized to treatment with glargine (Iglar), exenatide (GLP-1), or combination of glargine and exenatide (Iglar + GLP-1). At midpoint, those not at A1C target had the second medication added; those on Iglar + GLP-1 continued therapy optimization. Results: Decreases in A1C were: 7.6 to 6.2% for Iglar + GLP-1, 7.5 to 6.6% for Iglar, and 7.5 to 6.4% for GLP-1. Iglar + GLP-1 achieved A1C targets faster (14 to 16 weeks) but had more hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia rates increased slightly for all arms. Weight loss was achieved in all regimens including GLP-1. Glucose variability was not reduced to the same extent in the Iglar arm as the GLP-1 arm. Conclusion: Addition of Iglar and/or GLP-1 to metformin for patients not at treatment goal was safe and effective. The order of medication addition needs to consider individualized AGP patterns and goals. Iglar + GLP-1 resulted in rapid A1C lowering, whereas GLP-1 was noted to have less hypoglycemia. Weight loss was most pronounced in GLP-1 monotherapy, suggesting that GLP-1 may mitigate the weight gain of Iglar. Any treatment with GLP-1 showed significant decreases in glucose variability. Abbreviations: A1C = hemoglobin A1c; AGP = ambulatory glucose profile; CGM = continuous glucose monitoring; GLM = general linear model; GLP-1 = glucagon-like peptide 1 (exenatide); Iglar = insulin glargine; SGLT2 = sodium-glucose cotransporter 2; SMBG = self-monitoring blood glucose; SU = sulfonylurea; T2D = type 2 diabetes mellitus.
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