When oral therapy for type 2 diabetes is ineffective, adding basal insulin improves glycemic control. However, when glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) remains elevated because of postprandial hyperglycemia, the next therapeutic step is controversial. We examined the efficacy and safety of lixisenatide in patients with HbA1c still elevated after initiation of insulin glargine.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
This double-blind, parallel-group trial enrolled patients with HbA1c 7–10% despite oral therapy. Insulin glargine was added and systematically titrated during a 12-week run-in, after which candidates with fasting glucose ≤7.8 mmol/L and HbA1c 7–9% were randomized to lixisenatide 20 µg or placebo for 24 weeks while insulin titration continued. The primary end point was HbA1c change after randomization.RESULTS
The randomized population (n = 446) had mean diabetes duration of 9.2 years, BMI 31.8 kg/m2, and daily glargine dosage of 44 units. HbA1c had decreased during run-in from 8.6 to 7.6%; adding lixisenatide further reduced HbA1c by 0.71 vs. 0.40% with placebo (least squares mean difference, –0.32%; 95% CI, –0.46 to –0.17; P < 0.0001). More participants attained HbA1c <7% with lixisenatide (56 vs. 39%; P < 0.0001). Lixisenatide reduced plasma glucose 2 h after a standardized breakfast (difference vs. placebo –3.2 mmol/L; P < 0.0001) and had a favorable effect on body weight (difference vs. placebo –0.89 kg; P = 0.0012). Nausea, vomiting, and symptomatic hypoglycemia <3.3 mmol/L were more common with lixisenatide.CONCLUSIONS
Adding lixisenatide to insulin glargine improved overall and postprandial hyperglycemia and deserves consideration as an alternative to prandial insulin for patients not reaching HbA1c goals with recently initiated basal insulin.