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Combining insulins for optimal blood glucose control in type 1 and 2 diabetes: focus on insulin glulisine

Authors Heather Ulrich, Benjamin Snyder, Satish K Garg

Published 15 July 2007 Volume 2007:3(3) Pages 245—254

Heather Ulrich1,4, Benjamin Snyder1,Satish K Garg1,2,3

1Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes; 2Department of Medicine; 3Pediatrics; 4Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO, USA

Abstract: Normalization of blood glucose is essential for the prevention of diabetes mellitus (DM)-related microvascular and macrovascular complications. Despite substantial literature to support the benefits of glucose lowering and clear treatment targets, glycemic control remains suboptimal for most people with DM in the United States. Pharmacokinetic limitations of conventional insulins have been a barrier to achieving treatment targets secondary to adverse effects such as hypoglycemia and weight gain. Recombinant DNA technology has allowed modification of the insulin molecule to produce insulin analogues that overcome these pharmacokinetic limitations. With time action profiles that more closely mimic physiologic insulin secretion, rapid acting insulin analogues (RAAs) reduce post-prandial glucose excursions and hypoglycemia when compared to regular human insulin (RHI). Insulin glulisine (Apidra®) is a rapid-acting insulin analogue created by substituting lysine for asparagine at position B3 and glutamic acid for lysine at position B29 on the B chain of human insulin. The quick absorption of insulin glulisine more closely reproduces physiologic first-phase insulin secretion and its rapid acting profile is maintained across patient subtypes. Clinical trials have demonstrated comparable or greater efficacy of insulin glulisine versus insulin lispro or RHI, respectively. Efficacy is maintained even when insulin glulisine is administered post-meal. In addition, glulisine appears to have a more rapid time action profile compared with insulin lispro across various body mass indexes (BMIs). The safety and tolerability profile of insulin glulisine is also comparable to that of insulin lispro or RHI in type 1 or 2 DM and it has been shown to be as safe and effective when used in a continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII). In summary, insulin glulisine is a safe, effective, and well tolerated rapid-acting insulin analogue across all BMIs and a worthy option for prandial glucose control in type 1 or 2 DM.

Keywords: glycemic control, glycosylated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), rapid-acting insulin analogues, type 1 diabetes mellitus, type 2 diabetes mellitus, insulin glulisine, body mass index (BMI)

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