Objective: To compare the effect of repaglinide in combination with metformin with monotherapy of each drug on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Research design and methods: A total of 83 patients with type 2 diabetes who had inadequate glycemic control (HbA1c > 7.1%) when receiving the antidiabetic agent metformin were enrolled in this multicenter, double-blind trial. Subjects were randomized to continue with their prestudy dose of metformin (n = 27), to continue with their prestudy dose of metformin with the addition of repaglinide (n = 27), or to receive repaglinide alone (n = 29). For patients receiving repaglinide, the optimal dose was determined during a 4- to 8-week titration and continued for a 3-month maintenance period.
Results: In subjects receiving combined therapy, HbA1c was reduced by 1.4 +/- 0.2%, from 8.3 to 6.9% (P = 0.0016) and fasting plasma glucose by 2.2 mmol/l (P = 0.0003). No significant changes were observed in subjects treated with either repaglinide or metformin monotherapy in HbA1c (0.4 and 0.3% decrease, respectively) or fasting plasma glucose (0.5 mmol/l increase and 0.3 mmol/l decrease respectively). Subjects receiving repaglinide either alone or in combination with metformin, had an increase in fasting levels of insulin between baseline and the end of the trial of 4.04 +/- 1.56 and 4.23 +/- 1.50 mU/l, respectively (P < 0.02). Gastrointestinal adverse events were common in the metformin group. An increase in body weight occurred in the repaglinide and combined therapy groups (2.4 +/- 0.5 and 3.0 +/- 0.5 kg, respectively; P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Combined metformin and repaglinide therapy resulted in superior glycemic control compared with repaglinide or metformin monotherapy in patients with type 2 diabetes whose glycemia had not been well controlled on metformin alone. Repaglinide monotherapy was as effective as metformin monotherapy.