Transitioning pharmacologic therapy from oral agents to insulin for type 2 diabetes

Curr Med Res Opin. 2004 Apr;20(4):541-53. doi: 10.1185/030079903125003134.


Prospective intervention trials using an intensive therapy approach in patients with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes have provided evidence that achieving tight glycemic control can impede the development and progression of microvascular complications. Treatment of type 2 diabetic patients has revolved around the use of oral agents to improve insulin secretion or tissue sensitization. As therapy turns to the inclusion of insulin - most often in combination with oral agents - the physician and patient must both be prepared for the issues regarding management of an injectable agent. The objective of this article is to review current evidence supporting the benefits of adding insulin therapy to existing oral hypoglycemic regimens of patients for whom these therapies are no longer providing adequate glycemic control. Approaches to initiating insulin therapy and adjusting treatment regimens are discussed, with a view towards making the addition or switch to insulin a simple and achievable next step in treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin