Hypoglycemic potential of nateglinide versus glyburide in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Metabolism. 2004 Oct;53(10):1331-5. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2004.05.009.


Antidiabetic agents that augment insulin secretion can cause hypoglycemia. With the current trend toward early and aggressive treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes, the hypoglycemic potential of insulinotropic agents is of concern. This study aimed to compare the propensity of the "glinide," nateglinide, and the sulfonylurea (SU), glyburide, to elicit hypoglycemia in type 2 diabetic patients with moderately elevated fasting plasma glucose (FPG). Hyperglycemic clamps (target plasma glucose = 11.1 mmol/L) were initiated, and 30 minutes later patients received a single oral dose of nateglinide (120 mg, n = 15) or glyburide (10 mg, n = 12) in a double-blind fashion. At the end of the 2-hour clamp when the glucose infusion was terminated, plasma glucose and insulin levels were measured for 4 additional hours. The minimum plasma glucose level achieved after terminating the glucose infusion (glucose nadir) was used as an index of hypoglycemic potential. The mean (+/-SEM) glucose nadir was significantly lower in patients given glyburide (3.3 +/- 0.2 mmol/L) versus nateglinide (4.4 +/- 0.3 mmol/L, P = .025). Confirmed hypoglycemia (plasma glucose < or = 2.8 mmol/L) occurred in 2 of 12 patients given glyburide and in none of those given nateglinide. Plasma insulin levels were significantly higher from 100 to 240 minutes after clamp termination in patients given glyburide versus nateglinide. Nateglinide has less hypoglycemic potential than glyburide, suggesting that nateglinide may be a more appropriate insulinotropic agent for patients with moderate fasting hyperglycemia, such as elderly patients and those with comorbid cardiac ischemia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Area Under Curve
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cyclohexanes / adverse effects
  • Cyclohexanes / therapeutic use*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glucose Clamp Technique
  • Glyburide / adverse effects
  • Glyburide / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nateglinide
  • Phenylalanine / adverse effects
  • Phenylalanine / analogs & derivatives
  • Phenylalanine / therapeutic use*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cyclohexanes
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Nateglinide
  • Phenylalanine
  • Glyburide