Basal plus basal-bolus approach in type 2 diabetes

Diabetes Technol Ther. 2011 Jun;13 Suppl 1:S75-83. doi: 10.1089/dia.2011.0001.


Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance and progressive β-cell deterioration. As β-cell function declines, most patients with type 2 diabetes treated with oral agents, in monotherapy or combination, will require insulin therapy. Addition of basal insulin (glargine, detemir, or NPH/neutral protamine lispro insulin) to previous treatment is accepted as the simplest way to start insulin therapy in those patients. But even when basal insulin is adequately titrated, some patients will also need prandial insulin to achieve or maintain individual glycemic targets over time. Starting with premixed insulin is an effective option, but it is frequently associated with increased hypoglycemia risk, fixed meal schedules, and weight gain. As an alternative, a novel approached known as "basal plus strategy" has been developed. This approach considers the addition of increasing injections of prandial insulin, beginning with the meal that has the major impact on postprandial glucose values. Finally, if this is not enough intensification to basal-bolus will be necessary. In reducing hyperglycemia, this modality still remains the most effective option, even in people with type 2 diabetes. This article will review the currently evidence on the basal plus strategy and also its progression to basal-bolus therapy. In addition, practical recommendations to start and adjust basal plus therapy will be provided.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Disease Progression
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Insulin / administration & dosage
  • Insulin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Insulin, Long-Acting


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Insulin, Long-Acting