Diurnal Glycemic Patterns during an 8-Week Open-Label Proof-of-Concept Trial of Empagliflozin in Type 1 Diabetes

PLoS One. 2015 Nov 6;10(11):e0141085. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141085. eCollection 2015.


Background: We recently reported improved glycemic control with reduced insulin dose in subjects with type 1 diabetes treated with the sodium glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitor empagliflozin. To further characterize the effects, we analyzed diurnal glycemic patterns by continuous glucose monitoring (CGM).

Methods: In an 8-week single-arm open-label pilot study of empagliflozin, we compared ambulatory glucose profiles produced from CGM data during 2-week intervals in a placebo run-in baseline period, end-of-treatment, and post-treatment. Change in glycemic exposure was evaluated by area under the median curve according to time of day (AUCTOTAL 12:00am-11:55pm; AUCDAY 7:05am-10:55pm, AUCNIGHT 11:00pm-7:00am), as well as glycemic variability, glycemic stability and time-in-target (≥70 to ≤140mg/dL).

Results: The 40 patients (26 on insulin pump) were aged 24±5 years and BMI 24.5±3.2 kg/m2. Consistent with the observed HbA1c decrease (8.0±0.9% to 7.6±0.9%, p<0.0001), normalized AUCTOTAL CGM decreased from 153.7±25.4 to 149.0±30.2mg/dL∙h at end-of-treatment (p = 0.31), and significantly increased post-treatment (164.1±29.5mg/dL∙h, p = 0.02). The numerical decrease in normalized AUCNIGHT (152.0±36.6 to 141.9±34.4mg/dL∙h, p = 0.13) exceeded AUCDAY (154.5±24.5 to 152.6±30.4mg/dL∙h, p = 0.65). Trends toward lower glycemic variability (83.1±18.9 to 75.6±28.6mg/dL, p = 0.06) and little change in glycemic stability (10.8±3.6 to 10.3±4.5mg/dL/h, p = 0.51) were observed. When empagliflozin was discontinued, these worsened relative to baseline (89.3±19.3mg/dL, p = 0.04 and 11.8±3.7mg/dL/hr, p = 0.08). Time-in-target numerically increased (40.2±11.9 to 43.1±13.5%, p = 0.69) at end-of-treatment but reversed post-treatment. Findings were similar on stratification of pump and MDI subjects.

Conclusions: We observed that empagliflozin was associated with patterns of improved nighttime glycemia more prominent than daytime.

Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01392560.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Glucosides / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Young Adult


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Blood Glucose
  • Glucosides
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • empagliflozin

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01392560

Grant support

This study was funded by Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly. Boehringer Ingelheim’s involvement included study design, data collection and data analysis. Eli Lilly’s involvement was limited to co-funding of the study.