Could daily insulin injections be replaced by weekly injections in patients with type 2 diabetes?

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Posted by Medivizor on Oct 11, 2020 in Diabetes mellitus |

In a nutshell

This study looked at the treatment of type 2 diabetes with either daily or weekly insulin injections. They found that weekly insulin was as safe and effective as daily injections.

Some background

Glycated hemoglobin (Hba1c) is a measurement of how well a person’s blood sugars are controlled over a 3 month period. This is an important measurement in diabetic patients because good blood sugar control reduces the risk of complications. An HbA1c level of 6.5% or less generally indicates good control. 
Some people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) need insulin injections to reduce their blood sugar levels. Injecting with insulin every day is quite laborious and can affect a patient’s quality of life. Weekly insulin injections might be a more attractive option for some patients. It is not yet known whether weekly insulin injections are as safe and effective as daily injections. 

Methods & findings

This study involved 247 patients with poorly controlled T2D. Participants were divided into two groups. One group received treatment with glargine (Lantus; daily insulin injections) and the other group received icodec (weekly insulin injections). None of the participants had received long-term insulin treatment previously. The study lasted for 26 weeks.  
Hba1c levels were on average reduced by 1.33% in the group receiving weekly icodec and by 1.15% in the group receiving daily glargine. 49% of patients in the icodec group and 39% of patients in the glargine group reduced their HbA1c levels to 6.5% or less after 26 weeks. Episodes of moderate or severe hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood sugar) occurred in 16% of the icodec group and 9.8% of the glargine group.

The bottom line

This study showed that weekly insulin injections with icodec are as safe and effective as daily glargine injections. 

The fine print

This study was funded by Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of insulin icodec. 

Published By :
The New England Journal of Medicine

Original Title :
Once-Weekly Insulin for Type 2 Diabetes without Previous Insulin Treatment.

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