The glucose lowering effect of an oral insulin (Capsulin) during an isoglycaemic clamp study in persons with type 2 diabetes


Dr S. D. Luzio, Diabetes Research Unit, University Hospital Llandough, Penlan Road, Penarth, South Glamorgan, CF64 2XX, UK.


Aim: Randomized, open, single-centre, two-way crossover study comparing the pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) properties of subcutaneous (sc) regular human insulin (Actrapid) and oral insulin in a capsule form (Capsulin).

Methods: Sixteen persons (12 males) with type 2 diabetes on oral hypoglycaemic agents (OHAs) participated. Mean (s.d.) age 60.2 (5.5) years, BMI 28.3 (3.4) kg/m2, haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) 7.4% (1.1). Two 6-h isoglycaemic glucose clamp studies were conducted 11 days apart. All subjects received in random order 12U sc Actrapid on one clamp study day and either 150U or 300U Capsulin (Cap) on the other day. Glucose infusion rates (GIRs), plasma insulin and C-peptide concentrations were determined throughout each 6-h isoglycaemic clamp. Between the clamp study days, all patients received 150U Capsulin twice daily, dropping all their standard OHAs apart from metformin. Self-monitored blood glucose (SMBG) levels were taken four times a day between the clamp study days.

Results: Administration of either Actrapid or Capsulin (150 and 300U) increased GIRs reaching a maximum values at approximately 280–330 min. Overall values for maximum GIR values were higher for Actrapid than either dose of Capsulin (p < 0.05). The significantly greater systemic insulin concentrations following Actrapid were reflected in the AUC0–6 h (910 ± 270 vs. 472 ± 245 pmol h/L; 950 ± 446 vs. 433 ± 218 pmol h/L; both p < 0.05 for Actrapid vs. 150U Capsulin and 300U Capsulin respectively). No difference was observed between 150U and 300U Capsulin. During the repeat-dosing period, good safety and tolerability were observed with Capsulin, and SMBG levels remained stable. At the poststudy visit, significant falls in HbA1c, weight and triglycerides were observed.

Conclusions: Administration of the oral insulin Capsulin preparation demonstrated a significant hypoglycaemic action over a period of 6 h associated with only a small increase in circulating plasma insulin concentrations.