Objective Repaglinide is an oral anti-diabetic agent that has a short duration of action, and is suitable for preventing post-prandial rises in glucose levels. Targeting post-prandial glucose levels may lead to lower HbA1c levels and rates of hypoglycaemia than targeting pre-prandial glucose levels.
Research design and methods In 42 centres, 193 drug-naïve (n = 122) or metformin-treated (n = 71) individuals with Type 2 diabetes were randomly allocated to a 40-day period of repaglinide dose-titration (starting at 0.5 mg three times daily) based on either self-measured pre-prandial or post-prandial glucose levels. They were followed for a further 12 weeks and HbA1c and hypoglycaemia rates were recorded.
Results Repaglinide reduced HbA1c by 1.25 and 1.07% in the post-prandial and pre-prandial groups, respectively (P for difference = 0.6), and achieved target glucose levels in 80.7 and 66.7%, respectively (P = 0.16). The effect of titration strategy differed by baseline drug therapy, and was more effective in the metformin-treated individuals who experienced a HbA1c fall of 0.6 vs. 1.10% with pre-prandial vs. post-prandial titration (P for metformin-allocated group interaction = 0.043). The rate of hypoglycaemia did not differ by group.
Conclusions In drug-naïve individuals with Type 2 diabetes, similar HbA1c levels are achieved with repaglinide when dosing is adjusted according to either post-prandial or pre-prandial levels. Conversely, in metformin-treated individuals, repaglinide dosing according to post-prandial levels may lead to better glycaemic control than dosing according to pre-prandial levels.