Meglitinide analogues for type 2 diabetes mellitus

In type 2 diabetes mellitus, impairment of insulin secretion is an important component of the disease. The meglitinide analogues ("meglitinides") are a class of oral antidiabetic agents that increase insulin secretion in the pancreas. The properties of this class of drug suggest that they have the potential to produce a rapid, short-lived insulin output. Two analogues are currently available for clinical use: repaglinide and nateglinide. Altogether 15 studies were included in this review, eight of the studies used repaglinide as the study drug and five used nateglinide. Two compared the two meglitinides to one another. In total, 3781 people participated in the 15 studies which mainly lasted between 10 and 24 weeks (one study had a duration of 52 weeks).
No studies reported the effect of meglitinides on mortality or diabetes related complications. In the eleven studies comparing meglitinides to placebo, both repaglinide and nateglinide resulted in an improved blood sugar control. Weight gain was generally greater in those treated with meglitinides compared with metformin (up to three kg in three months), another oral antidiabetic drug. Here, diarrhoea occurred less frequently and hypoglycaemia occurred more frequently but rarely severely enough as to require assistance.
Meglitinides may offer an alternative oral hypoglycaemic agent of similar potency to metformin, and may be indicated where side effects of metformin are intolerable (in particular persistent diarrhoea) or where metformin is contraindicated. However, there is no evidence available yet to indicate what effect meglitinides will have on important long-term outcomes, in particular, on mortality. As yet, the experience with meglitinides in terms of side effects is limited. Results from other Cochrane review groups may provide additional information about the potential role of meglitinides in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Authors' conclusions: 

Meglitinides may offer an alternative oral hypoglycaemic agent of similar potency to metformin, and may be indicated where side effects of metformin are intolerable or where metformin is contraindicated. However, there is no evidence available to indicate what effect meglitinides will have on important long-term outcomes, particularly mortality.

Read the full abstract...
Background: 

In type 2 diabetes mellitus, impairment of insulin secretion is an important component of the disease. Meglitinide analogues are a class of oral hypoglycaemic agents that increase insulin secretion, in particular, during the early phase of insulin release.

Objectives: 

The aim of this review was to assess the effects of meglitinide analogues in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Search strategy: 

We searched several databases including The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE and EMBASE. We also contacted manufacturers and searched ongoing trials databases, and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) web sites.

Selection criteria: 

We included randomised controlled, parallel or cross-over trials comparing at least 10 weeks of treatment with meglitinide analogues to placebo, head-to-head, metformin or in combination with insulin.

Data collection and analysis: 

Two authors independently extracted data and assessed trial quality.

Main results: 

Fifteen trials involving 3781 participants were included. No studies reported the effect of meglitinides on mortality or morbidity. In the eleven studies comparing meglitinides to placebo, both repaglinide and nateglinide resulted in a reductions in glycosylated haemoglobin (0.1% to 2.1% reduction in HbA1c for repaglinide; 0.2% to 0.6% for nateglinide). Only two trials compared repaglinide to nateglinide (342 participants), with greater reduction in glycosylated haemoglobin in those receiving repaglinide. Repaglinide (248 participants in three trials) had a similar degree of effect in reducing glycosylated haemoglobin as metformin. Nateglinide had a similar or slightly less marked effect on glycosylated haemoglobin than metformin (one study, 355 participants). Weight gain was generally greater in those treated with meglitinides compared with metformin (up to three kg in three months). Diarrhoea occurred less frequently and hypoglycaemia occurred more frequently but rarely severely enough as to require assistance.

Share/Save