Effects of pioglitazone in combination with metformin or a sulfonylurea compared to a fixed-dose combination of metformin and glibenclamide in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Emergency Department, University Hospital St. Martin, Genoa, Italy.
Diabetes Technology &amp Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 2.29). 08/2007; 9(4):387-98. DOI: 10.1089/dia.2006.0023
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study was designed to compare the effectiveness of co-administration of pioglitazone with metformin or a sulfonylurea (SU), with a fixed-dose combination of metformin and glibenclamide on glycemic control and beta-cell function in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Patients (n = 250) treated with metformin (<or=3 g/day) or an SU as monotherapy for >3 months and with glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)) between 7.5% and 11% inclusive were randomized to receive either pioglitazone (15-30 mg/day) as add-on therapy to metformin or an SU or a fixed-dose combination of metformin (400 mg) and glibenclamide (2.5 mg) (up to three tablets per day) for 6 months. HbA(1c) and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) were measured at baseline and 2, 4, and 6 months. C-peptide levels were measured at baseline and 6 months, and post-challenge glucose and insulin responses were measured.
After 6 months, pioglitazone-based and fixed-dose metformin + glibenclamide resulted in similar reductions in HbA(1c) (-1.11% vs. -1.29%, respectively; P = 0.192) and FPG (-2.13 vs. -1.81 mmol/L, respectively; P = 0.370). Patients treated with pioglitazone for 6 months had significantly reduced C-peptide levels compared with baseline (-0.09 nmol/L, P = 0.001), while patients receiving fixed-dose metformin + glibenclamide combination had slightly increased C-peptide levels (+0.04 nmol/L, P = 0.08). Pioglitazone treatment also improved post-challenge insulin responses.
Co-administration of pioglitazone with metformin or an SU is an effective alternative to fixed-dose metformin + glibenclamide combination for patients with type 2 diabetes. The complementary effects of pioglitazone with either metformin or an SU may also have the potential to preserve beta-cell function and delay the progression of type 2 diabetes.

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