Meglitinide analogues for type 2 diabetes mellitus

Corri Black, Peter Donnelly, Linda McIntyre, Pamela Royle, Jonathan J. Shepherd, Sian Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

112 Citations (Scopus)


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) websites.

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.

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD004654
Number of pages44
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2007


  • improves glycemic control
  • prandial glucose regulation
  • postprandial blood-glucose
  • insulin-secretion
  • combination therapy
  • metformin monotherapy
  • repaglinide addition
  • renal impairment
  • controlled-trial
  • NPH insulin


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