Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Background: Basal insulin analogues aim for protracted glycemic control with minimal adverse effects. Purpose: To assess the comparative efficacy and safety of basal insulin analogues for adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Data Sources: Several databases from inception to April 2018 without language restrictions, to April 2018, references of reviews, and meeting abstract books. Study Selection: Randomized trials lasting at least 12 weeks that compared efficacy (change in hemoglobin A1c [HbA1c] level from baseline [primary outcome]; percentage of patients with HbA1c level <7% at end of study and change in body weight [secondary outcomes]) and safety (hypoglycemia) of basal insulin analogues. Data Extraction: Two authors independently extracted data and assessed risk of bias for each outcome. All authors evaluated overall confidence in the evidence. Data Synthesis: Thirty-nine trials (26 195 patients) assessed 10 basal insulin analogues. Low- to very-low-quality evidence indicated that thrice-weekly degludec (Deg-3TW) was inferior to most other regimens for reducing HbA1c level, with mean differences ranging from 0.21% (vs. degludec, 100 U/mL [Deg-100]) to 0.32% (vs. glargine, 300 U/mL [Glar-300]). High- to moderate-quality evidence suggested that detemir had a favorable weight profile versus all comparators, and Glar-300 was associated with less weight gain than glargine, 100 U/mL (Glar-100); Deg-100; degludec, 200 U/mL (Deg-200); Deg-3TW; and LY2963016. Low- and very-low-quality evidence suggested that Deg-100, Deg-200, and Glar-300 were associated with lower incidence of nocturnal hypoglycemia than detemir, Glar-100, LY2963016, and neutral protamine lispro (NPL). Incidence of severe hypoglycemia did not differ among regimens, except NPL, which was associated with increased risk versus Deg-100, detemir, Glar-100, and Glar-300. Limitations: Results are based mostly on indirect comparisons. Confidence in summary estimates is low or very low due to individual-study limitations, imprecision, or inconsistency. Conclusion: Low-quality evidence suggests that basal insulin analogues for T2DM do not substantially differ in their glucose-lowering effect. Low- and very-low-quality evidence suggests some regimens may be associated with lower risk for nocturnal hypoglycemia (Deg-100, Deg-200, and Glar-300) or less weight gain (detemir and Glar-300). Primary Funding Source: None. (PROSPERO: CRD42016037055).

Original publication




Journal article


Ann Intern Med

Publication Date





165 - 174


Adult, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Humans, Hypoglycemic Agents, Insulin Detemir, Insulin Glargine, Insulin, Long-Acting, Network Meta-Analysis, Risk Assessment