My approach to
working with patients


Much of my work over the past 3 decades as a practicing endocrinologist has centered on helping my patients with diabetes take greater control of their blood sugar. This is one of the reasons I founded the nonprofit organization, Taking Control of Your Diabetes, and authored a book of the same name. In working with these patients, I try to tailor my advice in the form of tangible and practical actions.

Of course, medication may play a large part in a patient’s path. So beyond the vital task of educating patients, it’s my role as a clinician to stay on top of the research and treatment options as they become available. I want to give my patients choices that are appropriate for their needs as they take a more active part in their care. This includes when it’s time for them to add basal insulin to their treatment regimen.

Doctor Steven Edelman

Steven Edelman, MD

  • Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University of California, San Diego and the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System of San Diego
  • Founder, Director, and Chairman of the Board of the nonprofit organization Taking Control of Your Diabetes
  • Author of 18 books and 200+ published articles
  • 2013 U.S. World Report: Top 1% of US Endocrinologists
  • 10-time winner of the San Diego Magazine Top Doctors in San Diego Award


What do I consider when prescribing a basal insulin?


A1C reduction icon

A1C reductions1

FPG reduction icon

FPG reductions1

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Flat and stable profile1-3

Risk of hypoglycemia

Risk of hypoglycemia


When it’s time for my patients to start taking basal insulin, I consider a number of factors when deciding which to prescribe. First and foremost, I look for an insulin that provides A1C and FPG reductions, and has been proven to help patients reach their blood sugar goals. I also look for a flat and stable profile, and of course safety plays a role in the decision as well. That's why I often prescribe Tresiba® to my adult patients with diabetes.



Efficacy and safety of Tresiba®

References:

  1. Tresiba [package insert]. Plainsboro, NJ: Novo Nordisk Inc; September 2015.
  2. Gough SCL, Bhargava A, Jain R, Mersebach H, Rasmussen S, Bergenstal RM. Diabetes Care. 2013;36(9):2536-2542.





Steven Edelman, MD



Examining the efficacy and safety of Tresiba® FlexTouch® U-200 vs insulin glargine U-100 in insulin-naïve adult patients with type 2 diabetes1


BEGIN: Low Volume study


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Duration:
26 weeks

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Trial type:

treat-to-target noninferiority

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Study design:

randomized, controlled, multinational, and open-label

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Participants:

457 insulin-naïve adults


When deciding which basal insulin therapy to prescribe, the first thing I do is look at the clinical data. The BEGIN: Low Volume study was a 26-week, treat-to-target, noninferiority trial that compared glycemic control of once-daily Tresiba® U-200 with insulin glargine U-100 in combination with metformin +/- DPP-4i.4 The study was randomized, controlled, multinational, and open-label. A total of 457 insulin-naïve adults participated, with 228 taking Tresiba® and 229 taking insulin glargine U-100.1,4


In this trial, Tresiba®
U-200 and insulin glargine U-100 produced similar A1C reductions.

A1C reductions observed in BEGIN: Low Volume1

In this trial, Tresiba® U-200 and insulin glargine U-100 produced similar A1C reductions. Mean A1C decreased by 1.18% in the Tresiba® group and 1.22% in the insulin glargine U-100 group. After 26 weeks, adults in the Tresiba® group had a mean A1C of 7.0%, while adults in the insulin glargine U-100 group reached a mean A1C of 6.9%.1,a At week 26, the difference in A1C reduction from baseline between Tresiba® and insulin glargine U-100 was 0.04% with a 95% CI (-0.11% to 0.19%) and met the prespecified noninferiority margin (0.4%).1


Tresiba® U-200 resulted in FPG reductions after 26 weeks of treatment.1

FPG reductions observed in BEGIN: Low Volume1

As for FPG, Tresiba® U-200 resulted in FPG reductions after 26 weeks of treatment.1 Mean FPG reduction for the Tresiba® group was -71.1 mg/dL, with a mean end of trial FPG of 106 mg/dL. For the insulin glargine U-100 group, mean FPG reduction was -63.5 mg/dL after 26 weeks, and mean FPG was 113 mg/dL.1,b


No clinically important differences in risk of hypoglycemia between Tresiba® and comparators were observed in clinical trials.1

Rates of hypoglycemia observed in BEGIN: Low Volume1

When looking at hypoglycemia, no clinically important differences in risk of hypoglycemia between Tresiba® and comparators were observed in clinical trials.1 In the trial, the percent of patients taking Tresiba® who experienced at least 1 episode of hypoglycemia was 0% for severe hypoglycemiac and 28.5% for Novo Nordisk–defined hypoglycemia.d

The rates of hypoglycemia for patients taking Tresiba® in all type 2 diabetes trials ranged from 0% to 4.5% for severe hypoglycemiac and 28.5% to 80.9% for Novo Nordisk–defined hypoglycemiad (Tresiba® + oral antidiabetic drugs or a basal-bolus regimen).



aBaseline: Tresiba®, 8.3%; insulin glargine U-100, 8.2%.1
b
Baseline: Tresiba®, 172 mg/dL; insulin glargine U-100, 174 mg/dL.
cSevere hypoglycemia: an event requiring assistance of another person to actively administer carbohydrate, glucagon, or other resuscitative actions. 
dNovo Nordisk–defined hypoglycemia: a severe hypoglycemia event or an event where laboratory or self-measured glucose calibrated to plasma was <56 mg/dL or where whole blood glucose was <50 mg/dL (ie, with or without the presence of hypoglycemic symptoms).


Results at a glance


A1C reductions

Tresiba® was noninferior to insulin glargine U-100 in reducing A1C.1

FPG reductions

Tresiba® U-200 resulted in FPG reductions after 26 weeks of treatment.1

Hypoglycemic risk

No clinically important differences in risk of hypoglycemia between Tresiba® and comparators were observed in clinical trials.1    


To see more clinical study results, take a look at the efficacy and safety of Tresiba® in patients with type 1 diabetes.


PRIMARY CARE PERSPECTIVE

Dr Stephen Brunton on the Tresiba® duration of action


INSULIN PENS AND PRIMARY CARE

Dr Stephen Brunton’s take on prescribing Tresiba® FlexTouch®

Selected Important Safety Information

Contraindications

  • Tresiba® is contraindicated during episodes of hypoglycemia and in patients with hypersensitivity to Tresiba® or one of its excipients

Warnings and Precautions

  • Never Share a Tresiba® FlexTouch® Pen Between Patients, even if the needle is changed. Sharing poses a risk for transmission of blood-borne pathogens
  • Monitor blood glucose in all patients treated with insulin. Changes in insulin may affect glycemic control. These changes should be made cautiously and under medical supervision. Adjustments in concomitant anti-diabetic treatment may be needed
  • Hypoglycemia is the most common adverse reaction of insulin, including Tresiba®, and may be life-threatening

Indications and Usage

Tresiba® (insulin degludec injection) is indicated to improve glycemic control in patients 1 year of age and older with diabetes mellitus.

Limitations of Use

Tresiba® is not recommended for treating diabetic ketoacidosis or for pediatric patients requiring less than 5 units of Tresiba®.

Important Safety Information

Contraindications

  • Tresiba® is contraindicated during episodes of hypoglycemia and in patients with hypersensitivity to Tresiba® or one of its excipients

Warnings and Precautions

  • Never Share a Tresiba® FlexTouch® Pen Between Patients, even if the needle is changed. Sharing poses a risk for transmission of blood-borne pathogens
  • Monitor blood glucose in all patients treated with insulin. Changes in insulin may affect glycemic control. These changes should be made cautiously and under medical supervision. Adjustments in concomitant anti-diabetic treatment may be needed
  • Hypoglycemia is the most common adverse reaction of insulin, including Tresiba®, and may be life-threatening. Increase monitoring with changes to: insulin dose, co-administered glucose lowering medications, meal pattern, physical activity; and in patients with hypoglycemia unawareness or renal or hepatic impairment
  • Accidental mix-ups between basal insulin products and other insulins, particularly rapid-acting insulins, have been reported. To avoid medication errors, always instruct patients to check the insulin label before each injection
  • Severe, life-threatening, generalized allergy, including anaphylaxis, can occur with insulin products, including Tresiba®
  • As with all insulins, Tresiba® use can lead to life-threatening hypokalemia, which then may cause respiratory paralysis, ventricular arrhythmia, and death. Closely monitor potassium levels in patients at risk of hypokalemia and treat if indicated
  • Fluid retention and heart failure can occur with concomitant use of thiazolidinediones (TZDs), which are PPAR-gamma agonists, and insulin, including Tresiba®. Patients should be observed for signs and symptoms of heart failure. If heart failure occurs, dosage reduction or discontinuation of the TZD must be considered

Adverse Reactions

  • Adverse reactions commonly associated with Tresiba® are hypoglycemia, allergic reactions, injection site reactions, lipodystrophy, pruritus, rash, edema, and weight gain

Drug Interactions

  • There are certain drugs that may cause clinically significant drug interactions with Tresiba®.
    • Drugs that may increase the risk of hypoglycemia: antidiabetic agents, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blocking agents, disopyramide, fibrates, fluoxetine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, pentoxifylline, pramlinitide, salicylates, somatostatin analog (e.g., octreotide), sulfonamide antibiotics, GLP-1 receptor agonists, DPP-4 inhibitors, and SGLT-2 inhibitors
    • Drugs that may decrease the blood glucose lowering effect: atypical antipsychotics (e.g., olanzapine and clozapine), corticosteroids, danazol, diuretics, estrogens, glucagon, isoniazid, niacin, oral contraceptives, phenothiazines, progestogens (e.g., in oral contraceptives), protease inhibitors, somatropin, sympathomimetic agents (e.g., albuterol, epinephrine, terbutaline), and thyroid hormones
    • Drugs that may increase or decrease the blood glucose lowering effect: alcohol, beta-blockers, clonidine, lithium salts, and pentamidine
    • Drugs that may blunt the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia: beta-blockers, clonidine, guanethidine, and reserpine

Please click here for Prescribing Information.

 

References:

  1. Tresiba [package insert]. Plainsboro, NJ: Novo Nordisk Inc; December 2016.
  2. Heise T, Korsatko S, Nosek L, et al. J Diabetes. 2016;8(1):132-138.
  3. Heise T, Hermanski L, Nosek L, Feldman A, Rasmussen S, Haahr H. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2012;14(9):859-864.
  4. Gough SCL, Bhargava A, Jain R, Mersebach H, Rasmussen S, Bergenstal RM. Diabetes Care. 2013;36(9):2536-2542.