Safety and effectiveness of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors versus intermediate-acting insulin or placebo for patients with type 2 diabetes failing two oral antihyperglycaemic agents: a systematic review and network meta-analysis Academic Article uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors versus intermediate-acting insulin for adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and poor glycaemic control despite treatment with two oral agents. SETTING: Studies were multicentre and multinational. PARTICIPANTS: Ten studies including 2967 patients with T2DM. INTERVENTIONS: Studies that examined DPP-4 inhibitors compared with each other, intermediate-acting insulin, no treatment or placebo in patients with T2DM. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcome was glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c). Secondary outcomes were healthcare utilisation, body weight, fractures, quality of life, microvascular complications, macrovascular complications, all-cause mortality, harms, cost and cost-effectiveness. RESULTS: 10 randomised clinical trials with 2967 patients were included after screening 5831 titles and abstracts, and 180 full-text articles. DPP-4 inhibitors significantly reduced HbA1c versus placebo in network meta-analysis (NMA; mean difference (MD) -0.62%, 95% CI -0.93% to -0.33%) and meta-analysis (MD -0.61%, 95% CI -0.81% to -0.41%), respectively. Significant differences in HbA1c were not observed for neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin versus placebo and DPP-4 inhibitors versus NPH insulin in NMA. In meta-analysis, no significant differences were observed between DPP-4 inhibitors and placebo for severe hypoglycaemia, weight gain, cardiovascular disease, overall harms, treatment-related harms and mortality, although patients receiving DPP-4 inhibitors experienced less infections (relative risk 0.72, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.91). CONCLUSIONS: DPP-4 inhibitors were superior to placebo in reducing HbA1c levels in adults with T2DM taking at least two oral agents. Compared with placebo, no safety signals were detected with DPP-4 inhibitors and there was a reduced risk of infection. There was no significant difference in HbA1c observed between NPH and placebo or NPH and DPP-4 inhibitors. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: PROSPERO # CRD42013003624.


  • Tricco, Andrea C
  • Antony, Jesmin
  • Khan, Paul A
  • Ghassemi, Marco
  • Hamid, Jemila
  • Ashoor, Huda
  • Blondal, Erik
  • Soobiah, Charlene
  • Yu, Catherine H
  • Hutton, Brian
  • Hemmelgarn, Brenda R
  • Moher, David
  • Majumdar, Sumit R
  • Straus, Sharon E

publication date

  • December 2014