Comparing the efficacy and safety of insulin detemir versus neutral protamine hagedorn insulin in treatment of diabetes during pregnancy: A randomized, controlled study

Jing Ji, Zhangya He, Zhao Yang, Yang Mi, Na Guo, Hong Zhao, Jiayi Gao, Zhengfeei Ma, Xiaoqin Luo*, Zhen Han

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To compare the efficacy and safety of insulin detemir (IDet) versus neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin used in pregnant women with diabetes. Research design and methods A randomized study was conducted in diabetic pregnant women (n=240) (including 132 with pregestational diabetes and 108 with gestational diabetes). All patients were randomly divided into two groups: IDet group (n=120) treated with IDet plus short acting insulin Novolin-R before three meals (RRR-IDet plan), and NPH group treated with NPH plus Novolin-R before three meals (RRR-NPH plan). Patients were enrolled during 12-28 gestation weeks and followed up until delivery. Results Basal characteristics, such as age, enrollment gestational weeks, average HbA1c, fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) were similar between two groups. After 1 week of treatment, the FPG of IDet group were significantly lower than NPH group (p<0.05) and the time required to reach the targeted blood glucose level was significantly shorter (p<0.001). After 3 months of treatment, the HbA1c level in the two groups was normalized but there was no significant difference in HbA1c level. Maternal and neonatal outcomes were comparable between the two therapeutic approaches; however, the incidence of hypoglycemia in IDet group was remarkably lower than that of NPH group (p<0.05). The adverse drug reactions were rare and similar between the two groups. Conclusions For the treatment of gestational diabetes, both RRR-IDet plan and RRR-NPH plan were reported to control blood glucose effectively. Compared with NPH, IDet could control blood glucose and reached the targets faster and more effectively, thus reducing the number of insulin injections and the incidence of hypoglycemia in pregnant women without increasing adverse birth outcomes. Therefore, for pregnant women with gestational diabetes, who require insulin therapy, IDet would be an ideal basal insulin being worthy of promotion in clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001155
JournalBMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2020


  • adolescent diabetes
  • gestational diabetes mellitus
  • insulin analogues
  • pregestational diabetes

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