Insulin lispro, an insulin analog recently developed particularly for mealtime therapy, has a fast absorption rate and a short duration of action. We compared insulin lispro and regular human insulin in the mealtime treatment of 1,008 patients with IDDM. The study was a 6-month randomized multinational (17 countries) and multicenter (102 investigators) clinical trial performed with an open-label crossover design. Insulin lispro was injected immediately before the meal, and regular human insulin was injected 30–45 min before the meal. Throughout the study, the postprandial rise in serum glucose was significantly lower during insulin lispro therapy. At the endpoint, the postprandial rise in serum glucose was reduced at 1 h by 1.3 mmol/l and at 2 h by 2.0 mmol/l in patients treated with insulin lispro (P < 0.001). The rate of hypoglycemia was 12% less with insulin lispro (6.4 ± 0.2 vs. 7.2 ± 0.3 episodes/30 days, P < 0.001), independent of basal insulin regimen or HbA1c level. The reduction was observed equally in episodes with and without symptoms. When the total number of episodes for each patient was analyzed according to the time of occurrence, the number of hypoglycemic episodes was less with insulin lispro than with regular human insulin therapy during three of four quarters of the day (P < 0.001). The largest relative improvement was observed at night. In conclusion, insulin lispro improves postprandial control, reduces hypoglycemic episodes, and improves patient convenience, compared with regular human insulin, in IDDM patients.

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