Aims: Combination therapy with sitagliptin and metformin has shown superior efficacy compared with metformin monotherapy. In this study, we compare two strategies: initial combination therapy with sitagliptin/metformin as a fixed-dose combination (FDC) and initial metformin monotherapy, with the option to add additional antihyperglycaemic agents (AHAs) in either treatment arm during the second phase of the study in order to reach adequate glycaemic control. Methods: We evaluated the sitagliptin and metformin FDC compared with metformin monotherapy over 44 weeks in 1250 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in a two-part, double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial. The initial 18-week portion (Phase A) of this study in which additional AHAs were only allowed based on prespecified glycaemic criteria, has been previously reported. Here, we present results from the 26-week Phase B portion of the study during which double-blind study medication continued; however, unlike Phase A, during Phase B investigators were unmasked to results for haemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and directed to manage glycaemic control by adding incremental AHA(s) as deemed clinically appropriate. Results: There were 1250 patients randomized in the study with 965 completing Phase A and continuing in Phase B. Among patients receiving sitagliptin/metformin FDC or metformin monotherapy, 8.8% and 16.7% received additional AHA therapy, respectively. Although glycaemic therapy in both groups was to have been managed to optimize HbA1c reductions with the option for investigators to supplement with additional AHAs during Phase B, patients randomized to initial therapy with sitagliptin/metformin FDC had larger reductions of HbA1c from baseline compared with patients randomized to initial metformin monotherapy [least squares (LS) mean change: -2.3% and -1.8% (p < 0.001 for difference) for sitagliptin/metformin FDC and metformin monotherapy groups, respectively]. A significantly larger reduction in FPG from baseline was observed in the sitagliptin/metformin FDC group compared with the metformin monotherapy group (p = 0.001). Significantly more patients in the sitagliptin/metformin FDC group had an HbA1c of less than 7.0% or less than 6.5% compared with those on metformin monotherapy. Both treatment strategies were generally well tolerated, with a low and similar incidence of hypoglycaemia in both groups and lower incidences of abdominal pain and diarrhoea in the sitagliptin/metformin FDC group compared with the metformin monotherapy group. Conclusions: A strategy initially implementing combination therapy with sitagliptin/metformin FDC was superior to a strategy initially implementing metformin monotherapy, even when accounting for the later addition of supplemental AHAs. Sitagliptin/metformin FDC was generally well tolerated.
- Antihyperglycaemic agents
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism