This site is intended for healthcare professionals only
DiabetesontheNet Logo
Share this article

A new basal insulin for adult patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes is now available

Tresiba®{kcalb} (insulin degludec) – a new basal insulin for adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes is available in the UK as a new treatment option.

Novo Nordisk UK has launched insulin degludec (brand name Tresiba®), a new once-daily basal insulin for adults with type 1 (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D), iin the UK.

Insulin degludec effectively reduces blood glucose levels in patients with T1D and T2D, while significantly reducing the risk of nocturnal hypoglycaemia compared with the most commonly prescribed basal insulin in the UK1-3:

  • 25% reduction in nocturnal hypoglycaemia for patients with type 1 diabetes [4.41 vs 5.86 episodes per patient year of exposure (PYE); P=0.02].2
  • 36% reduction in nocturnal hypoglycaemia for insulin naïve patients with type 2 diabetes [0.25 vs 0.39 episodes per PYE; P<0.04].1
  • There was no significant difference in the rate of confirmed overall hypoglycaemic episodes for insulin degludec versus insulin glargine in people with T1D (42.54 vs 40.18 episodes per patient year of exposure p=0.48)2 or for insulin-naïve people with T2D (1.52 vs 1.85 per patient year of exposure; P=0.11).1

Insulin degludec is a once-daily basal insulin which can be administered at any time of the day, but preferably at the same time every day. It is the first insulin to offer people with diabetes the flexibility in the timing of insulin administration on occasions when administration at the same time of day is not possible. A minimum of eight hours between injections should always be ensured.4,5

“With our current insulin treatments, it is important for people with diabetes to take their long-acting insulin at around the same time each day. However, the pharmacokinetics of insulin degludec mean that, on occasions when this is not possible, people with diabetes can alter the time they take their insulin without compromising their diabetes control or putting themselves at increased risk of hypoglycaemia,” said Professor Richard Holt, Professor in Diabetes and Endocrinology at the University of Southampton. “Good control of diabetes is essential to reduce the risk of long-term complications, so flexibility, when needed, is important,” he added.

Insulin degludec is available in two FlexTouch® pens: FlexTouch® U100, which is suitable for doses from 1 to 80 units per injection and dials in one unit increments, and FlexTouch® U200, which allows up to 160 units of insulin in one injection and dials in two unit increments. The U200 is the first prefilled pen that allows patients who need more than 80 units of basal insulin each day to inject only once.

  1. Zinman B et al (2012) Insulin degludec versus insulin glargine in insulin-naive patients with type 2 diabetes: A 1-year, randomized, treat-to-target trial (BEGIN Once Long). Diabetes Care 35: 2464–71
  2. Heller S et al (2012) Insulin degludec, an ultra-long acting basal insulin, versus insulin glargine in basal-bolus treatment with mealtime insulin aspart in type 1 diabetes (BEGIN Basal-Bolus Type 1): a phase 3 randomised, open-label, treat-to-target non-inferiority trial. Lancet 379: 1489–97
  3. Ratner RE et al (2013) Prospectively planned meta-analysis comparing hypoglycemia rates of insulin degludec with those of insulin glargine. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism 15: 175–84
  4. Tresiba® Summary of Product Characteristics (2013)
  5. Meneghini L et al (2013) The efficacy and safety of insulin degludec given in variable once-daily dosing intervals compared with insulin glargine and insulin degludec dosed at the same time daily: A 26- week, randomized, open-label, parallel-group, treat-to-target trial in people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care Jan 22 [epub ahead of print]
Related content
Free for all UK & Ireland healthcare professionals

Sign up to all DiabetesontheNet journals


By clicking ‘Subscribe’, you are agreeing that are able to email you periodic newsletters. You may unsubscribe from these at any time. Your info is safe with us and we will never sell or trade your details. For information please review our Privacy Policy.

DiabetesontheNet Logo

Are you a healthcare professional? This website is for healthcare professionals only. To continue, please confirm that you are a healthcare professional below.

We use cookies responsibly to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your browser settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website. Read about how we use cookies.