• Article

Metabolic Effects of Troglitazone Monotherapy in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial

Background:Troglitazone is a new insulin-sensitizing agent used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. The mechanism by which troglitazone exerts its effect on systemic glucose metabolism is unknown.

Objective:To determine the effects of 6 months of troglitazone monotherapy on glucose metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Design:Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Setting:Six general clinical research centers at university hospitals.

Patients:93 patients (mean age, 52 years) with type 2 diabetes mellitus (mean fasting plasma glucose level, 11.2 mmol/L) who were being treated with diet alone or who had discontinued oral antidiabetic medication therapy.

Intervention:Patients were randomly assigned to one of five treatment groups (100, 200, 400, or 600 mg of troglitazone daily or placebo) and had metabolic assessment before and after 6 months of treatment.

Measurements:Plasma glucose and insulin profiles during a meal tolerance test; basal hepatic glucose production and insulin-stimulated glucose disposal rate during a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp procedure.

Results:Troglitazone at 400 and 600 mg/d decreased both fasting (P < 0.001) and postprandial (P = 0.016) plasma glucose levels by approximately 20%. All four troglitazone dosages also decreased fasting (P = 0.012) and postprandial (P < 0.001) triglyceride levels; 600 mg of the drug per day decreased fasting free fatty acid levels (P = 0.018). Plasma insulin levels decreased in the 200-, 400-, and 600-mg/d groups (P < 0.001), and C-peptide levels decreased in all five study groups (P < 0.001). Basal hepatic glucose production was suppressed in the 600-mg/d group compared with the placebo group (P = 0.02). Troglitazone at 400 and 600 mg/d increased glucose disposal rate by approximately 45% above pretreatment levels (P = 0.003). Stepwise regression analysis showed that troglitazone therapy was the strongest predictor of a decrease in fasting (P < 0.001) or postprandial (P = 0.01) glucose levels. Fasting C-peptide level was the next strongest predictor (higher C-peptide level equaled greater glucose-lowering effect).

Conclusion:Troglitazone monotherapy decreased fasting and postprandial glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, primarily by augmenting insulin-mediated glucose disposal.


Maggs, D., Buchanan, T., Burant, C., Cline, G., Gumbiner, B., Hsueh, W., ... Shulman, G. (1998). Metabolic Effects of Troglitazone Monotherapy in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 128(3), 176-185. https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-128-3-199802010-00002