Effects of Roflumilast on Insulin and Blood Sugar Levels in Prediabetic Overweight and Obese Individuals

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01862029
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 24, 2013
Last Update Posted : March 29, 2018
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) )

Brief Summary:


- Roflumilast is a drug used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is designed to help reduce lung inflammation. However, during testing, roflumilast also appeared to reduce high blood sugar levels in people with COPD and type 2 diabetes. Other tests showed that roflumilast also improved blood sugar levels in people who only had type 2 diabetes. Researchers want to see how roflumilast affects insulin and blood sugar levels in overweight or obese people who are not diabetic, but who have high blood sugar levels.


- To see how well roflumilast improves blood sugar and insulin levels in prediabetic overweight or obese individuals.


- Individuals between 30 to 65 years old who are overweight or obese (body mass index of 24.9 to 39.9 kg/m2) and have elevated blood sugar levels.


  • This study will last approximately 8 weeks. Participants will have approximately five study visits over about 7 weeks. Two of these visits will be overnight inpatient stays.
  • Participants will be screened with a physical exam and medical history. Blood and urine samples will be collected. They will also have a 3-day diet and exercise assessment with a dietitian.
  • In Week 1, participants will have a special diet for 2 days to keep their regular weight. They will then have a 2-day inpatient stay. During their stay, they will have multiple tests, including blood sugar tests and full body scans. They may provide a fat and muscle tissue biopsy sample. They will then receive the study drug to take during the study.
  • In Week 2, participants will repeat the diet study from the screening visit. They will receive a different dose of the study drug.
  • In Week 3, participants will review their diet results and have blood and urine tests.
  • In Week 5, participants will repeat the diet and exercise study from the screening visit.
  • In Week 6, participants will repeat the inpatient studies and tests from Week 1.

In the last week, participants will have a final follow-up visit.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Obesity Drug: Roflumilast Phase 1 Phase 2

Detailed Description:
Resveratrol, a polyphenol most notably found in red wine has anti-aging properties in mice fed a high-fat diet; resveratrol protects against obesity and type 2 diabetes. Several clinical trials have been conducted to study the metabolic effects of resveratrol. Although these trials have used different subject groups (e.g. obese healthy, type 2 diabetics or older adults with glucose intolerance), they suggest that resveratrol may improve insulin sensitivity. However, the therapeutic potential of resveratrol is diminished by the fact that it has a very promiscuous target profile. In order to translate resveratrol biology into clinical application, it is helpful to identify the cellular target(s) of resveratrol that mediate the desired effects and to develop therapies specific for that target(s). Recently, we discovered that the metabolic effects of resveratrol appear to result from competitive inhibition of cAMP-degrading phosphodiesterases (PDEs), which increases cAMP levels. The cAMP-dependent pathways activate AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is essential for the metabolic effects of resveratrol. Inhibiting PDE4 with rolipram reproduces all of the metabolic benefits of resveratrol, including protection against diet-induced obesity and an increase in mitochondrial content, fat oxidation, physical stamina and glucose tolerance in mice. Based on results from cellular and preclinical studies, we hypothesize that PDE4 inhibition will ameliorate insulin resistance in pre-diabetic individuals. To test these hypotheses, we will conduct an exploratory study on the potential beneficial effects of roflumilast (Daxas (Registered Trademark)), a PDE4 inhibitor, on insulin sensitivity in pre-diabetic individuals.Each study participant will receive oral roflumilast (250 (micro)g, once a day for 2 weeks, followed by 500 (micro)g once a day for 4 weeks). At baseline and after the 6-week treatment period, we will assess insulin sensitivity (hyperinsulinemiceuglycemic glucose clamp technique, glucose clamp ). In addition, Beta-cell function, skeletal muscle mitochondrial function, body composition, and circulating adipocytokine profile will be measured at baseline and after treatment to evaluate potential changes that may be related to improvements in metabolic function. Vascular function is not only an indicator of insulin sensitivity, but is also important for glucose delivery and metabolism. If possible, vascular function will be assessed along with the other parameters at baseline and after treatment with roflumilast. Regarding vascular function, we may measure basal and insulin-stimulated brachial artery blood flow (large conduit artery assessed by Doppler ultrasound) as well as capillary recruitment in forearm skeletal muscle (small nutritive arterioles assessed by ultrasound with microbubble contrast). This study will explore whether roflumilast is effective at improving insulin sensitivity in pre-diabetic individuals. Results from this study may have important implications for the potential use of roflumilast in treating type 2 diabetes.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 24 participants
Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: An Exploratory Study to Evaluate the Effects of Roflumilast on Insulin Sensitivity and Metabolic Parameters in Prediabetic Overweight and Obese Individuals
Study Start Date : May 22, 2013
Actual Primary Completion Date : July 25, 2017
Actual Study Completion Date : July 25, 2017

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Prediabetes
Drug Information available for: Roflumilast

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Roflumilast Drug: Roflumilast
Selective phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. The primary outcome in this study is changes in insulin sensitivity as measured by the stable isotope0-labeled tracer technique and glucose clamp. [ Time Frame: 1-2 years ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. The secondary outcomes are changed in beta-cell function, postprandial plasma incretin concentrations, circulating levels of adipokines, cytokines, and inflammatory markers, and alterrations in total body fat and lean body mass. [ Time Frame: 1-2 years ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Ages Eligible for Study:   30 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
  • Adult, weight- and diet-stable men and women in good general health with no significant underlying illnesses and normal or clinically insignificant results (medical histories, laboratory profiles, physical examination, and electrocardiograms),
  • Women must be non-pregnant or post-menopausal, or women of childbearing potential must be non-lactating and using an effective form of birth control during and for 30 days after the study period (partner's use of condoms or partner's vasectomy is not an acceptable contraception method for this study),
  • Must be 30 - 65 years of age, inclusive
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) > 24.9 and < 39.5 kg/m(2) with a stable (plus-minus 2.5 kg) weight for the last 6 months by history,
  • Pre-diabetes, as defined by a fasting blood glucose of greater than 100 mg/dL and less than 126 mg/dL and/or A1C equal or greater than 5.7 and less than or equal to 6.5 %
  • Subjects must be able to understand the protocol and provide written informed consent.


  • Women will be excluded from our study if they are pregnant, breastfeeding, or if they plan to become pregnant prior to the end of the study,
  • Cannot be on any medications including multivitamins or nutritional supplements that in the investigator s opinion will affect insulin sensitivity
  • Currently taking systemic corticosteroids, insulin, or anticoagulants, anxiolytics, ketoconazole, erythromycin, cimetidine, enoxacin, strong CYP 3A4/1A2 inducers (e.g., rifampicin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, phenytoin), birth control pills containing gestodene and ethinyl estradiol, use food supplements that cannot be discontinued, or any other medication that the investigators deem a contraindication.
  • AST or ALT > 3 times the upper normal limit
  • Hepatitis B antigen, HIV or C positive antibody tests,
  • Liver disease, pulmonary disease, renal insufficiency, , (serum creatinine > 1.5mg/dl), coronary heart disease, heart failure (New York Heart Association heart failure Class III or IV), peripheral vascular disease, coagulopathy.
  • History of or current diagnosis of major depressive disorder, or history of or current diagnosis of other psychiatric disorders that in the opinion of the investigator would make participant unsafe for the participant.
  • Currently being treated for any form of cancer or have a history of cancer, that in the investigator s judgment would not make the participant a candidate for the study for safety or scientific reasons.
  • Claustrophobic,
  • On a weight loss program with ongoing weight loss, or a history of eating disorders. Actively using tobacco products or have used tobacco products within last year (>3 cigarettes/day), regular alcoholic beverage intake of more than two drinks per day. Subjects with any condition that would have made them, in the opinion of the principal investigator (PI), unsuitable for the study.
  • Subjects with a contraindication for the ultrasound contrast agent.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01862029

United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Principal Investigator: Jay H Chung, M.D. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Identifier: NCT01862029     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 130123
First Posted: May 24, 2013    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 29, 2018
Last Verified: February 26, 2018

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) ):
Mitochondria in Diabetes

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Prediabetic State
Body Weight
Signs and Symptoms
Diabetes Mellitus
Glucose Metabolism Disorders
Metabolic Diseases
Endocrine System Diseases