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Postgrad Med. 2010 Jan;122(1):172-83. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2010.01.2111.

Therapeutic options that provide glycemic control and weight loss for patients with type 2 diabetes.

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  • 1Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology, 6500 North Mopac, Austin, TX 78731, USA.


Type 2 diabetes mellitus and comorbidities related to overweight/obesity are risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In addition to insulin resistance and progressive beta-cell failure as key factors in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus, defects in the incretin system are now known to contribute as well. Lifestyle modifications including diet and exercise are often insufficient for reducing glucose and weight, and most patients with type 2 diabetes will require pharmacotherapy to treat their hyperglycemia. Goals of therapy should be to reduce blood glucose to as low as possible, for as long as possible, without weight gain and hypoglycemia, and correcting cardiovascular risk factors. Numerous antidiabetes medications lower blood glucose; however, many are associated with weight gain and do not address risk factors present for CVD. Newer pharmacotherapies include the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, and amylinomimetics. The GLP-1 receptor agonists and amylinomimetics reduce glucose while promoting weight loss and improving other cardiovascular risk factors with a low incidence of hypoglycemia. The DPP-4 inhibitors effectively lower glucose and are weight neutral.

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