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Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2007;3(5):665-71.

Optimizing combination treatment in the management of type 2 diabetes.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy.


Obtaining the suggested glycemic control is the most important achievement in order to prevent cardiovascular complications in patients with type 2 diabetes. Monotherapy often fails after a period of treatment, so that multiple drugs are needed to achieve effective glycemic control. A number of oral glucose lowering drugs is now available such as metformin, sulfonylureas, non-sulfonylureas secretagogues (metiglinides derivatives), alpha-glucosidases inhibitors, and the newest agent: thiazolidinediones (TZD). The possible associations of oral glucose lowering drugs for optimal treatment of type 2 diabetes are briefly reviewed. In particular, the effects of different classes of drugs on cardiovascular risk factors (and particular hypertension and dyslipidemia) and well recognized cardiovascular disease markers in type 2 diabetes are analyzed: in this context TZD appear the more innovative drugs and have been shown to play a key role in the management of hypertension, dyslipidemia, inflammation and endothelial disfunction in diabetic patients. The possible adverse effects derived from the association of different drug classes are also considered.

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