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Diabetes Obes Metab. 2010 Jan;12(1):1-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2009.01095.x. Epub 2009 Sep 24.

Future perspectives for insulinotropic agents in the treatment of type 2 diabetes-DPP-4 inhibitors and sulphonylureas.

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Department of Internal Medicine IV, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.


The introduction of dipeptidyl-peptidase IV inhibitors (DPP-4 inhibitors) brought a novel class of insulinotropic agents into the treatment options for type 2 diabetes. This paper compares the actions, clinical efficacy and safety of sulphonylureas with those of the DPP-4 inhibitors. First, the mode of action of both classes of antidiabetic agents is described. Then clinical studies for both substances in monotherapy and combination therapies are compared concerning their effects on glycaemic parameters and long-term duration of action. Hypoglycaemia incidence and other adverse effects are compared and data on cardiovascular parameters and endpoints are summarized. The effects of sulphonylureas and DPP-4 inhibitors on beta-cell function and beta-cell mass are highlighted. The present and future indications for both sulphonylureas and DPP-4 inhibitors are discussed.

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