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Presse Med. 2013 May;42(5):861-70. doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2013.04.002. Epub 2013 May 2.

[Management of type 2 diabetes: new or previous agents, how to choose?].

[Article in French]

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CHU de Grenoble, pôle digestif-DUNE, service de diabétologie endocrinologie nutrition, 38043 Grenoble cedex, France.


Once lifestyle measures implemented, if hyperglycemia persists, above individual HbA1c targets, a medication should be started in type 2 diabetic patients (T2DM). First, unless exception, an oral antidiabetic drug. Except in case of intolerance, the initial monotherapy, metformin remains the strengthening treatment. Latter, combination of two oral drugs, now offers several options, mainly the choice to associate a "conventional insulin-secretor", sulfonylureas, glinide, or a "new one" belonging the class of "incretin", more readily a gliptine (DPP-4 inhibitors) rather than injectable GLP-1 analogue which can also be sometimes chosen at this stage. These options are mostly new and have the advantage a neutral or favourable (for GLP-1) effect on body weight in obese type 2 DM patient and the absence of any hypoglycaemic risk in both classes of incretins. But this risk varies depending on the patient profile, much higher if the target HbA1c is low (6 to 6.5 or 7%), or in the elderly, fragile and/or in case of renal insufficiency. These two different situations with a high risk of hypoglycaemia, define best indications of this new class. If dual oral therapy does not achieve the goals we are faced with three options: triple oral therapy: metformin-sulfonylurea-gliptine or one of two approaches with injections, insulin or GLP-1 analogues. The use of GLP-1 analogues is often delayed today and put wrongly in balance with the transition to insulin, a use already delayed in France and insufficient. The use of incretins is new and needs to be validated by studies of sustainability on glycemic control, prevention of microvascular and macrovascular complications and after years on the market security of use, primarily on the exocrine pancreas. In short, individualization of strategies and HbA1c targets are required, the new molecules can help us in this process. This individualization can easily be done through the handy guide proposed by the experts ADA EASD statement, endorsed by the SFD, abandoning the complex algorithm recently again proposed by HAS and ANSM in 2013. A recommendation that prioritizes the costs of the strategies. An absolutely critical issue, while admitting not to have the tools to measure them in all their dimensions. Finally, we must reconsider every treatment after a maximum of 6 months of use, if the results are deemed inadequate substitute rather than adding drugs.

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