Reaching HbA1c goals with saxagliptin in combination with other oral antidiabetic drugs

James R LaSalle
Postgraduate Medicine 2010, 122 (1): 144-52
A large percentage of individuals with type 2 diabetes in the United States are not reaching their glycemic goals. In response to data from large outcomes trials and newer classes of therapeutic agents, various organizations and opinion-forming bodies recently updated their clinical practice recommendations for type 2 diabetes. The recommendations, as set by the American Diabetes Association (ADA)/European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists/American College of Endocrinology, and the Canadian Diabetes Association, are similar in their emphasis on lifestyle modification and the importance of treating fasting and postprandial glucose, both of which are significant contributors to achieving glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) targets. However, the recommendations differ in focus, depth, and specific treatment approaches. With the exception of the ADA/EASD consensus, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors have been included as alternative first- or second-line therapy due, in part, to their glucose-dependent mechanism of action that complements the actions of other oral antidiabetic drugs (OADs). The DPP-4 inhibitor, saxagliptin, demonstrates significant glycemia-lowering effects as monotherapy and in combination therapy, is weight neutral and well tolerated, and has a low risk of hypoglycemia. The added efficacy of saxagliptin in combination with other OADs in improving glycemic parameters has resulted in a significant proportion of patients achieving an HbA1c <7% versus monotherapy or active comparator. Combination therapy with saxagliptin can thus offer a potential advantage in achieving glycemic goals for the majority of patients with type 2 diabetes without additional tolerability concerns.

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