Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 Inhibitors in Diverse Patient Populations With Type 2 Diabetes

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The purpose of this review is to discuss the clinical evidence for dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors and to better define their use in treating type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), including in special populations, such as the elderly. DPP-4 inhibitors are incretin-based therapies that can be used as monotherapy or in combination with other antidiabetes medications to treat T2DM. As monotherapy, DPP-4 inhibitors have demonstrated a modest and comparable glycated hemoglobinlowering effect. As initial dual therapy with other antidiabetes agents, DPP-4 inhibitors significantly improved glycated hemoglobin when compared with monotherapy arms. Similarly, in triple combinations, DPP-4 inhibitors consistently provided additive glycemic benefits. In patients who were continuing insulin, glycemic parameters were improved with the addition of a DPP-4 inhibitor, and they required less insulin uptitration. In clinical trials, the overall occurrence of adverse events was similar between DPP-4 inhibitor groups and controls, and a low occurrence of hypoglycemia was observed, except when used in combination with a sulfonylurea. A neutral effect on weight was maintained, even in combination with insulin. Similar to outcomes observed in younger patients, DPP-4 inhibitors significantly improved glycemic efficacy in older patients, without increasing the risk for hypoglycemia. Efficacy and safety in patients with renal insufficiency are also documented.


DPP-4 inhibitors are therapeutically beneficial for a diverse population of patients with T2DM, including elderly patients, based on demonstrated efficacy, tolerability, and a low risk for hypoglycemia.

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