Glucose-lowering medicines for type 2 diabetes
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Background: There is an increasing array of medicines available to improve blood glucose control in type 2 diabetes. Finding the best com-bination for an individual patient requires an assessment of the patient’s characteristics and understanding the mechanism of action for each drug. Objective/s: The aim of this article is to provide a rational approach for choosing between the various blood glucose-lowering medicines available for treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Discussion: Metformin is the first choice of glucose-lowering medicines for most patients with type 2 diabetes. Sulphonylureas have proven benefits in long-term trials. Insulin is required in patients with symptoms of insulin deficiency. Glucagon-like peptide 1 agonists and sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors provide some assistance in weight loss as well as improving blood glucose con-trol. Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors provide an alternative to metformin and sulphonylureas, especially when side effects of those drugs limit their use. Re-assessing blood glucose control after an appropriate trial period before deciding on continuing use is appropriate.
Australian Family Physician
© 2015 Australian Family Physician. Reproduced with permission. Permission to reproduce must be sought from the publisher, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.
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