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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 32-42

Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors or sodium glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors as an add-on to insulin therapy: A comparative review

1 Department of Endocrinology, G.D Hospital and Diabetes Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, G.D Hospital and Diabetes Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Awadhesh Kumar Singh
G. D. Hospital and Diabetes Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.172278

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The gradual decline in β-cell function is inevitable in type 2 diabetes mellitus and therefore, substantial proportions of patients require insulin subsequently, in order to achieve optimal glucose control. While weight gain, hypoglycemia, and fluid retention especially during dose intensification is a known limitation to insulin therapy, these adverse effects also reduce patient satisfaction and treatment adherence. It is also possible that the benefits of intensive control achieved by insulin therapy, perhaps get nullified by the weight gain and hypoglycemia. In addition, improvement in plasma glucose or glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) itself is associated with weight gain. Notably, studies have already suggested that reduction in body weight by ~3–5%, may allow a significantly better glycemic control. Thus, a class of drugs, which can reduce HbA1c effectively, yet are weight neutral or preferably reduce body weight, could be the most sought out strategy as an add-on therapy to insulin. While sulfonylureas (SUs) are associated with weight gain and hypoglycemia, pioglitazone increases body weigh and fluid retention. Moreover, SUs are not recommended once premix or prandial insulin is commenced. The addition of newer agents, such as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist to insulin certainly appears to be an effective tool in reducing both HbA1c and body weight as is evident across the studies; however, this approach incurs an additional injection as well as cost. Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP-4I) and sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT-2I) are other exciting options, as an add-on to insulin therapy primarily because these are oral drugs and do not possess any intrinsic potential of hypoglycemia. Furthermore, these are either weight neutral or induce significant weight loss. This review article aims to comparatively analyze the safety and efficacy of DPP-4I and SGLT-2I, as an add-on therapy to insulin.

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