Publication Date: 07 Jun 2011
Citation: Clinical Medicine Insights: Endocrinology and Diabetes 2011:4 29-37
As the prevalence of type 2 diabetes continues to rise, new drug therapies will need to be explored to prevent morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes as well as growing health care costs. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by decreased insulin secretion and sensitivity. Numerous oral medications are currently approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. A treat-to-failure approach has traditionally been adopted with step-wise additions of oral medications; however, a growing frequency of treatment failures with monotherapy has led to the use of combination therapies earlier in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. One such combination regimen is repaglinide (a prandial glucose optimizer that increases insulin release) plus metformin (an insulin sensitizer that inhibits hepatic glucose output and increases peripheral glucose uptake while minimizing weight gain). Findings from several clinical trials have shown repaglinide plus metformin combination therapy to be superior to either monotherapy with significant reductions in hemoglobin A1C and fasting glucose values. Repaglinide used in combination also has shown less incidence of hypoglycemia compared with other combination therapies such as sulphonylureas plus metformin. Repaglinide plus metformin combination therapy appears to be a valuable therapeutic option for type 2 diabetic patients seeking a less complex drug regimen while potentially achieving better glucose control if currently inadequately controlled on monotherapy.
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