Several pharmacotherapies have recently become available for addition to lifestyle measures to assist the management of coexistent type 2 diabetes and obesity. These are mostly administered as add-on to metformin or as alternative therapies if metformin is not appropriate. The sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (dapagliflozin, canagliflozin and empagliflozin) act by eliminating excess glucose in the urine. These agents provide a non-insulin-dependent mechanism to reduce hyperglycaemia and facilitate weight loss without causing frank hypoglycaemia. Their efficacy requires the individual to have adequate renal function. The glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists (exenatide, liraglutide, lixisenatide, dulaglutide and albiglutide [the last at the pre-launch stage at the time of writing]) are injected subcutaneously. Different members of the class offer different time courses for their onset and duration of action. Each potentiates insulin secretion and reduces glucagon secretion in a glucose-dependent manner to address prandial glycaemic excursions while avoiding interprandial hypoglycaemia. A satiety effect of these agents assists weight reduction, but delayed gastric emptying can cause initial nausea. The dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor class now comprises sitagliptin, vildagliptin, saxagliptin, linagliptin and alogliptin. These agents offer similar glucose-lowering efficacy without weight gain or hypoglycaemia by boosting the half-life of endogenous incretins, particularly GLP-1. A fixed-ratio injected combination of insulin degludec with liraglutide (IDegLira) has recently been launched and further agents to address hyperglycaemia and assist weight loss are advancing in development.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Diabesity in practice|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|