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Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors in the early treatment of type 2 diabetes

Authors Laar F

Published 5 December 2008 Volume 2008:4(6) Pages 1189—1195

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S3119

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4


Floris Alexander van de Laar

Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Department of General Practice, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Abstract: Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors (AGIs) are drugs that inhibit the absorption of carbohydrates from the gut and may be used in the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. There is currently no evidence that AGIs are beneficial to prevent or delay mortality or micro- or macrovascular complications in type 2 diabetes. Its beneficial effects on glycated hemoglobin are comparable to metformin or thiazolidinediones, and probably slightly inferior to sulphonylurea. In view of the total body of evidence metformin seems to be superior to AGIs. More long-term studies are needed to study the effects of AGIs compared to other drugs. For patient with impaired glucose tolerance AGIs may prevent, delay or mask the occurrence of type 2 diabetes. A possible beneficial effect on cardiovascular events should be confirmed in new studies.

Keywords: alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, type 2 diabetes mellitus, impaired glucose tolerance

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