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Pioglitazone and alogliptin combination therapy in type 2 diabetes: a pathophysiologically sound treatment

Authors Triplitt C, Cersosimo E, DeFronzo R

Published 5 August 2010 Volume 2010:6 Pages 671—690

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S4852

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4


Curtis Triplitt, Eugenio Cersosimo, Ralph A DeFronzo

Diabetes Division, Department of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and the Texas Diabetes Institute, San Antonio, Texas, USA

Abstract: Insulin resistance and islet (beta and alpha) cell dysfunction are major pathophysiologic abnormalities in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Pioglitazone is a potent insulin sensitizer, improves pancreatic beta cell function and has been shown in several outcome trials to lower the risk of atherosclerotic and cardiovascular events. Glucagon-like peptide-1 deficiency/resistance contributes to islet cell dysfunction by impairing insulin secretion and increasing glucagon secretion. Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors improve pancreatic islet function by augmenting glucose-dependent insulin secretion and decreasing elevated plasma glucagon levels. Alogliptin is a new DPP-4 inhibitor that reduces glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), is weight neutral, has an excellent safety profile, and can be used in combination with oral agents and insulin. Alogliptin has a low risk of hypoglycemia, and serious adverse events are uncommon. An alogliptin–pioglitazone combination is advantageous because it addresses both insulin resistance and islet dysfunction in T2DM. HbA1c reductions are significantly greater than with either monotherapy. This once-daily oral combination medication does not increase the risk of hypoglycemia, and tolerability and discontinuation rates do not differ significantly from either monotherapy. Importantly, measures of beta cell function and health are improved beyond that observed with either monotherapy, potentially improving durability of HbA1c reduction. The alogliptin–pioglitazone combination represents a pathophysiologically sound treatment of T2DM.

Keywords: diabetes, pioglitazone, incretins, DPP-4 inhibitors, alogliptin

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