Saxagliptin for type 2 diabetes
Antonio R Chacra, MD
Diabetes Center, Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil
Abstract: Saxagliptin (Onglyza™) is a potent, selective, once-daily dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor indicated for improving glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). By blocking DPP-4, saxagliptin increases and prolongs the effects of incretins, a group of peptide hormones released by intestinal cells after meals, which stimulate glucose-dependent insulin secretion to lower blood glucose. In controlled clinical trials, saxagliptin administered as monotherapy or in combination with metformin, glyburide, or a thiazolidinedione improved glycemic control in a clinically significant manner, reflected by significant decreases in glycated hemoglobin (monotherapy, -0.5%; add-on to metformin, thiazolidinedione, or sulfonylurea, -0.6% to 0.9%; initial combination with metformin, -2.5%), fasting plasma glucose, and postprandial glucose compared with controls. Additionally, saxagliptin improved β-cell function, reflected as increases in homeostasis model assessment (HOMA)-2β. Saxagliptin was generally well tolerated; it did not increase hypoglycemia compared with controls, and was weight neutral. A meta-analysis of Phase II and III trials showed that saxagliptin did not increase the risk of major cardiovascular events. Professional organizations have updated their guidelines for T2D to include a DPP-4 inhibitor as an early treatment option—either as initial therapy in combination with metformin, or as add-on therapy for patients whose glycemia is inadequately controlled by a single oral antidiabetic drug.
Keywords: saxagliptin, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor, type 2 diabetes
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