Saxagliptin: the evidence for its place in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus
Kristen Kulasa1, Steven Edelman2
1Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, VA San Diego Healthcare System, University of California, USA; 2Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of California, San Diego, California, USA
Introduction: The worldwide prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is high, and the chronically poor metabolic control that can result from T2DM is associated with a high risk for microvascular and macrovascular complications. Because of the progressive pathophysiology of T2DM, oral antidiabetic agents often fail to provide sustained glycemic control, indicating the need for new therapies. Saxagliptin (Onglyza™; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Princeton, NJ, USA; AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Wilmington, DE, USA) is an oral dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor, recently approved for the treatment of T2DM.
Evidence review: Saxagliptin significantly improves glycemic control vs placebo, as demonstrated by decreasing glycated hemoglobin, fasting plasma glucose, and postprandial plasma glucose levels when used as monotherapy; in initial combination with metformin; and as add-on therapy with metformin, sulfonylurea (SU), or thiazolidinedione (TZD). Saxagliptin also significantly improves β-cell function, is weight neutral, has a low risk for hypoglycemia, and has been shown to have cardiovascular safety.
Place in therapy: The clinical profile for saxagliptin indicates that it is useful as an adjunct to diet and exercise as first-line monotherapy and in combination with metformin; or as add-on treatment for patients who cannot achieve glycemic control with a combination of diet and lifestyle changes and metformin, SU, or TZD.
Keywords: dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor, GLP-1, HbA1c, incretin, saxagliptin
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