Indexed on: 31 Jan '12Published on: 31 Jan '12Published in: European Journal of Internal Medicine
Incretin-based therapies, which include the GLP-1 receptor agonists and DPP-4 inhibitors, use the antidiabetic properties of potentiating the GLP-1 receptor signalling via the regulation of insulin and glucagon secretion, inhibition of gastric emptying and suppression of appetite. Most physicians will start antidiabetic treatment with metformin, but adding a GLP-1 receptor agonist as the second drug seems to be optimal since more patients will reach an HbA1c below 7% than with a DPP-4 inhibitor or another oral antidiabetic agents and with minimal risk of hypoglycaemia. The GLP-1 receptor agonists are also more effective in weight and systolic blood pressure control than DPP-4 inhibitors. The side effects of the GLP-1 receptor agonists are primarily nausea and vomiting, which is less pronounced with the long acting agonists and often transient. A GLP-1 receptor agonist can be recommended before a DPP-4 inhibitor in obese type 2 diabetic patients, who want to lose weight. Furthermore, the GLP-1 receptor agonists cover the whole spectrum of treatment from time of diagnosis with lifestyle treatment to combination treatment with basal insulin.