Indexed on: 24 Oct '13Published on: 24 Oct '13Published in: Expert review of clinical pharmacology
Despite availability of new treatments for patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), optimal management of glycemic control remains challenging. Treatment with basal insulin can improve HbA1c, but may not be sufficient to control postprandial plasma glucose (PPG) levels. Both fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and PPG levels contribute to overall glycemic control. In patients with moderate hyperglycemia, PPG excursions have a greater contribution to overall hyperglycemia, with this contribution being greatest when HbA1c is approximately 7-8%  . Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) have been designed to restore and maintain GLP-1 levels and attenuate PPG excursions. GLP-1RAs that predominantly affect PPG may complement the FPG lowering provided by basal insulin, possibly improving overall glycemic control without additional weight gain and with limited incidence of hypoglycemia. Lixisenatide as an add-on to basal insulin lowers PPG levels, improves HbA1c control and has a beneficial effect on weight in T2DM patients.