Incretin-based medications (GLP-1 receptor agonists, DPP-4 inhibitors) as a means to avoid hypoglycaemic episodes

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Abstract

Hypoglycaemia is common in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and has both acute and long-term consequences. Therefore, a key to proper glucose-lowering therapy in diabetes is to avoid or prevent hypoglycaemia. Incretin therapy (DPP-4 inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonists) offers an advantage in this respect, because it reduces glucose with a low risk of hypoglycaemia, both in monotherapy and in combination with other therapies. The reason for this low risk of hypoglycaemia is the glucose dependency of action of incretin therapy and the sustainment of glucose counter-regulatory hormone responses to hypoglycaemia, in particular the glucagon response. Incretin therapy is also associated with a low risk of hypoglycaemia in patient groups which are especially vulnerable and susceptible for hypoglycaemia, e.g., subjects with renal impairment, elderly subjects and subjects with on-going insulin therapy. This review summarizes how incretin therapy may meet the challenges of hypoglycaemia and suggests that incretin therapy is a therapy of choice to avoid hypoglycaemia, both in the general diabetes population and in subjects with increased risk or vulnerability for hypoglycaemia.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes

Keywords

  • DPP-4 inhibitors, GLP-1 receptor agonists, Hypoglycaemia, Incretin therapy, Type 2 diabetes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Volume99
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes