Use of incretin-based medications: what do current international recommendations suggest with respect to GLP-1 receptor agonists and DPP-4 inhibitors?
In recent years guidelines for the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) have evolved substantially. Initially limited to a few glucose lowering agents, early guidelines predicated strict glycemic control as a main goal in the attempt to reduce the risk of long-term diabetic complications. Nowadays, guidelines are not limited to such a goal but include cardiovascular (and renal) protection. This rapid evolution was made possible by the introduction of new glucose lowering agents, which have been extensively tested in randomized clinical studies including large cardiovascular outcome trials (CVOTs). In this review we will specifically consider the use of incretin-based medications in T2DM as recommended in the recent ADA/EASD consensus, and other international guidelines, with special consideration of their glucose-lowering efficacy, their cardiovascular (and renal) benefit, their effect on body weight and risk of hypoglycemia, as well as the economic implications for their use.