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OBJECTIVE: This article reviews evidence supporting sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor combination therapy for management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

METHODS: We conducted a nonsystematic review of the literature focusing on single-pill or fixed-dose combinations of SGLT2 inhibitors and DPP-4 inhibitors available in the United States.

RESULTS: SGLT2 inhibitors and DPP-4 inhibitors have complementary mechanisms of action that address several of the underlying pathophysiologic abnormalities present in T2DM without overlapping toxicities. The combination of these 2 agents has several advantages including a low risk of hypoglycemia, the potential for weight loss, the ability to coformulate into a pill with once-daily administration, and the possibility to use with other classes of glucose-lowering agents. Cardiovascular outcomes trials reported to date support the safety of the DPP-4 class and suggest possible cardioprotective effects for SGLT2 inhibitors - at least based on the first reported study that used empagliflozin. Recent clinical evidence shows that SGLT2 inhibitor/DPP-4 inhibitor therapy is an effective combination for T2DM treatment, providing glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) reductions of 1.1 to 1.5%, and weight reductions of approximately 2 kg when added to metformin, which is its primary place in therapy.

CONCLUSION: The combination of an SGLT2 inhibitor/DPP-4 inhibitor is a safe and effective treatment choice for patients with T2DM who are unable to obtain adequate glycemic control with metformin therapy, cannot use metformin, or have a higher baseline HbA1c.

ABBREVIATIONS: BP = blood pressure; CI = confidence interval; CVOT = cardiovascular outcomes; DKA = diabetic ketoacidosis; DPP-4 = dipeptidyl peptidase-4; EXAMINE = EXamination of cArdiovascular outcoMes with alogliptiN versus standard of carE in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and acute coronary syndrome; FDA = Food and Drug Administration; HbA1c = glycated hemoglobin; HR = hazard ratio; MACE = major adverse cardiovascular events; SAVOR-TIMI 53 = Saxagliptin Assessment of Vascular Outcomes Recorded in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus; SBP = systolic blood pressure; SGLT2 = sodium glucose cotransporter 2; TECOS = Trial to Evaluate Cardiovascular Outcomes after Treatment with Sitagliptin; T2DM = type 2 diabetes mellitus; XR = extended release.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-840
Number of pages10
JournalEndocrine practice : official journal of the American College of Endocrinology and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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