Gliptins are a new group of medicines developed for type 2 diabetes. Studies have proven that gliptins are effective at lowering glucose levels in the blood. However, there are no conclusive studies showing whether the long-term use of gliptins has an effect on other complications associated with diabetes such as stroke and heart disease. Because of the progressive nature of diabetes, one type of medicine is not effective enough to control blood sugar over a long period. Hence, gliptins need to be taken with other medication such as glitazone and metformin because they were not designed to be taken on their own. They are dual combination therapy drugs. Gliptins work by reducing the amount of glucose released by the liver while increasing the amount of insulin in the blood. Gliptins are ideal for patients whose blood sugar is not being effectively controlled by other forms of medication for type 2 diabetes such as glitazone, metformin and sulfonylurea, especially when used alone. It is also recommended for patients who cannot take metformin or sulfonylurea because of their side effects, or because they are on a different type of medication that reacts with them. Additionally, it is effective for patients whose condition is not responding to one particular type of medicine. Only patients with type 2 diabetes should use these drugs.
Below you will find a list of drugs that fall under the class of gliptins:
Taking the recommended doses of gliptins will lower blood glucose levels.
This drug is ideal for patients who prefer oral medication and cannot take metformin and sulfonylurea. It serves as a substitute.
When paired with metformin, this drug does not seem to induce any weight gain in patients who take it, unlike other diabetes medication that often causes weight gain. Because of this, many type 2 diabetic patients have successfully used it to lose as well as control their weight.
All the different types of gliptins available on the market are equally effective in controlling blood sugar levels.
Gliptins Side Effects
Patients who take Gliptins may often experience:
- flu-like symptoms such as runny nose, fever, headaches, and a sore throat
- painful swelling and itchy rashes
- abdominal pains
Recent studies have shown that there may be a link between gliptins and increasing cases of pancreatitis.
Patients may also experience infections in their urinary tract as well as the upper respiratory tract. These often come about as a result of a weakened immunity system.
One type of gliptin, saxagliptin, reportedly increases the chances of bone fractures in patients.
Because gliptins are relatively new drugs, there is no extensive research available on the interactions it may have with other medication. It is important for the patient to seek medical advice from a doctor before he/she takes the drugs.
The risk of hypoglycemia is reduced when gliptins are taken in combination with metformin.
Patients suffering from hepatic impairment should avoid taking vildagliptin. Furthermore, sitagliptin should be used with extreme caution in patients with hepatic impairment.