Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus With Noninsulin Pharmacotherapy

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Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that is increasing in global prevalence. An individualized approach to pharmacotherapy should consider costs, benefits beyond glucose control, and adverse events. Metformin is the first-line therapy due to its low cost and effectiveness. Sulfonylureas and thiazolidinediones are additional low-cost oral hypoglycemic classes available in the United States; however, evidence shows variability in weight gain and hypoglycemia. Thiazolidinediones increase fluid retention and are not recommended in patients with New York Heart Association class III or IV heart failure. Newer medications, including glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors, have demonstrated weight loss, reduced cardiovascular events, decreased renal disease, and improved all-cause morbidity and mortality. Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors are recommended for people with known cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and chronic kidney disease but carry an increased risk of urinary tract and mycotic infections. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists are contraindicated in patients with active multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 or a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma; adverse effects include gastrointestinal upset and pancreatitis. Dipeptidyl-peptidase-4 inhibitors have a low risk of hypoglycemia but may increase the risk of pancreatitis and require a renal dose adjustment. Public and private programs to increase access to newer hypoglycemic medications are increasing; however, there are limitations to access, particularly for uninsured and underinsured people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-342
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican family physician
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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