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Incretin Safe, Effective Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes

Incretin mimetics or enhancers comparable to other hypoglycemic agents

TUESDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Incretin therapy is an effective alternative to current hypoglycemic agents for treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a meta-analysis published in the July 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Anastassios Pittas, M.D., from Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues reviewed MEDLINE and clinical trial databases to identify randomized controlled trials testing the efficacy and safety of incretin mimetics or enhancers in treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes.

After combining data from 29 studies that met inclusion criteria, the investigators found that incretins lowered hemoglobin A1C by up to 0.97 percent compared to placebo and were non-inferior to other hypoglycemic agents. Glucagon-like peptide 1 analogues were associated with greater weight loss compared to placebo or insulin. Adverse events included gastrointestinal side effects, infection and headache.

"Incretin therapy offers an alternative option to currently available hypoglycemic agents for non-pregnant adults with type 2 diabetes, with modest efficacy and a favorable weight-change profile," the authors write. "Careful postmarketing surveillance for adverse effects, especially among the DPP4 inhibitors, and continued evaluation in longer-term studies and in clinical practice are required to determine the role of this new class among current pharmacotherapies for type 2 diabetes."

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