Review of approved pioglitazone combinations for type 2 diabetes.

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First published in Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy on 2011 Jul.
Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2011 Jul;12(10):1571-84. doi: 10.1517/14656566.2011.567266.

Authors: Forst T, Hanefeld M, Pfützner A

Abstract

Introduction

Pioglitazone is approved in combination with several other blood-glucose-lowering drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Beyond lowering blood glucose levels, each combination of different blood-glucose-lowering drugs for the treatment of T2DM evolves specific pleiotropic effects, which might be considered on an individual basis in a certain patient.

Areas covered

The objective of this article is to provide a short review of the pathophysiology of T2DM and to provide a rationale for the combination of pioglitazone with other antidiabetic drugs, based on a pathophysiological understanding of T2DM. Therefore, a PubMed search was undertaken covering the search terms ‚pioglitazone‘, ‚antidiabetic drugs‘ and ‚combination therapy‘.

Expert opinion

Treatment with pioglitazone in T2DM was shown to improve insulin resistance and blood glucose levels without increasing the risk of hypoglycemia. Beyond those metabolic activities, pioglitazone was shown to evolve anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic effects. It seems useful to combine different antidiabetic drugs based on the specific needs and contraindications in an individual patient. The treating of T2DM patients by addressing not only glucose control, but also the underlying pathophysiological etiology might help to improve patient prognosis in the long run, especially with regard to the vascular complications.

 

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