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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The durability of oral diabetic medications: Time to A1c baseline and a review of common oral medications used by the primary care provider.

  • Author(s): Cherukuri, Lavanya
  • Smith, Michael S
  • Tayek, John A
  • et al.

Introduction:Cost of generic medications has risen more in the past few years than any other time in history. While medical insurance covers much of these costs, health care professionals can better provide medications that have the longest duration of action when compared to placebo-treated controls. This will save health care costs and improve prescribing accuracy. Methods:Papers in PubMed were identified with keywords placebo. The study must be at least 2 years in length to evaluate the change in A1c over time. The primary endpoint was time to A1c neutrality (return of A1c to baseline at a maximum dose of single oral agent). A medication would be considered at neutrality if the 95% CI crossed baseline. Time to neutrality was averaged for each medication within the class and each summarized for class effect. Results:Effective therapy for the DPP-4 and sulfonylurea classes of medications are 3-4 years as compared to a 5-year time to A1c neutrality for metformin usage. In comparison, the projected time to A1c neutrality was approximately 6-8 years for rosiglitazone and pioglitazone. While only a few studies have been published in the SGLT-2 class of medication, the time to A1c neutrality was also 6-8 years with Canagliflozin and full dosage of Empagliflozin. Conclusion:Metformin appears to have a 5-year duration of effect before the A1c returns to baseline. The sulfonylureas and DPP-4 inhibitors class of medications have one of the shortest durability which ranges between 3.3 to 4.4 years. In contrast, the SGLT-2 class of medication and the TZD class of medications has a projected time to A1c neutrality from 6-8 years. Diabetic duration of therapy as compared to placebo should be listed with those medications tested so the provider can choose wisely.

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