Therapy of type 2 diabetes aims at reducing the chronically increased glucose level in the blood as well as improving the existing insulin resistance. Oral antidiabetic drugs that have been currently available so far are problematic and not satisfactory in every respect. Blood glucose levels can be decreased in patients with manifested type 2 diabetes by administration of sulfonyl-urea/metformin or insulin. However, such treatment is associated with a high risk of hypoglycaemia. In addition, sulfonylureas are associated with an increased risk of mortality, in particular when combined with metformin. DPP-4 inhibitors have a low risk of hypoglycaemia, but merely lead to a slight improvement of the HbA1c-value compared to metformin. Further, there is no long-term evidence as to tolerability and mortality. Most long-term experiences are available for metformin. It is particularly effective in overweight diabetics and reduces diabetes complications and mortality by about 30%. However, monotherapy is typically effective only in the beginning of the treatment.
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