Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Physician Assistant Program
Type 2 Diabetes has become an epidemic in the United States; a disease that according to the
CDC, in 2013, was the 7th leading cause of death among Americans. Even though there are various
treatments available, it is not very clear when these agents are appropriate for individuals. Some agents
have unfavorable side effects and can cause hypoglycemia. Newer agents, incretin based therapies, offer
an alternative to controlling hyperglycemia. These agents not only help lower Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C)
values, but they also have the added benefits of weight loss, blood pressure control, and very low risks of
hypoglycemia. There are two classes of incretin based therapies, GLP-1 Agonists and DPP-4 Inhibitors.
Though these treatments have been on the market for several years, the use and knowledge of these drugs
is still not prevalent. This review will discuss the role of incretins in diabetes treatment, the unique
benefits these agents offer, their therapeutic efficacy, safety, side effects and reasons why these agents are
not being utilized.