Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, a new class of oral hypoglycemic agents, augment glucose-dependent insulin secretion and suppress glucagon levels through enhancement of the action of endogenous incretin by inhibiting DPP-4, an incretin-degrading enzyme. DPP-4 inhibitors are generally well tolerated because of their low risk of hypoglycemia and other adverse events. Moreover, with their potential to improve beta cell function, a core defect of type 2 diabetes, DPP-4 inhibitors are becoming a major component of treatment of type 2 diabetes. Alogliptin benzoate is a newly developed, highly selective DPP-4 inhibitor which has been approved in many countries throughout the world. Once-daily administration of alogliptin as either monotherapy or combination therapy with other oral antidiabetic drugs or insulin has a potent glucose-lowering effect which is similar to that of other DPP-4 inhibitors, with a low risk of hypoglycemia and weight gain. The cardiovascular safety of this drug has been confirmed in a recent randomized controlled trial. This review summarizes the efficacy and safety of alogliptin, and discusses the role of DPP-4 inhibitors in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
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