Recent therapeutic advances have seen the emergence of several oral agents for type 2 diabetes, providing an opportunity for better management of the disease. Older adults may pose a special challenge because of altered drug kinetics, the presence of other medical conditions, an increased propensity to adverse reactions, and a lack of evidence-based information for clinical decision making. Consideration should be given to treatment satisfaction, side effects, and the overall risk-benefit ratio of oral medications. It is important for providers to become familiar with the medication profiles and follow a rational initiation and titration regimen tailored to the individual patient.
Key words: diabetes, older adults, hyperglycemia, oral medications, combination therapy.
Diabetes is a very common condition, especially among older adults. There are numerous benefits associated with improved glycemic control. However, achieving glycemic targets can be challenging, particularly for older adults with comorbidities. In recent years more oral antihyperglycemic agents have become available to better manage diabetes, and there are many pharmacological therapies currently in development. In order to select the most appropriate agent to use as monotherapy or in combination for an individual patient, it is important to be familiar with the mechanism, efficacy, safety, and cost of the various antihyperglycemic agents.
Key words: diabetes, older adults, oral antihyperglycemic agents, monotherapy, combination therapy.
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