Sitagliptin and vildagliptin represent a new class of anti-diabetic agents that enhance the action of incretin hormones through inhibition of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4), the enzyme that normally inactivates incretin hormones. Because of their distinct mechanism of action, DPP-4 inhibitors can be used as add-on therapy to other classes of drugs for treatment of type 2 diabetes. The objective of this review is to critically evaluate clinical trials of sitagliptin and vildagliptin in combination with pioglitazone. The addition of either sitagliptin or vildagliptin to ongoing pioglitazone therapy is associated with reduction in average hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels of approximately 0.7% compared with placebo and 1% compared with baseline after 24 weeks. When started concomitantly in drug-naïve patients, the combination of pioglitazone 30 mg and vildagliptin 100 mg qd reduces HbA1c by 1.9% after 24 weeks, compared with 1.1% with pioglitazone monotherapy. In general, the addition of DPP-4 inhibitors to pioglitazone was well tolerated, did not increase the incidence of hypoglycemia, and did not substantially worsen the weight-gain induced by pioglitazone. The combination of sitagliptpin or vildagliptin with pioglitazone can be a useful therapeutic approach in patients with type 2 diabetes who cannot tolerate metformin or a sulfonylurea
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