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Overview: Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes

The full newsletter "Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes," prescribing information and CME self-assessment are free for both AMA members and non-members.

Nearly 23 million Americans (or 8 percent of the population) have diabetes with the vast majority having type 2 diabetes.  While the treatment of type 2 diabetes has improved over the years (based on HbA1c levels), still roughly half of all diabetic patients nationwide have HBA1c levels above the recommended treatment target.  With 6 classes of oral agents and 3 classes of parenteral agents, knowledge of their risks and benefits is necessary in meeting treatment guidelines.  

In "Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes" physicians will:

  • Learn that nearly one third of patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes went over one year without treatment with metformin or any other drug or insulin treatment
  • Receive the latest overview of the 6 classes of oral hypoglycemics and 3 classes of subcutaneous agents (including insulins)
  • Review the advantages and disadvantages of all classes of diabetes agents
  • Learn what are the least commonly used agents and why
  • Find out what is the most prescribed fixed dose combination for type 2 diabetes
  • Receive an update on the controversy regarding the use of the TZD, rosiglitazone (Avandia)
  • Find out how many patients are on combination therapy
  • Receive an overview of the prescribing patterns for the new oral and subcutaneous agents
Sample from "Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes"
Treatment of type 2 diabetes chart

While dietary and lifestyle changes are the foundation of the management of type 2 diabetes, these changes are rarely sufficient to maintain adequate glycemic control over the long-term. Six classes of oral hypoglycemic agents and 3 classes of subcutaneously injected agents (including insulin) are currently available to supplement dietary and lifestyle modifications. These distinct pharmacological classes offer different mechanisms of action, so that therapeutic choices and combinations of these agents can be individualized to the needs of each patient.

Effective use of these agents as monotherapy or in combination requires an understanding of their risks and benefits. The full newsletter will briefly review the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes, the association of type 2 diabetes with cardiovascular risk factors, comorbidities, and diabetic complications, screening and diagnostic criteria for type 2 diabetes, and the recommended approach to choosing these pharmacological agents as adjunctive therapies to diet and lifestyle modifications.

View the full newsletter "Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes" and learn how to receive CME credit. Newsletters are available to all physicians, not just AMA members.