Antidiabetic agents in patients with chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease on dialysis: metabolism and clinical practice

Curr Drug Metab. 2011 Jan;12(1):57-69. doi: 10.2174/138920011794520053.


Numerous drugs with different mechanisms of action and different pharmacologic profiles are being used with the aim of improving glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Therapeutic options for patients with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD) are limited because a reduced glomerular filtration rate results in the accumulation of certain drugs and/or their metabolites. Conventional oral hypoglycemic agents, such as sulfonylurea (SU), are not suitable due to the risk of prolonged hypoglycemia; furthermore, metformin is contraindicated for moderate to advanced CKD. Therefore, in order to achieve good glycemic control, insulin injection therapy remains the mainstay of treatment in diabetic patients with moderate to advanced CKD, particularly in those receiving dialysis therapy. However, some agents have been used even in patients with CKD. Repaglinide and mitiglinide are rapid- and short-acting insulinotropic SU receptor ligands. They are rarely accompanied by hypoglycemia, and are attractive therapeutic options even in the dialysis population. In addition, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors are rarely accompanied by hypoglycemia and are administered without dose adjustments in dialysis patients. However, the National Kidney Foundation Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative guidelines recommended that alpha-glucosidase inhibitors should be avoided in patients with advanced stage CKD and on dialysis. Furthermore, mitiglinide is not currently used in the US. Thus, recommended oral antidiabetic agents differ between countries. Moreover, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors and incretin mimetics are new antihyperglycemic agents, which may be used more frequently in the future in patients with type 2 diabetes and CKD. Here, we describe the pharmacokinetics, metabolism, clinical efficacy, and safety of oral Antidiabetic agents for patients with CKD, including those receiving dialysis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Availability
  • Biological Transport
  • Biotransformation
  • Contraindications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / prevention & control
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / metabolism
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / metabolism
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy*


  • Hypoglycemic Agents