Practical combination therapy based on pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes

Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2016 Oct 31:9:355-369. doi: 10.2147/DMSO.S109216. eCollection 2016.


Type 2 diabetes is a complex, chronic, and progressive condition that often necessitates the use of multiple medications to achieve glycemic goals. Clinical guidelines generally recommend intensifying pharmacotherapy if glycemic goals are not achieved after 3 months of treatment. However, for many patients with type 2 diabetes, treatment intensification is delayed or does not occur. Initiating combination therapy early in the disease course has the potential to delay disease progression and improve patient outcomes. Guidelines generally provide a list of agents that may be used in combination regimens and emphasize individualization of treatment. The purpose of this review is to discuss the rationale for combination therapy, considering treatment effects on pathophysiologic aspects of type 2 diabetes and individual drug profiles. The combination of newer antidiabetes therapies with complementary mechanisms of action provides the opportunity to target multiple sites of tissue, organ, and cellular dysfunction.

Keywords: combination therapy; insulin; oral antidiabetes drugs; type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review