Description: The American College of Physicians (ACP) developed this guideline to present the evidence and provide clinical recommendations on oral pharmacologic treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults. This guideline serves as an update to the 2012 ACP guideline on the same topic. This guideline is endorsed by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Methods: This guideline is based on a systematic review of randomized, controlled trials and observational studies published through December 2015 on the comparative effectiveness of oral medications for type 2 diabetes. Evaluated interventions included metformin, thiazolidinediones, sulfonylureas, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors. Study quality was assessed, data were extracted, and results were summarized qualitatively on the basis of the totality of evidence identified by using several databases. Evaluated outcomes included intermediate outcomes of hemoglobin A1c, weight, systolic blood pressure, and heart rate; all-cause mortality; cardiovascular and cerebrovascular morbidity and mortality; retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy; and harms. This guideline grades the recommendations by using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) system.
Target audience and patient population: The target audience for this guideline includes all clinicians, and the target patient population includes adults with type 2 diabetes.
Recommendation 1: ACP recommends that clinicians prescribe metformin to patients with type 2 diabetes when pharmacologic therapy is needed to improve glycemic control. (Grade: strong recommendation; moderate-quality evidence).
Recommendation 2: ACP recommends that clinicians consider adding either a sulfonylurea, a thiazolidinedione, an SGLT-2 inhibitor, or a DPP-4 inhibitor to metformin to improve glycemic control when a second oral therapy is considered. (Grade: weak recommendation; moderate-quality evidence.) ACP recommends that clinicians and patients select among medications after discussing benefits, adverse effects, and costs.