DPP-4 Inhibitors: What You Need to Know

DPP-4 Inhibitors: What You Need to Know

Lowering those blood sugar levels in people who suffer from type 2 diabetes can be a difficult process. In fact, it’s estimated that diabetes patients usually need to spend thousands of dollars per year on the usual treatment for the disease.

DPP-4 Inhibitors are among the medications that type 2 diabetes patients can use in order to treat their disease. In fact, DPP-4 Inhibitors refer to a type of medication, and we’re here to learn the basics about them.

Who can take DPP-4 inhibitors?

Those suffering from type 2 diabetes can take DPP-4 inhibitors. Some examples of medicines included in the DPP-4 inhibitor class are sitagliptin, linagliptin, alogliptin, and saxagliptin. Those who experience low glucose levels usually won’t receive DPP-4 inhibitors as the first drugs prescribed.

Therapy involving metformin could also include DPP-4 inhibitors in the case of some type 2 diabetes patients.

How can DPP-4 inhibitors help the patient?

Taking DPP-4 inhibitors will reduce the patient’s risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). The effect can be even better if the meds are taken independently rather than in combination with insulin, for instance. Other meds don’t offer this important advantage.

Researchers claim that DPP-4 inhibitors don’t have any effect on the patient’s weight. In other words, there’s no use worrying that you’ll gain extra weight if you’re on DPP-4 inhibitors.

DPP-4 can simply be taken orally, while other treatments for type 2 diabetes need to be administered through injections. In other words, it’s a lot more comfortable for the patient to simply swallow a pill than to bear the pain of an injection.

How do DPP-4 Inhibitors work?

DPP-4 inhibitors work by targeting the action of the enzyme known as DPP-4, which will naturally break down the hormone GLP-1. This hormone is highly important when it comes to stimulating insulin production from the pancreas after the patient eats a meal. In this way, the blood sugar levels will be reduced. The levels of GLP-1 rise due to the inhibition of DPP-4, leading to an increase in insulin production and decreased glucose levels in the patient’s body.

DPP-4 inhibitors also prolong the presence of GLP-1 in the patient’s bloodstream. The inhibitors prevent its breakdown and allow the hormone to remain active for a longer period of time. Therefore, insulin secretion will be stimulated, and the production of glucagon will be reduced. For those unaware, glucagon is a hormone responsible for raising blood sugar levels when the glucose levels are high. The outcome is represented by the human body experiencing lower glucose levels, helping with the management of blood sugar levels.



Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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