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DPP-4 Inhibitors

DPP-4 Inhibitors

DPP-4 inhibitors are a type of medication that people with type 2 diabetes can use to lower blood sugar levels.  

How DPP-4 inhibitors work

DPP-4 is an enzyme (a natural chemical) that breaks down hormone GLP-1. GLP-1 helps the body lower blood sugar levels by causing the pancreas to produce insulin after a meal. So, more GLP-1 means more insulin production and lower glucose levels. One way to increase levels of GLP-1 is by reducing levels of DPP-4. DPP-4 inhibitors lead to more GLP-1 that lasts longer in the bloodstream; this stimulates insulin production and decreases production of glucagon when glucose levels are high, lowering the body’s glucose levels.

List of DPP-4 inhibitor medications

Commonly used medications in the DPP-4 inhibitor drug class include:

  • Januvia (sitagliptin)

  • Onglyza (saxagliptin)

  • Tradjenta (linagliptin)

  • Nesina (alogliptin)

  • Galvus (vildagliptin) – not approved in US

Frequently Asked Questions About DPP-4 Inhibitors