Endocrine System Home > What Is Alogliptin Used For?

Alogliptin is prescribed to lower blood sugar levels in adults who have type 2 diabetes. As a DPP-4 inhibitor, alogliptin works by increasing the amount of insulin produced in response to meals and decreasing the amount of sugar made by the liver. Using alogliptin to control blood sugar can help avoid long-term complications related to diabetes, such as heart disease, eye problems, and kidney disease.

An Overview of Uses for Alogliptin

Alogliptin (Nesina®) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It is used in combination with diet and exercise to control blood glucose (blood sugar).
Diabetes is a chronic condition associated with high levels of glucose in the blood. Normally, the body breaks down the food we eat into glucose, a sugar used by the body's cells for energy. The glucose first moves into the bloodstream, and is then transported from the bloodstream to the cells by insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas.
People with diabetes cannot move glucose into cells properly, either because they don't make enough insulin, or because their cells don't properly respond to insulin. This causes glucose to build up in the blood.
There are two main types of diabetes -- type 1 and type 2. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type.
In type 1 diabetes, the body makes little or no insulin. In contrast, people with type 2 diabetes usually have insulin resistance, a condition in which muscle, liver, and fat cells do not use insulin properly. At first, the pancreas keeps up with the added demand by producing more insulin. In time, however, it loses the ability to secrete enough insulin in response to meals.
Type 2 diabetes can occur at any time. It was previously referred to as adult-onset diabetes because it predominately occurred in adulthood. However, type 2 diabetes is increasingly affecting children and young adults as a consequence of high childhood obesity rates.
In the short-term, high blood sugar levels can cause a variety of symptoms. Because type 2 diabetes develops slowly, some people with high blood sugar may not notice any symptoms at first, and many people do not even know they have diabetes in the early stages of the disease. If symptoms do occur, they may include:
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent infections.
(Click Diabetes Symptoms for information on the early signs of diabetes.)
Over time, however, high levels of sugar in the blood can lead to serious health complications, including heart and blood vessel disease, eye problems, nerve damage, and kidney disease (see Diabetes Complications for more information about the health problems associated with diabetes). Controlling blood sugar levels is essential to preventing these long-term health consequences, and is the primary goal of diabetes treatment.
Treatment for type 2 diabetes includes lifestyle changes and blood glucose monitoring. In addition, many people also need insulin or diabetes medication to control their blood glucose.
Alogliptin is one of several medicines available for the treatment of diabetes (see Nesina Alternatives for other diabetes treatment options). Like other diabetes medications, it is used in combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise. It can be used alone or in combination with other diabetes medicines, such as metformin (Glucophage®), sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, or insulin.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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