Vildagliptin, an oral antidiabetic of the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor drugs, exhibits an overall low risk of hypoglycemia with less frequent hypoglycemic events in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients than other antidiabetic drugs. We hypothesized that among hospitalized acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients, the addition of vildagliptin to subcutaneous insulin therapy would reduce the risk of hypoglycemic events.
One hundred ACS T2DM adult patients naive to DPP-4 inhibitors were enrolled during admission to the ICCU. Patients were divided into two randomized controlled groups: a subcutaneous rapid-acting insulin-only therapy group and an oral vildagliptin plus subcutaneous insulin group. The trial was open label with no placebo arm. Mean glucose values, insulin values given for correction per hospitalization, and the number of hypoglycemic events (glucose < 70 mg/dL) were documented.
Eight hypoglycemia events occurred in the insulin-only group and none in the insulin plus DPP-4 inhibitor group (P < 0.001). Patients with acute myocardial infarction experienced a higher number of hypoglycemic events compared with unstable angina diagnosed patients. No significant differences were found regarding glucose level (P = 0.462) and administered insulin units (P = 0.639).
In T2DM patients, the addition of DPP-4 inhibitors to routine subcutaneous insulin therapy may significantly reduce hypoglycemic events while maintaining acceptable recommended ranges of glucose. Further studies on a larger scale are required to verify these results and to support that DPP-4 inhibitors added to today’s standard insulin-only treatment in hospitalized diabetic ACS patients may improve overall glycemic control and provide a potential treatment option in this challenging clinical setting.