Pioglitazone: an antidiabetic drug with cardiovascular therapeutic effects
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Andreas Pfützner , Christian A Schneider and Thomas Forst
† Author for correspondence
The antidiabetic compound pioglitazone, an activator of the intracellular peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ, and decreases metabolic and vascular insulin resistance. The drug is well tolerated, and its metabolic effects include improvements in blood glucose and lipid control. Vascular effects consist of improvements in endothelial function and hypertension, and a reduction in surrogate markers of artherosclerosis. In a large, placebo-controlled, outcome study in secondary prevention, PROactive study, the use of pioglitazone in addition to an existing optimized macrovascular risk management resulted in a significant reduction of macrovascular endpoints within a short observation period that was comparable to the effect of statins and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors in other trials. These results underline the value of pioglitazone for managing the increased cardiovascular risk of patients with a metabolic syndrome or Type 2 diabetes mellitus.