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Pharmacotherapy for the Metabolic Syndrome

[ Vol. 10 , Issue. 2 ]


Arthur L.M. Swislocki, David Siegel and Ishwarlal Jialal   Pages 187 - 205 ( 19 )


The Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) confers a greater risk for both diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Both insulin resistance and low grade inflammation appear to be pivotal in the pathogenesis of this disorder. The cornerstone of treatment presently is therapeutic lifestyle change with the emphasis on weight loss by diet and exercise. It appears that the evidence base will support statins as first line therapy for the dyslipidemia. Also, there is a limited role for both bile acid sequestrants and fibrates in certain subgroup of patients. It would appear that the Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEs) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are the preferred therapies for hypertension but invariably a combination therapy with additional drugs is required keeping in mind that certain drugs can exacerbate the dyslipidemia and or glycemia of MetS. Whilst metformin appears to be the drug of choice for the dysglycemia, thiazolidinediones (TZDs) like pioglitazone can also be beneficial but recent concern about bladder cancer has resulted in its discontinuation in certain countries in Europe. Metformin therapy has been shown to prevent new onset MetS. Modulating the incretin axis can prove very fruitful. A drug targeting all 3 disorders would be ideal but to date does not exist.


Inflammation, dyslipidemia, hypertension, impaired fasting glucose, statins, metformin, Metabolic Syndrome (MetS), dysglycemia, thiazolidinediones, low density lipoprotein cholesterol


Laboratory for Atherosclerosis and Metabolic Research, UC Davis Medical Center, 4635 II Ave, Res. 1 Bldg, Rm 3000, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.

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