American journal of health-system pharmacy : AJHP : official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists


PMID 11449877


The pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, clinical efficacy, adverse effects, interactions, and dosage of nateglinide are reviewed. Nateglinide is an oral hypoglycemic agent approved for use alone or in combination with metformin as an adjunct to diet and exercise for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nateglinide, an amino acid derivative of D-phenylalanine, stimulates the secretion of insulin by binding to the ATP potassium channels in pancreatic beta cells. The result is an increase in beta-cell calcium influx, which leads to rapid, short-lived insulin release. The drug is rapidly and completely absorbed in the small intestine. The estimated bioavailability is 72%. Nateglinide is highly bound to plasma proteins, is metabolized extensively by the liver, and has an elimination half-life of 1.4 hours. Several clinical trials of nateglinide, alone and in combination with other oral hypoglycemic agents, have found the drug to be safe, effective, and well tolerated. The most common adverse effects are nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, and lightheadedness. There is a potential for interactions between nateglinide and medications affected by the cytochrome P-450 isoenzyme system. Dosage regimens ranging from 60 to 240 mg have been evaluated. The maximum effective dosage is 120 mg taken 10 minutes before meals three times a day. Nateglinide is an alternative to second-generation sulfonylureas for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Additional comparative trials are needed to fully elucidate nateglinide's role.