Background: Diabetes mellitus type 2 (DMT2) is an endocrine disease of global
proportions which is currently affecting 1 in 12 adults in the world, with still increasing
prevalence. World Health Organization (WHO) declared this worldwide health problem, as an
epidemic disease, to be the only non-infectious disease with such categorization. People with
DMT2 are at increased risk of various complications and have shorter life expectancy. The
main classes of oral antidiabetic drugs accessible today for DMT2 vary in their chemical
composition, modes of action, safety profiles and tolerability.
Methods: A systematic search of peer-reviewed scientific literature and public databases has
been conducted. We included the most recent relevant research papers and data in respect to
the focus of the present review. The quality of retrieved papers was assessed using standard
Results: The review highlights the chemical structural diversity of the molecules that have the
common target-DMT2. So-called traditional antidiabetics as well as the newest and the least
explored drugs include polypeptides and amino acid derivatives (insulin, glucagon-like peptide
1, dipeptidyl peptidase-IV inhibitors, amylin), sulfonylurea derivatives, benzylthiazolidine-
2,4-diones (peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ agonists/glitazones),
condensed guanido core (metformin) and sugar-like molecules (α-glucosidase and sodium/
glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors).
Conclusion: As diabetes becomes a more common disease, interest in new pharmacological
targets is on the rise.