Antidiabetic incretin-based drugs not linked to heart failure risk

Patients who take incretin-based drugs are no more likely to have heart failure than those taking oral antidiabetic drug combinations, study finds.

Elderly man using blood glucose pin prick test

There have been fears that antidiabetic incretin-based drugs increase the risk of heart failure. But studies of the drug class, which includes dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analogues, have produced inconsistent results. 

Researchers analysed data on nearly 1.5 million patients with diabetes from North America and the UK. They found that patients who received incretin-based drugs were no more likely to be hospitalised for heart failure than those receiving oral antidiabetic drug combinations. This was true in patients both with and without a history of heart failure, as well as for DPP-4 inhibitors and GLP-1 analogues. 

Reporting in The
New England Journal of Medicine (online, 24 March 2016)[1]
, the researchers note that in previous trials examining a possible link, heart failure incidence was a secondary outcome and sample sizes may not have been sufficient.


[1] Filion KB, Azoulay L, Platt RW et al. A multicenter observational study of incretin-based drugs and heart failure. New England Journal of Medicine 2016;374:1145–1154. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1506115

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, Antidiabetic incretin-based drugs not linked to heart failure risk;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20200965

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