No clear winner among once-weekly GLP-1 receptor agonists for diabetes

Once-weekly GLP-1 receptor agonists found to have similar effects in analysis of 34 trials.

Researchers compared GLP-1RAs to placebo or another glucose-lowering drug in patients with type 2 diabetes and found that the drugs have broadly similar effects on cardiometabolic outcomes. In the image, three obese women sitting on a bench

Patients with type 2 diabetes have an increasing number of therapies available to them, such as the emerging class of once-weekly, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs). But so far, no trials have directly compared GLP-1RAs to each other. 

To fill this knowledge gap, researchers from the University of Leicester used data from 34 trials, involving 21,126 participants, which compared GLP-1RAs to placebo or another glucose-lowering drug. They found that the drugs have broadly similar effects on cardiometabolic outcomes, including blood pressure and blood lipids, and rates of hypoglycaemia are similar. 

However, dulaglutide 1.5mg, exenatide and taspoglutide 20mg are associated with greater reductions in HbA1c, fasting plasma glucose and body weight than albiglutide and other drugs in the class. 

Writing in Annals of Internal Medicine (online, 8 December 2015)[1]
the researchers say that direct head-to-head studies are needed.

References

[1] Zaccardi F, Htike ZZ, Webb DR, et al. Benefits and harms of once-weekly glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist treatments. Annals of Internal Medicine 2015. doi:10.7326/M15-1432

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Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, December 2015;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20200304