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Posted by on Jan 15, 2018 in Diabetes mellitus | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study compared the effectiveness of the three long-acting GLP-1RAs: once-weekly exenatide (Byetta), dulaglutide (Trulicity), and albiglutide (Tanzeum). The authors concluded that after six months all three treatments equally reduced HbA1c. 

Some background

Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) are frequently used to manage type 2 diabetes (T2D). Both short- and long-acting GLP-1RAs exist. Long-acting GLP-1RAs include once-weekly exenatide, dulaglutide and albiglutide. It is unclear whether or not there are any major differences in the effectiveness of these three GLP-1RAs

Methods & findings

This study compared the effectiveness of once-weekly exenatide, dulaglutide and albiglutide. The authors examined the medical records of 2465 patients with T2D. All patients had been newly-prescribed with a GLP-1RA. None of the patients had ever received insulin therapy. 2133 patients received once-weekly exenatide, 201 received dulaglutide and 131 had received albiglutide
All three groups equally lowered their HbA1c by an average of 0.5%. The dulaglutide group lost significantly more weight (2.7 kg) compared to the other groups (1.4 to 1.6 kg). The same trends were observed for patients with higher initial HbA1c levels (i.e. levels either greater than 7% or greater than 9%). 

The bottom line

This study concluded that there were no significant differences between the three long-acting GLP-1RAs.

The fine print

Examining medical records is not as a robust scienitific method as following patients from the start to the end of the treatment duration. Further study is therefore needed to confirm these results. All patients here happened to have a body mass index (BMI) over 25 (i.e. they were all at least overweight). GLP-1RAs therefore may not be as effective for those with a BMI under 25.

Albiglutide is currently being discontinued as a treatment option.

Published By :

Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism

Date :

Sep 01, 2017

Original Title :

Comparative Effectiveness of Once-Weekly GLP-1 Receptor Agonists on 6-Month Glycemic Control and Weight Outcomes in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes.

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