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Posted by on Sep 10, 2017 in Diabetes mellitus | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated the safety and effectiveness of semaglutide on glycemic control in insulin-naïve patients with type 2 diabetes.

They found that semaglutide improved glycemic (blood sugar) control and was well-tolerated by patients.

Some background

Controlling blood glucose levels is essential in type 2 diabetes. The first lines of treatment are oral anti-diabetic drugs such as metformin (Glucophage). However, most patients will require additional therapies to manage blood glucose levels. Basal insulin is most frequently prescribed, however it is associated with weight gain and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists are another type of glucose-lowering medication. These drugs have been shown to be as effective as basal insulin without causing weight gain or hypoglycemia. Semaglutide is a new GLP-1 agonist that can be administered once weekly.  

Methods & findings

This study investigated the long-term safety and efficacy of semaglutide compared to basal insulin in patients with type 2 diabetes.

This study included 1020 patients with type 2 diabetes. These patients were insulin-naïve and with Hba1c levels (average blood glucose over 3 months) between 7-10%. Patients were randomly assigned to receive 0.5 mg semaglutide, 1 mg semaglutide, or 10 IU insulin glargine (basal insulin) daily. The study lasted 30 weeks. Hba1c levels were measured at the end of the study.

Hba1c levels decreased in all groups. The reduction was greater in both semaglutide groups (1.2% in the 0.5 mg and 1.64% in the 1 mg groups). The reduction was 0.83% in the insulin group.

More patients taking semagludide achieved glycemic control (Hba1c less than 7%) compared to insulin glargine, and without hypoglycemia or weight gain. Semaglutide was also well-tolerated, with nausea being the most common side effect.

The bottom line

This study concluded that compared to insulin glargine, semaglutide is an effective and safe medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

The fine print

This study was funded by Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of semaglutide.

What’s next?

If you have any concerns regarding blood sugar control then please discuss with your doctor.

Published By :

The lancet. Diabetes & endocrinology

Date :

Mar 23, 2017

Original Title :

Efficacy and safety of once-weekly semaglutide versus once-daily insulin glargine as add-on to metformin (with or without sulfonylureas) in insulin-naive patients with type 2 diabetes (SUSTAIN 4): a randomised, open-label, parallel-group, multicentre, mul

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