Liraglutide: Effects beyond glycaemic control in diabetes treatment

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Aims: To review the non-glycaemic effects of liraglutide, including potential improvements in body weight, systolic blood pressure (SBP) and pancreatic beta-cell function. Key findings: Liraglutide induced weight loss of around 2-3 kg compared with weight increases of 1-2 kg with active comparators such as insulin glargine, rosiglitazone and glimepiride. Exenatide demonstrated similar weight benefits to liraglutide, but the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, sitagliptin, saxagliptin and vildagliptin, were weight neutral. Liraglutide was associated with decreases in SBP of 2-7 mmHg, whereas exenatide, vildagliptin and sitagliptin demonstrated SBP reductions of around 2-3 mmHg. Measures of pancreatic beta-cell function were improved with liraglutide vs. placebo, rosiglitazone and exenatide. However, DPP-4 inhibitors appear to have less effect on beta-cell function than glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. Conclusions: In addition to glycaemic control, liraglutide and the other incretin-based therapies offer additional non-glycaemic benefits to varying degrees. The ability of GLP-1 receptor agonists to provide modest, but clinically relevant improvements in body weight and SBP, and to potentially benefit beta-cell function make them an exciting therapeutic option for individuals with diabetes. In contrast, DPP-4 inhibitors are weight neutral and may have lesser benefits on beta-cell function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-34
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Practice
Issue numberSUPPL. 167
StatePublished - Oct 2010


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