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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Glucagon-like peptide analogues for type 2 diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis

Deepson S Shyangdan*, Pamela L Royle, Christine Clar, Pawana Sharma and Norman R Waugh

Author Affiliations

Section of Population Health, Medical School Buildings, Foresterhill, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD

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BMC Endocrine Disorders 2010, 10:20  doi:10.1186/1472-6823-10-20

Published: 9 December 2010

Abstract

Background

Glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) analogues are a new class of drugs used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. They are given by injection, and regulate glucose levels by stimulating glucose-dependent insulin secretion and biosynthesis, suppressing glucagon secretion, and delaying gastric emptying and promoting satiety. This systematic review aims to provide evidence on the clinical effectiveness of the GLP-1 agonists in patients not achieving satisfactory glycaemic control with one or more oral glucose lowering drugs.

Methods

MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library and Web of Science were searched to find the relevant papers. We identified 28 randomised controlled trials comparing GLP-1 analogues with placebo, other glucose-lowering agents, or another GLP-1 analogue, in patients with type 2 diabetes with inadequate control on a single oral agent, or on dual therapy. Primary outcomes included HbA1c, weight change and adverse events.

Results

Studies were mostly of short duration, usually 26 weeks. All GLP-1 agonists reduced HbA1c by about 1% compared to placebo. Exenatide twice daily and insulin gave similar reductions in HbA1c, but exenatide 2 mg once weekly and liraglutide 1.8 mg daily reduced it by 0.20% and 0.30% respectively more than glargine. Liraglutide 1.2 mg daily reduced HbA1c by 0.34% more than sitagliptin 100 mg daily. Exenatide and liraglutide gave similar improvements in HbA1c to sulphonylureas. Exenatide 2 mg weekly and liraglutide 1.8 mg daily reduced HbA1c by more than exenatide 10 μg twice daily and sitagliptin 100 mg daily. Exenatide 2 mg weekly reduced HbA1c by 0.3% more than pioglitazone 45 mg daily.

Exenatide and liraglutide resulted in greater weight loss (from 2.3 to 5.5 kg) than active comparators. This was not due simply to nausea. Hypoglycaemia was uncommon, except when combined with a sulphonylurea. The commonest adverse events with all GLP-1 agonists were initial nausea and vomiting. The GLP-1 agonists have some effect on beta-cell function, but this is not sustained after the drug is stopped.

Conclusions

GLP-1 agonists are effective in improving glycaemic control and promoting weight loss.