Are glucagonlike peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists beneficial in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM)?

Updated: Oct 23, 2019
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

GLP-1 agonists (ie, exenatide, liraglutide, albiglutide, dulaglutide) mimic the endogenous incretin GLP-1; they stimulate glucose-dependent insulin release, reduce glucagon, and slow gastric emptying. The use of a GLP-1 in addition to metformin and/or a sulfonylurea may result in modest weight loss. Animal data suggest that these drugs prevent beta-cell apoptosis and may in time restore beta-cell mass. The latter property, if proven in humans, would have tremendous therapeutic potential.


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