GLP-1 agonists are a class of drugs for type 2 diabetes treatment. The advantage of this drug over older insulin secretagogues is a lower risk of hypoglycemia.
GLP-1 agonists’ mechanism of action
The GLP-1 agonist is believed to improve glucose control by;
- It increases insulin secretion by the pancreas in response to eating meals; once blood glucose decreases, insulin production decreases proportionally.
- It suppresses the pancreatic glucagon release in response to eating, so stops unneeded glucose dumping in the bloodstream.
- It slows down gastric emptying, thus minimizes glucose spikes in the bloodstream.
GLP-1 agonists available on the market:
- Generic name: exenatide (Brand name: Byetta),
- Generic name: liraglutide (Brand name: Victoza).
GLP-1 agonists’ dosage
GLP-1 agonists should start with 5 mcg administered twice daily within the 60-minute before the two major meals with a minimum 6 hours apart. It should not take after a meal. If necessary, you can increase the dose to 10 mcg twice daily after one month of therapy; this is to reduce to gastrointestinal side effects.
Side effects of GLP-1 agonists
The significant side effects of GLP-1 agonists are gastrointestinal;
acid or sour stomach,
What can you expect for GLP-1 agonists?
In patients with type 2 diabetes, it can lower A1C of up to 1.1% sustained the HbA1c reduction with continued use of the medicine over a year. It also reduces fasting blood-glucose level and body weight (up to 5 pounds). A study has shown GLP-1 agonists can help achieve an A1C of less than 7%.
Who can benefit from GLP-1 agonists?
Who should avoid using GLP-1 agonists?
Patients with a history of pancreatitis consider using other anti-diabetic therapies. When taken along, sulfonylurea may increase hypoglycemia risk. So, try to reduce your dose of sulfonylurea. GLP-1 agonists are unsuitable for patients with a severe gastrointestinal disease such as gastroparesis. GLP-1 agonists should not use in patients without renal impairment.