AIMS: Sacubitril/valsartan is a neprilysin-inhibitor/angiotensin II receptor blocker used for the treatment of heart failure. Recently, a post-hoc analysis of a 3-year randomized controlled trial showed improved glycaemic control with sacubitril/valsartan in patients with heart failure and type 2 diabetes. We previously reported that sacubitril/valsartan combined with a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor increases active glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in healthy individuals. We now hypothesized that administration of sacubitril/valsartan with or without a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor would lower postprandial glucose concentrations (primary outcome) in patients with type 2 diabetes via increased active GLP-1.

METHODS: We performed a crossover trial in 12 patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes. A mixed meal was ingested following five respective interventions: (a) a single dose of sacubitril/valsartan; (b) sitagliptin; (c) sacubitril/valsartan + sitagliptin; (d) control (no treatment); and (e) valsartan alone. Glucose, gut and pancreatic hormone responses were measured.

RESULTS: Postprandial plasma glucose increased by 57% (incremental area under the curve 0-240 min) (p = .0003) and increased peak plasma glucose by 1.7 mM (95% CI: 0.6-2.9) (p = .003) after sacubitril/valsartan compared with control, whereas postprandial glucose levels did not change significantly after sacubitril/valsartan + sitagliptin. Glucagon, GLP-1 and C-peptide concentrations increased after sacubitril/valsartan, but insulin and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide did not change.

CONCLUSIONS: The glucose-lowering effects of long-term sacubitril/valsartan treatment reported in patients with heart failure and type 2 diabetes may not depend on changes in entero-pancreatic hormones. Neprilysin inhibition results in hyperglucagonaemia and this may explain the worsen glucose tolerance observed in this study.

CLINICALTRIALS: gov (NCT03893526).

Original languageEnglish
Article number14789
JournalDiabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)2017-2026
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • clinical trial
  • drug mechanism
  • GLP-1
  • glucagon
  • glycaemic control


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