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Adverse drug reactions associated with the use of liraglutide in patients with type 2 diabetes - focus on pancreatitis and pancreas cancer

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Introduction: The glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, liraglutide , is a widely used drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Liraglutide is one of several incretin-based agents that have been suggested to be associated with pancreatitis and pancreas cancer. The suspicion accelerated after publication of an autopsy study claiming increased incidences of several pathological changes in pancreata from patients with diabetes treated with incretin-based drugs. Areas covered: The aim of the present review is to give an overview of the pharmacology of liraglutide and provide a review of adverse reactions associated with liraglutide with a focus on the risk of pancreatitis and pancreas cancer. Expert opinion: When comprehensively reviewing the available literature, no clear and significant associations between liraglutide and pancreatitis and/or pancreas cancer seem evident. However, a recently published analysis suggests a trend toward a slightly elevated risk of pancreatitis with GLP-1 receptor agonists (including liraglutide), which may become statistical significant as more data become available. Well-established side effects are of gastrointestinal origin, typical mild-to-moderate and of transient character. The risk of hypoglycemia associated with liraglutide treatment is low.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Safety
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
ISSN1474-0338
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2014

ID: 44714267