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Short-acting glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists as add-on to insulin therapy in type 1 diabetes: A review

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A large proportion of patients with type 1 diabetes do not reach their glycaemic target of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) <7.0% (53 mmol/mol) and, furthermore, an increasing number of patients with type 1 diabetes are overweight and obese. Treatment of type 1 diabetes is based on insulin therapy, which is associated with well-described and unfortunate adverse effects such as hypoglycaemia and increased body weight. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists (RAs) are the focus of increasing interest as a possible adjunctive treatment to insulin in type 1 diabetes because of their glucagonostatic and extrapancreatic effects. So far, the focus has mainly been on the long-acting GLP-1RAs, but the risk-benefit ratio emerging from studies evaluating the effect of long-acting GLP-1RAs as adjunctive therapy to insulin therapy in patients with type 1 diabetes has been disappointing. This might be attributable to a lack of glucagonostatic effect of these long-acting GLP-1RAs in type 1 diabetes, alongside development of tachyphylaxis to GLP-1-induced retardation of gastric emptying. In contrast, the short-acting GLP-1RAs seem to have a preserved and sustained effect on glucagon secretion and gastric emptying in patients with type 1 diabetes, which could translate into effective lowering of postprandial glucose excursions; however, these observations regarding short-acting GLP-1RAs are all derived from small open-label trials and should thus be interpreted with caution. In the present paper we review the potential role of GLP-1RAs, in particular short-acting GLP-1RAs, as add-on to insulin in the treatment of type 1 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Volume19
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)915-925
Number of pages11
ISSN1462-8902
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, Review

ID: 52667010