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How effective are GLP-1 receptor agonists?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Combining a GLP-1 receptor agonist with basal insulin has been reported to improve glucose control over insulin alone without increasing the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). People on this combination also tend to lose weight. In another study, dulaglutide combined with the short-acting insulin lispro was more effective in lowering blood sugar than the basal insulin glargine with lispro.

Liraglutide is also prescribed for weight reduction. In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who were overweight who took 3 mg of liraglutide daily lost an average of 14 pounds over a year. Their HbA1c and blood glucose levels were also reduced. This enabled some to stop taking other diabetes drugs, some of which cause weight gain as a side effect.

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