How effective are GLP-1 receptor agonists?

Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
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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Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

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