Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has traditionally been managed with oral medications. However, in the last few years, subcutaneous glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists have risen to fame. These agents serve as a reliable addition to current monotherapy. GLP-1 receptor agonists offer a significant reduction in hemoglobin AlC (HbAlc), fasting plasma glucose, and have the added benefit of weight loss. They work primarily by enhancing glucose-dependent insulin secretion while inhibiting glucagon secretion. The available GLP-1 agonists are Byetta® (exenatide), Victoza® (liraglutide), and Bydureon™ (exenatide extended-release). Studies suggest that they are similar in safety and efficacy, with the longer acting GLP-1 receptor agonists, liraglutide and extended-release exenatide, proving to be slightly more efficacious in terms of HbAlc and weight reduction. All three products have unique half-lives, dosing schedules, efficacies, side effects and contraindications.
Tucker TA, Turley S, Bollinger K, Beck J, Hrometz SL. Comparing the GLP-1 Receptor Agonists: Byetta®, Victoza® and once-weeklyBydureon™. PAW Review. 2013 Jan 01; 4(1):Article 4 16-20 . Available from: https://digitalcommons.onu.edu/paw_review/vol4/iss1/4. Free full text article.