Liraglutide With Insulin Improves Glycemic Control in Type 1 Diabetes, Without More Hypoglycemia

In recent years, diabetes advocacy groups have called for greater attention to measures beyond glycated hemoglobin when evaluating diabetes drugs, because avoiding hypoglycemia and spending more time in range are important to health and quality of life.

A yearlong study presented at the 78th Scientific Sessions of American Diabetes Association found that adding liraglutide to insulin regimens for patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) helps them to achieve better glycemic control and lose weight, without causing more incidents of hypoglycemia.Liraglutide, the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist sold by Novo Nordisk as Victoza, had been shown to boost glycemic control and promote weight loss in T1D patients over a 12-week period, prompting researchers to pursue the longer study, which was presented in the late-breaking session June 24, 2018.

Improved control without increased hypoglycemia is a key finding, given the recent emphasis on measures beyond glycated hemoglobin (A1C) to gauge the effectiveness of diabetes medication. Leading researchers and patient advocacy groups have called on both the FDA and payers to give more attention to “time in range,” which measures how well a therapy helps T1D patient avoid the roller coaster effect that can occur with insulin. More work is being done to show how repeated incidents of hypoglycemia cause renal and retinal damage, which increases healthcare costs and reduces quality of life for people with T1D.

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