Htike ZZ, Zaccardi F, Chatterjee S, Khunti K, Davies MJ. Glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA) therapy in management of type 2 diabetes: Choosing the right agent for individualised care. Br J Diabetes Vasc Dis. 2016;16(3):128-37
Glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) are a new class of injectable agent used in the management of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). In the UK, NICE approved the use of GLP-1RAs in combination with metformin and sulphonylurea in people with T2DM whose glycaemic control is above target (≥7.5%, 58 mmol/mol) and body mass index (BMI) ≥35 kg/m2 with other medical problems associated with obesity or for whom insulin therapy would have significant occupational implications or weight loss would benefit other significant obesity- related comorbidities in people with BMI <35 kg/m2. Unlike many other classes of glucose lowering agents, GLP-1RAs not only improve glycaemic control but also promote weight loss with a low risk of hypoglycaemia. In randomised controlled trials, treatment with GLP-1RAs either as monotherapy or in combination with oral hypoglycaemic agents or insulin, has demonstrated significant improvement in glycaemic control by 1–2% with weight loss of approximately 1–5 kg. In addition, they exert a positive effect on cardio-metabolic risk factors by reducing body weight, lowering blood pressure and improving the lipid profile. Gastrointestinal side effects are the most common adverse events with GLP-1RA therapy. Since the first GLP-1RA was approved in 2005, a number of other GLP-1RAs are now available. However, their glycaemic efficacy, safety profiles and mode of delivery differ, and this review article aims to give an overview of differences among GLP-1RAs and to provide decision makers with an overview of the evidence when choosing a particular GLP-1RA for individualised therapy.