Liraglutide vs exenatide in type 2 diabetesLiterature -
Exenatide once weekly versus liraglutide once daily in patients with type 2 diabetes (DURATION-6): a randomised, open-label study.Buse JB, Nauck M, Forst T, et al.
Lancet. 2013;381:117-24. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61267-7.
BackgroundGLP-1 receptor agonists are a fairly new class of antihyperglycemic drugs for patients with type 2 diabetes  and are licensed for use in addition to first-line agents such as metformin. Exenatide and liraglutide are examples of GLP-1 agonists and are approved for once-weekly (exenatide) or once-daily (liraglutide) use in patients with type 2 diabetes [2-11]. Use of these novel agents is limited at the moment, mostly because of their cost.
In DURATION-6, 911 type 2 diabetes patients at 105 sites in 19 countries were randomized in an open-label parallel-group design to once-daily injections of liraglutide (1.8 mg; n=450) or once-weekly exenatide (2 mg; n=461), and results were analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis. The participants had already undergone lifestyle modification and were taking maximum or near-maximum doses of oral antihyperglycemic drugs but still had suboptimal glycemic control. The primary end point was change in HbA1c from baseline to six months.
- Both GLP-1 agonists led to improvements in glycemic control, with greater reductions noted with liraglutide: -1.48% compared with -1.28% for the exenatide group (fig.1).
- The overall difference in HbA1c between the two was small (0.21%)
- Both treatments were associated with progressive decreases in body weight (fig. 2). Patients taking liraglutide lost more weight than those taking exenatide, irrespective of BMI.
- Gastrointestinal side effects—nausea, vomiting and diarrhea—were twice as common with liraglutide.
Treatment with either exenatide once weekly or liraglutide once daily provided effective glucose lowering combined with weight loss and minimum hypoglycaemic episodes in patients with type 2 diabetes. The differences noted between the clinical efficacy of liraglutide once daily and exenatide once weekly at the doses tested, together with frequency and method of injection, can be used by clinicians in shared decision making for treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes uncontrolled by oral antihyperglycaemic drugs.
Editorial comment “There are some criticisms of the study duration and dose of liraglutide, among other things. However, the trial was well done, and even though it did not meet its primary end point, its results might help some clinicians to make appropriate treatment choices on the basis of relative efficacy and the risk of short-term side effects."
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Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists exenatide and liraglutide have been shown to improve glycaemic control and reduce bodyweight in patients with type 2 diabetes. We compared the efficacy and safety of exenatide once weekly with liraglutide once daily in patients with type 2 diabetes.
We did a 26 week, open-label, randomised, parallel-group study at 105 sites in 19 countries between Jan 11, 2010, and Jan 17, 2011. Patients aged 18 years or older with type 2 diabetes treated with lifestyle modification and oral antihyperglycaemic drugs were randomly assigned (1:1), via a computer-generated randomisation sequence with a voice response system, to receive injections of once-daily liraglutide (1•8 mg) or once-weekly exenatide (2 mg). Participants and investigators were not masked to treatment assignment. The primary endpoint was change in glycated haemoglobin (HbA(1c)) from baseline to week 26. Analysis was by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01029886.
Of 912 randomised patients, 911 were included in the intention-to-treat analysis (450 liraglutide, 461 exenatide). The least-squares mean change in HbA(1c) was greater in patients in the liraglutide group (-1•48%, SE 0•05; n=386) than in those in the exenatide group (-1•28%, 0•05; 390) with the treatment difference (0•21%, 95% CI 0•08-0•33) not meeting predefined non-inferiority criteria (upper limit of CI <0•25%). The most common adverse events were nausea (93 [21%] in the liraglutide group vs 43 [9%] in the exenatide group), diarrhoea (59 [13%] vs 28 [6%]), and vomiting 48 [11%] vs 17 [4%]), which occurred less frequently in the exenatide group and with decreasing incidence over time in both groups. 24 (5%) patients allocated to liraglutide and 12 (3%) allocated to exenatide discontinued participation because of adverse events.
Both once daily liraglutide and once weekly exenatide led to improvements in glycaemic control, with greater reductions noted with liraglutide. These findings, plus differences in injection frequency and tolerability, could inform th