Physicians' Academy for Cardiovascular Education

GLP-1 analogue in T2DM leads to amylase and lipase elevations but not acute pancreatitis

Amylase, Lipase, and Acute Pancreatitis in People With Type 2 Diabetes Treated With Liraglutide: Results From the LEADER Randomized Trial

Literature - Steinberg WM, Buse JB, Ghorbani MLM, et al; LEADER Steering Committee; LEADER Trial Investigators - Diabetes Care. 2017; published online ahead of print


Liraglutide, a GLP-1 analogue, is an established therapy for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), however, it has been associated with increased levels of serum lipase and amylase, as well as a potential for an increased risk of acute pancreatitis [1-4]. In the LEADER trial, 9,340 T2DM patients at cardiovascular risk were randomized to liraglutide or placebo, on top of standard of care, and followed for 3.5–5.0 years [5].

In this analysis, the effects of liraglutide treatment on serum lipase and amylase and the number of cases of acute pancreatitis were evaluated in the LEADER study. Levels were measured each 6 months.

Main results


In the LEADER study, numerically fewer events of acute pancreatitis were observed in the liraglutide group compared with the placebo group. Liraglutide increased serum amylase and lipase levels, but these elevations were not predictive of the development of acute pancreatitis in asymptomatic T2DM patients.


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