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GLP-1 Receptor Agonist

What are some examples of GLP-1 receptor agonist?

  • Rybelsus (oral semaglutide, taken by mouth once daily)

  • Bydureon (exenatide, a once-weekly injection)

  • Ozempic (semaglutide, a once-weekly injection)

  • Trulicity (dulaglutide, a once-weekly injection)

  • Victoza (liraglutide, a once-daily injection)

  • Adlyxin (lixisenatide, a once-daily injection)

  • Byetta (exenatide, an injection taken twice daily)

What is GLP-1 receptor agonist and how are they used?

GLP-1 receptor agonist medicines, also called incretin mimetics, are a type of incretin-based medicine for type 2 diabetes. Since type 2 diabetes is typically a progression of worsening insulin resistance, this type of medicine can also be used to treat insulin resistance. This type of medicine is based on the action of hormones called incretins, which help control how the pancreas works. One type of incretin, called GLP-1, causes your pancreas to produce more insulin after you eat and helps keep blood glucose levels in the normal range. These medicines (exenatide, dulaglutide, lixisenatide, liraglutide and semaglutide) copy, or mimic, the action of GLP-1 made by your body. The effects of GLP-1 only last for a few minutes, but GLP-1 receptor agonists medicines can last for hours or days.

GLP-1 receptor agonists come most commonly as a liquid, which you inject under the skin on your abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. Depending on which medicine you use, you inject it either once or twice daily, or once weekly. Semaglutide also comes as a pill dosed once daily. GLP-1 receptor agonists are used alone or along with other diabetes medicines. You should visit the website for your specific GLP-1 receptor agonist where you can find information on how to inject the medication.

Besides treating insulin resistance / diabetes what other benefit is there of GLP-1 receptor agonist?

GLP-1 receptor agonist may be especially helpful for overweight people who are gaining weight or struggling to lose weight on other diabetes medicines. Liraglutide, dulaglutide, or semaglutide injections may be a good choice for people who have, or are at high risk for, cardiovascular disease, as they have been shown to have cardiovascular benefits in these groups.

What side effects can GLP-1 receptor agonist cause?

GLP-1 receptor agonist promotes loss of appetite and a sense of feeling full after eating a smaller amount of food, which helps with weight loss, but can also cause bothersome side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Gastrointestinal side effects usually improve with time.

What other precautions should I take when using GLP-1 receptor agonist?

Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) has been reported rarely in people taking GLP-1 receptor agonists, but it is not known if the medications caused the pancreatitis. They have also been associated with gall bladder disease. You should stop taking these medications if you develop severe abdominal pain. Exenatide and lixisenatide should not be used in people with abnormal kidney function, and liraglutide and dulaglutide should be used with caution in this situation.

Are these medications expensive?

These medications are generally expensive, but it is usually covered by your insurance. Most GLP-1 receptor agonists also have saving coupons available. Please visit their website for further information.

For complete patient information on GLP-1 receptor agonist, please visit the website below:


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