GLP-1 receptor agonists

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GLP-1 receptor agonists
Drug class

GLP-1 receptor agonists are a class of medications approved for the treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2 and obesity. They mimic the action of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a hormone that stimulates insulin secretion, inhibits glucagon release, and promotes satiety. GLP-1 receptor agonists exert their effects by activating GLP-1 receptors on pancreatic beta cells, leading to enhanced insulin secretion and improved blood glucose control. In addition to their glucose-lowering effects, GLP-1 receptor agonists have been shown to promote weight loss and may have cardiovascular benefits.

Approved Medications[edit | edit source]

Mechanism of Action[edit | edit source]

GLP-1 receptor agonists bind to and activate GLP-1 receptors on pancreatic beta cells, leading to increased insulin secretion in response to elevated blood glucose levels. They also suppress glucagon secretion, which helps reduce hepatic glucose production. Additionally, GLP-1 receptor agonists slow gastric emptying, leading to increased satiety and reduced food intake. These actions result in improved glycemic control and may contribute to weight loss in patients with diabetes and obesity.

Indications[edit | edit source]

GLP-1 receptor agonists are indicated for the management of diabetes mellitus type 2 in adults who have not achieved adequate glycemic control with diet and exercise alone. They are also approved for the treatment of obesity in conjunction with lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise. Some GLP-1 receptor agonists may have additional cardiovascular benefits and are recommended for patients with established cardiovascular disease or those at high risk of cardiovascular events.

Side Effects[edit | edit source]

Common side effects of GLP-1 receptor agonists include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort, especially when initiating treatment or titrating the dose. These gastrointestinal symptoms usually improve over time. Other potential side effects include hypoglycemia (especially when used in combination with insulin or sulfonylureas), pancreatitis, and allergic reactions.

GLP-1 receptor agonists Resources
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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD