Liraglutide: A review of its therapeutic use as a once daily GLP-1 analog for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus

Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Jan;15(1):9-17. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.77571.


Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a progressive disease associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Even though progress have been accomplished in the management of type 2 diabetes, current treatment preferences for patients with this disease still fall short to address disease progression. With the present therapy, glycaemic control remains suboptimal and are often associated with weight gain and hypoglycaemia. Glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is an incretin hormone secreted from the small intestine that lowers fasting and postprandial glucose through multiple mechanisms including glucose-dependent insulin secretion, reduction of glucagon secretion, delaying gastric emptying and increased satiety. Liraglutide, a human glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analogue is a treatment for T2DM that is administered as a once-daily subcutaneous injection. The efficacy and tolerability of liraglutide at doses of 0.6, 1.2, and 1.8 mg for T2DM, in combination with, and compared with, other T2DM treatments were investigated in the Liraglutide Effect and Action in Diabetes (LEAD) Phase III clinical trial program. In the LEAD trial, treatment with liraglutide was associated with substantial improvements in glycaemic control and low risk of hypoglycaemia. In addition liraglutide significantly improved β-cell function, reduced systolic blood pressure (BP) and induced weight loss. Overall, liraglutide was well tolerated. Recent data on safety and efficacy of liraglutide from real-life clinical practice settings also reiterate the better therapeutic profile of this molecule. Based on results from the LEAD programme, and real-life clinical experience, liraglutide has been demonstrated as an effective therapeutic intervention even at the early stage of diabetes regardless of with what, it has been used.

Keywords: Diabetes; GLP-1 analog; liraglutide.