Efficacy, safety, and tolerability of exenatide once weekly in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: an integrated analysis of the DURATION trials

Postgrad Med. 2013 May;125(3):47-57. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2013.05.2660.


Background and aim: Exenatide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist demonstrated to improve glycemic control with low hypoglycemia risk in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The Diabetes Therapy Utilization: Researching Changes in A1C, Weight, and Other Factors Through Intervention With Exenatide Once Weekly (DURATION) program comprised 6 randomized, comparator-controlled, 24- to 30-week trials of exenatide once weekly (EQW), an extended-release formulation. This post hoc analysis pooled data from patients taking EQW across 6 trials to assess efficacy and safety in a large, varied patient population.

Materials and methods: The intent-to-treat (ITT) population contained 1379 patients (baseline mean ± standard deviation glycated hemoglobin [HbA1c] levels of 8.4% ± 1.1%) who were treated with EQW over the course of 24 to 30 weeks. Changes from baseline in efficacy parameters for the ITT population and a completer population (1195 patients with ≥ 22 weeks of exposure) were evaluated.

Results: The ITT population experienced significant reductions from baseline (least-squares mean [95% CI]) in HbA1c levels (-1.4% [-1.5% to -1.4%]), fasting blood glucose levels (-36 mg/dL [-38.4 mg/dL to -33.8 mg/dL]), and body weight (-2.5 kg [-2.8 kg to -2.3 kg]) after 24 to 30 weeks of EQW treatment. Reductions in HbA1c and fasting blood glucose levels were observed across baseline HbA1c level strata; patients with higher baseline HbA1c levels experienced greater reductions. Treatment with EQW was associated with modest, significant reductions in blood pressure (systolic blood pressure, -2.8 mm Hg [-3.5 mm Hg to -2.1 mm Hg]; diastolic blood pressure, -0.8 mm Hg [-1.2 mm Hg to -0.4 mm Hg]), and fasting lipid levels (total cholesterol, -6.5 mg/dL [-8.2 mg/dL to -4.7 mg/dL]; low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, -3.9 mg/dL [5.3 mg/dL to -2.5 mg/dL]; and triglyceride [geometric least-squares mean percent change (95% CI)], -6% [-8% to -4%] levels). Similar reductions were observed in the completer population. Exenatide once weekly was generally well tolerated. Transient, mild-to-moderate gastrointestinal treatment-emergent adverse events and injection-site treatment-emergent adverse events were reported most frequently, but were seldom treatment limiting. No major hypoglycemic events were observed; minor hypoglycemic events occurred infrequently in patients not using a sulfonylurea.

Conclusion: This post hoc analysis of > 1300 patients demonstrated that EQW was associated with significant reductions in HbA1c levels, body weight, blood pressure, and fasting lipid levels, with minimal hypoglycemia risk. Consistent with established safety profiles, EQW therapy was generally well tolerated.

Trial registration: www.ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers: NCT00308139, NCT00637273, NCT00641056, NCT00676338, NCT00877890, NCT01029886.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Exenatide
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptides / administration & dosage
  • Peptides / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Venoms / administration & dosage
  • Venoms / therapeutic use*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Lipids
  • Peptides
  • Venoms
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human
  • Exenatide

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00308139
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00637273
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00641056
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00676338
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00877890
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01029886