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Comparing Weekly Dulaglutide to Daily Liraglutide

The positives and negative effects of new anti-diabetic agents….

Dulaglutide and liraglutide are both glucagon like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agents, require needle injections, and are used mainly in type 2 diabetes. A randomized clinical trial was conducted to compare the two drugs. Based on the results, both drugs are equally effective in lowering the HbA1c levels and had similar gastrointestinal adverse effects such as nausea, diarrhea, dyspepsia, and vomiting. 

Hypoglycemias were also evaluated between the two drugs and there is a higher rate for daily liraglutide versus once weekly dulaglutide, 0.52 and 0.34 respectively. No severe hypoglycemia was reported in the study for either drug. In general, both drugs have similar safety and tolerability profiles. 

The study periods were for 26 weeks with safety data collected for 4 weeks. Patients selected were not under control with their diabetes management. Nine countries and 62 sites were involved in this study.

Practice Pearls:
  • Weekly dulaglutide and once daily liraglutide are equally effective in reducing blood glucose with similar safety and tolerability profile.
  • Common side effects seen in both drugs are nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia and diarrhea.

Dungan KM, Povedano ST, Forst T, et al. Once weekly dulaglutide versus once daily liraglutide in metformin treated patients with type 2 diabetes; a randomized, open label, phase 3, non inferiority trial. Lancet. 2014 July.