Head-to-head trial of two diabetes drugs yields mixed results

November 6, 2012, University of North Carolina Health Care
“The results of this study will be helpful to both doctors and patients in shared decision-making about which of these two drugs is better suited for a particular patient,” said John B. Buse, M.D., Ph.D., first author of the study. Dr. Buse is division chief of endocrinology and metabolism in the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and director of the UNC Diabetes Care Center. Credit: UNC Medical Center News Office

A direct, head-to-head comparison of two of the newer treatments available for type 2 diabetes yielded mixed results.

The 26-week, multicenter DURATION-6 clinical trial found that daily injections of liraglutide (Victoza) were slightly more effective than weekly injections of (Bydureon) in lowering blood sugar and promoting weight loss in patients with . However, the patients taking exenatide suffered fewer negative side effects such as nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

"Both of these agents are very exciting diabetes products and really good blood sugar-lowering drugs," said John B. Buse, MD, PhD, first author of the study, division chief of in the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, director of the UNC Diabetes Care Center and a a PI Extender of the UNC NIH Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA).

"The results of this study will be helpful to both doctors and patients in shared decision-making about which of these two drugs is better suited for a particular patient."

"The results of this study will be helpful to both doctors and patients in shared decision-making about which of these two drugs is better suited for a particular patient," Buse said. "For example, for some patients the additional weight loss advantage provided by liraglutide might tip the scales in favor of that drug. For other patients, though, the greater convenience of once-weekly injections and the more favorable side effects profile of exenatide would be extremely appealing."

Results of the study were published online ahead of print on Nov. 7, 2012 by The .

In the study, 912 patients from 105 sites in 19 countries were randomized to receive injections of once-daily liraglutide or once-weekly exenatide for 26 weeks. The primary endpoint of the study was the overall reduction in HbA1c (blood sugar) levels from baseline to 26 weeks.

Both drugs produced a clinically significant decrease in . By the end of the study, 60 percent of the patients taking liraglutide had achieved HbA1c levels of less than 7 percent, vs. 53 percent of patients on exenatide. Both drugs also produced progressive decreases in bodyweight, but patients taking liraglutide lost about 2 pounds more weight than those on exenatide.

Patients in both groups reported having side effects on occasions over the six month trial. The most common were nausea (21 percent in the liraglutide group vs. 9 percent in the exenatide group), diarrhea (13 percent vs. 6 percent) and vomiting (11 percent vs. 4 percent). The occurrence of side effects lessened in both groups over time. Five percent of on liraglutide and 3 percent on exenatide dropped out of the study because of .

Explore further: Liraglutide with insulin improves poorly controlled Type 1 diabetes

Related Stories

Liraglutide with insulin improves poorly controlled Type 1 diabetes

June 25, 2012
Obese adults with poorly controlled Type 1 diabetes can better control their blood sugar by adding liraglutide, a Type 2 diabetes drug, to their insulin therapy, a new study finds. The results, which will be presented at ...

Exenatide (Byetta) has rapid, powerful anti-inflammatory effect, study shows

November 2, 2011
Exenatide, a drug commonly prescribed to help patients with type 2 diabetes improve blood sugar control, also has a powerful and rapid anti-inflammatory effect, a University at Buffalo study has shown.

Study suggests drug significantly improves glycemic control in type one diabetics on insulin

June 15, 2011
Results of a small, observational study conducted at the University at Buffalo suggest that liraglutide, an injectable medication used to treat type 2 diabetes, also helps type 1 diabetics on insulin achieve optimal control ...

Recommended for you

Diabetic foot ulcers heal quickly with nitric oxide technology

November 12, 2018
Diabetic foot ulcers can take up to 150 days to heal. A biomedical engineering team wants to reduce it to 21 days.

Diabetes drug might also ease heart failure risks

November 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—The diabetes drug Farxiga might do double-duty for patients, helping to ward off another killer, heart failure, new research shows.

Marijuana use tied to serious diabetes complication

November 8, 2018
(HealthDay)—People with type 1 diabetes who use marijuana may double their risk of developing a life-threatening complication, a new study suggests.

Researchers report connection between intestinal bacteria and development of diabetes

November 7, 2018
Researchers at Örebro University have, together with a well-known research team in Denmark, developed a method for studying how metabolism in gut bacteria influences health. Their method will now be published in its entirety ...

Genetic factors tied to obesity may protect against diabetes

November 2, 2018
Some genetic variations linked with obesity actually protect against Type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke, new findings suggest.

Study shows improved health, reduced overweight and obesity in Pacific-region children

October 30, 2018
A community-randomized clinical trial of the Children's Healthy Living Program (CHL), based at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, seeking to sustainably prevent and decrease overweight and obese young children and to improve ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.