Nevertheless, Dandona notes, even well-controlled type 1 diabetics still experience "glycemic excursions," fairly wide swings in their blood glucose numbers ranging from the hyperglycemic, from 150 milligrams per deciliter to 250 mg/dl or higher to the hypoglycemic, under 70 mg/dl.
"The addition of liraglutide to insulin therapy in these well-controlled type 1 diabetics resulted in a significant and rapid reduction in glycemic excursions and, as a consequence, a rapid reduction in the amount of insulin they needed to take," Dandona explains.
Several figures in this presentation by Dandona clearly demonstrate this effect.
These improvements occurred rapidly, within 1-2 days of beginning treatment with liraglutide and they reversed just as rapidly when treatment was discontinued, signifying that it was the drug that was responsible for these beneficial effects.
The mechanism behind these improvements is not well-understood but Dandona and his co-authors suggest that liraglutide may be suppressing the post-meal increase in glucagon, the hormone that raises glucose levels, in type 1 diabetics.
Dandona and his colleagues are now planning a much larger, multicenter study of liraglutide in type 1 diabetics.
"We will be investigating in detail the hypothesis that it is liraglutide's ability to suppress glucagon that significantly reduces the wide swings in blood glucose levels that type 1 diabetics -- even those with very good glucose control -- live with everyday," says Dandona.
The retrospective study involved 14 adult type 1 diabetics who took liraglutide for periods ranging from one week to 24 weeks.
|Contact: Ellen Goldbaum|
University at Buffalo