Dulaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 agonist) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes that can be used once weekly.GLP-1 is a hormone that is involved in the normalization of level of glucose in blood (glycemia). The FDA approved dulaglutide for use in the United States in September 2014. The drug is manufactured by Eli Lilly under the brand name Trulicity.
Mechanism of action
Dulaglutide binding to glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor slows gastric emptying and increases insulin secretion by beta cells in the pancreas. Simultaneously the compound reduces the elevated glucagon secretion by alpha cells of the pancreas, which is known to be inappropriate in the diabetic patient. GLP-1 is normally secreted by L cells of the gastrointestinal mucosa in response to a meal.
The compound is indicated for adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control. Dulaglutide is not indicated in the treatment of subjects with type 1 diabetes mellitus or patients with diabetic ketoacidosis. Dulaglutide can be used either stand-alone or in combination with other medicines for type 2 diabetes, in particular metformin, sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, and insulin taken concomitantly with meals.
The most common side effects include gastrointestinal disorders, such as dyspepsia, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea. Some patients may experience serious adverse reactions: acute pancreatitis (symptoms include persistent severe abdominal pain, sometimes radiating to the back and accompanied by vomiting), hypoglycemia, renal impairment (which may sometimes require hemodialysis). The risk of hypoglycemia is increased if the drug is used in combination with sulfonylureas or insulin.
The compound is contraindicated in subjects with hypersensitivity to active principle or any of the product's components. As a precautionary measure patients with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma or affected by multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 should not take dulaglutide, because for now it is unclear whether the compound can increase the risk of these cancers.
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