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Semaglutide and T2DM

Semaglutide safe and effective against type 2 diabetes

Compared to other antidiabetic agents (sitagliptin, exenatide, liraglutide, dulaglutide, and insulin glargine), both doses of semaglutide demonstrated superior glycaemic efficacy

Semaglutide is safe and effective for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, according to a review by researchers from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. The researchers found that semaglutide is a potent once‐weekly GLP‐1 RA, reducing significantly HbA1c, body weight and systolic blood pressure. However, they noted semaglutide was associated with increased incidence of gastrointestinal adverse events.

The paper, ‘semaglutide for type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta‐analysis’, published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, sought to assess the efficacy and safety of semaglutide, a recently glucagon‐like peptide 1 receptor agonist (GLP‐1 RA) for type 2 diabetes.

Led by Dr Panagiotis Andreadis, he and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify randomised controlled trials comparing semaglutide with placebo or other antidiabetic agents. The primary outcome was measured change in HbA1c from baseline.

The researchers identified six placebo-controlled and seven active-controlled and reported that subcutaneous semaglutide (0.5 and 1mg) reduced HbA1c by 1.01 percent (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.56 to 1.47) and 1.38 percent (95 percent CI, 1.05 to 1.70), respectively, compared to placebo.

In addition, compared to other antidiabetic agents (sitagliptin, exenatide, liraglutide, dulaglutide, and insulin glargine), both doses of semaglutide demonstrated superior glycaemic efficacy. There was a beneficial effect on body weight (mean difference versus placebo −4.11kg; 95 percent CI, −4.85 to −3.37 for semaglutide 1mg) and systolic blood pressure with semaglutide. There was increased incidence of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea with semaglutide. Compared to placebo, cases of pancreatitis were infrequent the odds ratio for diabetic retinopathy was 1.32 (95 percent CI, 0.98 to 1.77).

“Semaglutide is a potent once‐weekly GLP‐1 RA, reducing significantly HbA1c, body weight and systolic blood pressure. However, it is associated with increased incidence of gastrointestinal adverse events,” the authors concluded. “Results for pancreatitis and retinopathy require further assessment in post‐approval pharmacovigilance studies.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of semaglutide.

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