New Weekly Diabetes Shots

New findings published in the September issue of The Lancet show that a new formulation of the drug exenatide given once a week is more effective than when given twice a day, as is the current practice.

New findings published in the September issue of The Lancet show that a new formulation of the drug exenatide given once a week is more effective than when given twice a day, as is the current practice. The 30-week randomized trial conducted among 295 patients with type 2 diabetes involved treating patients with either a weekly exenatide shot or a twice-a-day exenatide (Byetta) regimen. The new formulation of the drug exenatide is meant to mimic GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide), which is usually produced naturally in the stomach after eating. Lead researcher of the study, Daniel J Drucker MD, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, has been studying GLP-1 for more than 20 years.

Results showed that patients given the once-a-week dosage had significantly greater changes in HbA1c, which was the primary study endpoint. “A significantly greater proportion of patients receiving treatment once a week versus twice a day achieved target HbA1c levels of 7•0% or less,” stated the study authors. In addition, patients taking the once-weekly dose experienced fewer side effects, greater reductions in body weight, and no change in risk of hypoglycemia.

The study results are preliminary and further research will be needed, but findings so far have been promising and raised scientists’ hopes for developing a less cumbersome diabetes regimen. An abstract for the study can be found here.

Have you found twice a day dosages very cumbersome for your patients? Would you advocate for the further development of a weekly injection instead? We’d love to hear from you!