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Dulaglutide: an evidence-based review of its potential in the treatment of type 2 diabetes

Authors Edwards K, Minze M

Received 3 September 2014

Accepted for publication 14 October 2014

Published 9 January 2015 Volume 2015:10 Pages 11—21

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CE.S55944

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Gulshan Sharma


Krystal L Edwards,1 Molly G Minze2

1Ambulatory Care Division, Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Dallas, TX, USA; 2Ambulatory Care Division, Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Abilene, TX, USA


Introduction: As the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is anticipated to continue to rise worldwide, so too are the treatment options also continuing to expand. Current guidelines recommend individualized treatment plans which allow for provider choice and diversity of pharmacotherapeutic regimens. The glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 RA) class is rapidly expanding, with dulaglutide (Trulicity™) as a once-weekly agent recently approved.
Aims: This article examines the evidence currently available on the efficacy and safety of dulaglutide for use in T2DM.
Evidence review: Dulaglutide has been shown to have similar efficacy and safety to other newer GLP-1 RAs, and better glycemic control than placebo. It lowers glycated hemoglobin (A1c), fasting and postprandial glucose levels, and promotes weight loss when used as first-, second-, or third-line therapy. It has also been shown to improve β-cell function and provide cardiovascular benefits, such as lower blood pressure and improved lipid levels. Dulaglutide also has a low risk for hypoglycemia and a similar adverse effect profile to other GLP-1 RAs in the class, with transient gastrointestinal problems and potential risk for pancreatitis.
Place in therapy: While long-term data on safety and efficacy are forthcoming, dulaglutide is positioned to be placed at the same level as other GLP-1 RAs in the class: as second-line therapy in addition to diet and exercise in those patients who cannot achieve glycemic control on monotherapy metformin. It may also be useful as first-line therapy instead of metformin.
Conclusion: Dulaglutide is a once-weekly GLP-1 RA approved for the treatment of T2DM that has shown similar efficacy to other agents in this class.

Keywords: GLP-1 RA, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, incretin mimetic, type 2 diabetes mellitus therapy

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