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Once-weekly albiglutide in the management of type 2 diabetes: patient considerations

Authors Woodward H, Anderson S

Received 5 April 2014

Accepted for publication 2 May 2014

Published 29 May 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 789—803

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S53075

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4


Heather N Woodward,1 Sarah L Anderson2
1Centura St. Anthony’s Hospital, Lakewood, CO, USA; 2Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Aurora, CO, USA 
Abstract: This review describes the pharmacologic, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic properties of albiglutide, as well as its clinical efficacy and safety. Albiglutide is a novel, once-weekly, injectable glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The European Commission recently granted marketing authorization for the drug in the European Union and on April 15, 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration approved albiglutide (Tanzeum™ [GlaxoSmithKline LLC, Wilmington, DE, USA]) to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes. Albiglutide has been studied in Phase I, II, and III clinical trials. In the Phase III clinical trials, known as the Harmony series, weekly dosing of albiglutide demonstrated reductions in fasting plasma glucose, postprandial plasma glucose, and glycated hemoglobin, and was associated with weight loss. In all phases of the clinical trials, albiglutide administered once weekly showed a safety and tolerability profile similar to that of placebo, with mild gastrointestinal-related complaints and injection site erythema being the most commonly encountered adverse effects. Compared with pioglitazone and liraglutide, albiglutide has been shown to be clinically less effective. However, it offers the benefit of weight loss that pioglitazone does not, with fewer gastrointestinal side effects than liraglutide. As guidelines continue to advocate for patient-centered treatment strategies, once-weekly albiglutide will be an important addition to the growing armamentarium of treatment options for adults with type 2 diabetes needing target glycemic control.

Keywords: albiglutide, glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist, drug therapy, type 2 diabetes mellitus

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