Exenatide: role in management of Type 2 diabetes and associated cardiovascular risk factors

Author(s): Zin Z Htike, Kamlesh Khunti and Melanie Davies

Management of Type 2 diabetes, particularly in obese patients, is rather challenging as treatment with the majority of the available glucose-lowering therapies is often associated with side effects of weight gain and hypoglycemia, in addition to failure to maintain durable glycemic control. The first available glucagon-like peptide-1 analog, exenatide, adds a new therapeutic option to the currently available glucose-lowering agents for obese patients with Type 2 diabetes. Both randomized controlled trials and retrospective observational studies have shown that treatment with exenatide not only improves glycemic control with a low risk of hypoglycemia, but also results in concurrent weight loss with the additional benefit of improvement in cardiovascular risk factors of hypertension and hyperlipidemia.