, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 55-60
Date: 31 Jan 2008

Exenatide as a treatment for diabetes and obesity: Implications for cardiovascular risk reduction

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Among the challenges in improving outcomes in patients with diabetes is effectively implementing existing pharmacotherapies. However, current therapies for diabetes are often limited by adverse effects such as edema, hypoglycemia, and weight gain. Understanding the role of the incretin effect on the pathophysiology of diabetes has led to the development of new therapeutic agents. Exenatide is the first in a new class of agents termed “incretin mimetics,” which replicate several glucoregulatory effects of the endogenous incretin hormone, glucagon-like peptide-1. In clinical trials, patients with type 2 diabetes treated with exenatide demonstrate sustained improvements in glycemic control, with reductions in fasting and postprandial glucose levels and improvements in glycosylated hemoglobin levels. Improvements in glycemic control with exenatide are coupled with reductions in body weight. Lipid parameters, blood pressure, and C-reactive protein have been shown to improve favorably in patients treated with exenatide. The sustained glycemic improvements and progressive reduction in body weight with exenatide treatment support a shift toward a more favorable cardiovascular risk profile and may have a positive impact on decreasing the risk of associated long-term complications.