Thyroid safety in patients treated with liraglutide


During the last years, various novel anti-diabetic drugs have considerably enriched the therapeutic armamentarium for subjects with Type 2 diabetes. In the meantime, much interest has recently been focused on the potential cardiovascular and oncological adverse effects of these new therapies. As to glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analogs, medullary thyroid tumors were reported to be more common in rodent toxicology studies with liraglutide, although the relevance of this finding in humans has been questioned. Analyses of sequential changes in calcitonin levels in several thousands of subjects did not reveal a relationship between liraglutide therapy and plasma calcitonin. Furthermore, no medullary thyroid cancer has been detected in humans taking liraglutide. Nevertheless, the long-term consequences of sustained GLP-1 receptor activation in the human thyroid remain unknown and deserve further investigation.

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Correspondence to M. Gallo MD.

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Gallo, M. Thyroid safety in patients treated with liraglutide. J Endocrinol Invest 36, 140–145 (2013).

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  • Liraglutide
  • medullary thyroid cancer
  • safety
  • thyroid cancer
  • Type 2 diabetes