By Emma Wilkinson
Injections of liraglutide are better than oral sitagliptin at controlling blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes not controlled on metformin, US researchers report.
In a 26-week randomised controlled trial of 665 patients, the team compared 1.2 mg or 1.8 mg injections of liraglutide and 100 mg sitagliptin orally once daily.
Reductions in blood glucose among patients with a mean HbA1c of 8.5% at baseline were 1.50% with 1.8 mg liraglutide, 1.24% with 1.2 mg liraglutide and 0.90% with sitagliptin.
Both drugs seemed well-tolerated overall, but nausea was more common with liraglutide (27% patients on 1.8 mg; 21% on 1.2 mg) than with sitagliptin (5% of patients).
Study leader Dr Richard Pratley, director of the Diabetes and Metabolism Translational Medicine Unit at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, said: ‘These results suggest the differences in HbA1c between liraglutide and sitagliptin are clinically relevant, and support the use of liraglutide as an effective agent to add to metformin.’
But an accompanying editorial pointed out that one pill daily might be seen to be easier to administer than a subcutaneous injection.
A spokesperson for sitagliptin manufacturer MSD said: ‘Although a statistically significant difference was seen, the percentage reduction comparison was small with the most commonly used dose of liraglutide 1.2mg.’
Gliptin injections improve glycaemic control