What are GLP-1 Receptor Agnonists Drugs?

Incretin mimetics (GLP-1 agonists)—also called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists or GLP-1 analogues—are an injectable medications used to treat type 2 diabetes. They are usually prescribed if you have not been able to manage your condition successfully by taking tablets.

GLP-1 agonists mimic your body’s own incretin hormones by lowering your blood sugar levels after you eat. Before your blood sugar starts to rise, the GLP 1 agonists trigger your pancreas to release insulin. They also prevent the release of glucagon, a hormone that lets sugar stored in the liver into the bloodstream.

By slowing down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream, glucagon-like-peptide-1 agonists also delay the process of emptying your stomach after you eat, therefore making you feel full for longer.

In this way the blood sugar lowering properties of glucagon like peptide agonists, taken together with a diet and exercise program, have been proven to help with weight loss.

It is important to take diabetes medications properly to prevent any health complications. You should attend regular check-ups and ensure your doctor monitors your doctor since diabetes symptoms can change or get worse. Your doctor will take your lifestyle into consideration when deciding what medication to prescribe, and your dose may need to change over time.

Always let your doctor know of any medication you take, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to conceive, as some over-the-counter supplements and products may harm your baby.

GLP-1 Brand Names

There are several brands of GLP-1 drugs:

  1. Victoza (liraglutide)
  2. Byetta (exenatide)
  3. Saxenda (liraglutide)
  4. Bydureon (exenatide)
  5. Trulicity (dulaglutide)
  6. Tanzeum (albiglutide)
  7. Adlyxin (lixisenatide)

Side effects 

All drugs have some side effects. Most symptoms tend to be mild and usually go away once your body adjusts to the medication.

The most common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Decreased appetite

Drinking plenty of water and eating slowly may help if you are experiencing nausea. Small, low-fat meals are recommended.

Contact your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after a while. You may need a change in dose or medication. You should also tell your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Hives (skin rash)
  • Trouble swallowing (a lump in your neck)

You should seek emergency advice immediately if you have any of the following serious side effects:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Sharp stomach pain (with or without back pain)
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Swelling (of your throat, lips, face or tongue)

If you are using the extended-release formula of a GLP-1 agonist, you may notice some small lumps at the injection site. These marks are nothing to worry about and will disappear once the medicine is absorbed into the body.

Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.