Efficacy and Clinical Characteristics of Liraglutide in Japanese Patients With Type 2 Diabetes

Daisuke Ito, Takujiro Iuchi, Susumu Kurihara, Ikuo Inoue, Shigehiro Katayama, Kouichi Inukai


Background: Liraglutide was first released in Japan as a long-acting once-daily glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist. The maximum dose in Japan is 0.9 mg/day, which is half of that used in the United States and the European Union (1.8 mg/day). The efficacy of this maximum allowable dose of liraglutide for Japanese patients and the profiles of those patients for whom this agent should be recommended remain unclear.

Methods: This study aimed to examine the effective use of liraglutide in Japanese type 2 diabetic patients. We administered liraglutide to 60 patients, who had been managed with oral hypoglycemic agents or diet and exercise therapy only, during a period of 6 months.

Results: Though HbA1c levels significantly decreased, by approximately 1.5%, after 6 months of liraglutide administration, no significant changes in body weights were observed. The 0.6 mg dose was effective in approximately 40% of patients. In contrast, the effects of a dose increase from 0.6 mg to 0.9 mg were small. The greatest efficacy, as shown by a 2.5% HbA1c decrease, was achieved in non-obese patients. Thus, efficacy decreased as the degree of obesity increased. In addition, efficacy was higher in patients who had a diabetes duration of less than 10 years and was also higher in the group that had a low sulfonylurea (SU) index, when we define the SU index as mg/glimepiride × years of treatment.

Conclusions: As appetite suppressions and associated decreases in body weights were not observed in obese patients, the efficacy of liraglutide at 0.9 mg did not appear to be high. Rather, it appeared to be highly effective for patients who were non-obese and for whom amelioration of blood glucose elevations could be anticipated via the stimulation of insulin secretion. Therefore, we found that liraglutide at doses of 0.9 mg was highly effective in non-obese patients who were in the early stages of diabetes and was particularly effective in patients who had not yet been administered SU agents.

J Clin Med Res. 2015;7(9):694-699
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/jocmr2237w


Type 2 diabetes; Liraglutide; GLP-1 receptor agonist; Long-acting; Body weight; Incretin

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