The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences


Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) is an intricate disorder defined by insulin resistance, impaired insulin secretion, hyperglycemia, and both microvascular and macrovascular complications. Standard antidiabetic agents like metformin, insulin, sulfonylureas and thiazolidinediones are often insufficient at glucoregulation and do not address the decline in beta cell function that characterizes type 2 diabetes. Moreover, the adverse effects of some of these pharmaceuticals, such as hypoglycemia and weight gain, are disappointing and further limit their clinical utility. Research demonstrates that the actions of two potent incretins. Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP), address these concerns as they stimulate beta cell activity, increase insulin secretion and decrease glucagon secretion both in a glucose dependent fashion, and increase satiety which results in weight loss. These effects have attracted increasing interest and excitement in the scientific literature as incretin mimetics have been introduced for patients in which first line therapy is unsatisfactory. Three drugs that mimic the actions of endogenous GLP-1 have been introduced—Exenatide, Exenatide LAR, and liraglutide—and this paper will focus on the role and efficacy that these novel treatment options play in the management of type 2 diabetes as clinicians are shifting away from traditional therapy.