Efficacy and safety of dulaglutide in patients with absolute insulin deficiency

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Objective. While dulaglutide has been approved inpatients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in combination with insulin, it has not been studied in insulin-deficient patients, not whether they have type 1 diabetes (T1DM) or T2DM. The aim of this study is to assess the efficacy and safety of dulaglutide 0.75 mg/once weekly (QW) in patients with absolute insulin deficiency (n=10).

Subjects and Results. Significant reductions of HbA1c (9.30±1.03% to 8.61±1.21%; p<0.02) and body mass index (BMI; 23.61±3.95 to 23.41±4.24; p<0.02) levels were observed at 3 months with the addition of dulaglutide to the existing pharmacotherapy. However, in all the patients, post-meal C-peptide levels remained undetectable. One patient had gastrointestinal adverse events and discontinue dulaglutide within the first month. One patient was a non-responder, who had little if any changes in HbA1c levels at 3 months.

Conclusions. The results indicate that dulaglutide is effective in patients with T1DM or T2DM with absolute insulin deficiency, though gastrointestinal adverse events might be of concern. The improvements in glycemic control could not be due to enhanced insulin secretion, but may be as a result of a combination of the other effects of glucagon like peptide 1 (GLP-1), such as postprandial glucagon suppression, delayed gastric emptying, and weight loss.

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