Type 2 diabetes: New guidelines on using GLP-1 drugs such as Ozempic

Evan Walker
Evan Walker TheMediTary.Com |
Medication drips from an Ozempic needleShare on Pinterest
A physicians’ group says weight loss drugs such as Ozempic can help manage type 2 diabetes. NurPhoto/Getty Images
  • Researchers report that GLP-1 and SGLT-2 drugs can help people with type 2 diabetes control blood sugar.
  • They note that the high cost of drugs such Jardiance and Ozempic can be a barrier to treatment.
  • DPP-4 drugs were not recommended because researchers said they don’t appear to reduce morbidity or mortality.

Medications such as Jardiance and Ozempic can help people with type 2 diabetes who have trouble controlling their blood sugar when the drugs are used in conjunction with the diabetes medication metformin as well as interventions to improve diet and exercise.

That’s what the American College of Physicians (ACP) is saying in their newly revised clinical recommendations published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“ACP recommends adding a sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitor or glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist to metformin and lifestyle interventions in patients with type 2 diabetes and inadequate glycemic control,” said organization officials in updating their diabetes treatment guidelines for the first time since 2017.

“The American College of Physicians’ updated guidelines on pharmacological treatments for type 2 diabetes provides valuable recommendations for physicians, particularly in highlighting the benefits of SGLT-2 inhibitors and GLP-1 agonists for reducing serious complication risks,” Dr. William Hsu, an endocrinologist and chief medical officer at health nutrition firm L-Nutra, told Medical News Today. “However, it’s crucial to recognize that medication alone is not sufficient for optimal diabetes management. Type 2 diabetes is fundamentally a metabolic disorder rooted in insulin resistance and beta cell fatigue driven by factors like obesity, inactivity, a suboptimal diet, and aging. To achieve transformative diabetes care, we must address these underlying root causes. This is where innovative nutrition-based interventions can play a pivotal role.”

The ACP guidelines focused on beneficial clinical outcomes rather than metrics such as glycemic control.

The physicians’ group noted that treatment needs to be tailored to the needs of each individual, taking into account factors such as age, co-morbidities, and personal preferences.

“These updates are in line with current guidelines from the American Diabetes Association and the American College of Cardiology and reflect current clinical practice,” Dr. Jacqueline Lonier, an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center in New York, told Medical News Today. “As most patients with type 2 diabetes are treated in the primary-care setting, the increasing utilization of SGLT2 inhibitors and GLP1 agonists by our primary-care colleagues will improve outcomes in people with type 2 diabetes on a population level.”

The clinical guidelines cautioned against treating people with type 2 diabetes with inadequate glycemic control with dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, saying that “high-certainty evidence showed that adding a DPP-4 inhibitor does not reduce morbidity or all-cause mortality.”

Share this Article