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Patients with type 2 diabetes who took a once-weekly formulation of exenatide in a clinical trial maintained better hemoglobin A1C and fasting plasma glucose levels than those who took the commonly prescribed formulation of the drug, which is administered twice a day. The long-acting release formulation combined exenatide with material used in resorbable sutures to prolong drug effects. Patients took the drug once a week, but the drug was released over weeks or months.


The study involved 295 patients with type 2 diabetes who received the drug either once a week or twice a day for 30 weeks. Levels of hemoglobin A1C decreased 1.9% in patients who took the weekly dose compared with 1.5% who took the drug twice daily. Fasting plasma glucose levels dropped by 42 mg/dL in those taking the weekly dose, compared with a drop of 25 mg/dL in those who took the drug twice daily. Patients also tolerated the once-weekly preparation better than the twice-daily one, which commonly causes nausea.


Known as an incretin mimetic, exenatide mimics the action of hormones that regulate blood glucose by stimulating glucose-dependent insulin secretion, inhibiting glucagon secretion, and slowing gastric emptying. Researchers presented the study at the American Diabetes Association 68th Scientific Sessions in San Francisco, Calif.