Exenatide Treatment for 6 Months Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Adults with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

  1. Kristina I. Rother, M.D., M.H.Sc.1
  1. 1Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch (DEOB), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH, Bethesda, MD
  2. 2Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  3. 3Diabetes Division, Internal Medicine Department, University of Massachusetts School of Medicine and UMass Memorial Health Care, Worcester, MA
  1. Corresponding Author: Kristina I. Rother, Email: kristina.rother{at}


Objective Exenatide treatment improves glycemia in adults with type 2 diabetes and has been shown to reduce postprandial hyperglycemia in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. We studied the effects of exenatide on glucose homeostasis in adults with long-standing type 1 diabetes.

Research Designs and Methods 14 patients with type 1 diabetes participated in a cross-over study of 6 months duration on exenatide (10 mcg four times daily) and 6 months off exenatide. We assessed changes in fasting and postprandial blood glucose and changes in insulin sensitivity before and after each study period.

Results High dose exenatide therapy reduced postprandial blood glucose but was associated with higher fasting glucose concentrations without net changes in hemoglobin A1C. Exenatide increased insulin sensitivity beyond the effects expected due to weight reduction.

Conclusions Exenatide is a promising adjunctive agent to insulin therapy due to its beneficial effects on postprandial blood glucose and insulin sensitivity in patients with type 1 diabetes.

  • Received June 20, 2013.
  • Accepted October 30, 2013.

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