Liraglutide Pharmacology

On this episode, I discuss liraglutide pharmacology, drug interactions, and adverse effects.

Liraglutide is well known to cause nausea. It is important to assess the severity of nausea as it may subside in some patients as they gain tolerability to the medication.

We mentioned the 2022 Diabetes Guideline Cheat Sheet in the podcast – you can get that for free at

Liraglutide has a fairly low risk of hypoglycemia when used alone, but this risk increases when it is used with insulin or sulfonylureas.

Saxenda is the weight loss formulation of liraglutide and dosing is higher for weight management than it is for diabetes management.

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GLP-1 Agonist Pharmacology

The GLP-1’s are a relatively newer class of medications used to lower blood sugars in diabetes.

GLP-1’s work by simulating the effects of incretin hormones in the body. They can help promote fullness, lower weight, and stimulate insulin release following a meal.

GLP-1’s can cause significant GI side effects. Nausea is by far the most common adverse effect. It can even lead to diarrhea and vomiting in some cases.

There is boxed warning on the GLP-1 agonists. Be aware of patients who have had a history of thyroid cancer as this may be a contraindication.

GLP-1 agonists can help lower A1C and stimulate weight loss which is a huge benefit for most patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Be sure to check out our free Top 200 study guide – a 31 page PDF that is yours for FREE!