Role of Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) Receptor Agonists in Hypoglycemia

Daria Ja’arah, Mazhar Salim Al Zoubi, Gamal Abdelhady, Firas Rabi, Murtaza M Tambuwala

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
83 Downloads (Pure)


A relatively recent addition to the arsenal of antidiabetic drugs used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has been the “incretin mimetics,” a group of drugs that work on the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor and enhance insulin secretion from the pancreatic β-cells in a glucose-dependent manner, more potently in hyperglycemic conditions, while suppressing glucagon secretion at the same time. Therefore, it was assumed that this class of drugs would have a lower risk of hypoglycemia than insulin secretagogues like sulphonylureas. However, GLP-1 receptor agonists have been proposed to cause hypoglycemia in healthy normoglycemic subjects implying that their action is not as glucose-dependent as once thought. Other studies concluded that they might not induce hypoglycemia and the risk is dependent on other individual factors. However, the FDA announced that the 12 GLP-1 receptor agonists currently available on the market had potential safety signs and evaluated the need for regulatory action. This review provides an overview of the studies that investigated the possible hypoglycemic effect of GLP-1 receptor agonists. In addition, the current review describes other adverse effects of GLP-1 receptor agonist treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11795514211051697
JournalClinical Medicine Insights: Endocrinology and Diabetes
Early online date17 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished online - 17 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are very thankful to the Deanship of Scientific Research and Graduate Study for their support to complete and publish this work. Many thanks to Mr. Adel Rababh for the fine art production. The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • Review Article
  • GLP-1
  • GLP-1 RA
  • T2DM
  • hypoglycemia
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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