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Drug side effects

Antidiabetic incretin-based drugs not linked to heart failure risk

Patients who take incretin-based drugs are no more likely to have heart failure than those taking oral antidiabetic drug combinations, study finds.

There have been fears that antidiabetic incretin-based drugs increase the risk of heart failure. But studies of the drug class, which includes dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analogues, have produced inconsistent results. 

Researchers analysed data on nearly 1.5 million patients with diabetes from North America and the UK. They found that patients who received incretin-based drugs were no more likely to be hospitalised for heart failure than those receiving oral antidiabetic drug combinations. This was true in patients both with and without a history of heart failure, as well as for DPP-4 inhibitors and GLP-1 analogues. 

Reporting in The New England Journal of Medicine (online, 24 March 2016)[1], the researchers note that in previous trials examining a possible link, heart failure incidence was a secondary outcome and sample sizes may not have been sufficient.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/CP.2016.20200965

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