Review| Volume 103, ISSUE 2, P269-275, February 2014

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Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists and pancreatitis: A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials

Published:January 31, 2014DOI:



      Several randomized trials with metabolic outcomes have reported that glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA) could be associated with an increased risk of pancreatitis. The present meta-analysis aimed to examine this hypothesis.


      An extensive Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Database search for “exenatide”, “liraglutide”, “albiglutide”, “taspoglutide”, “dulaglutide”, “lixisenatide”, and “semaglutide” was performed up to March 31st, 2013. Inclusion criteria: (i) randomized trials, (ii) duration ≥12 weeks; (iii) on type 2 diabetes; and (iv) comparison of GLP-1RA with placebo or active drugs. Mantel–Haenszel odds ratio with 95% confidence interval (MH-OR) was calculated for pancreatitis.


      80 eligible trials were identified. Of these, 39 had not disclosed their findings or did not report any information on pancreatitis. The remaining 41 trials enrolled 14,972 patients, with a total exposure of 14,333 patient × years (8353 and 5980 patient × years for GLP-1 receptor agonists and comparators, respectively). The overall risk of pancreatitis was not different between GLP-1RA and comparators (MH-OR: 1.01[0.37; 2.76]; p = 0.99).


      The present meta-analysis does not suggest any increase in the risk of pancreatitis with the use of GLP-1RA. However, it should be recognized that the number of observed cases of incident pancreatitis is very small and the confidence intervals of risk estimates are wide.


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