Lixisenatide (Lyxumia) Against Diabetes and Parkinson's Disease

Lixisenatide, brand name Lyxumia, is a type of GLP-1 drug used for managing diabetes. It stands out from other GLP-1 drugs due to its unique ability to lower glucose levels after a meal, a significant advantage in diabetes treatment. Recently, Lixisenatide has been shown to reduce motor decline in Parkinson's Disease. This blog discusses what Lixisenatide is, what it is used for, and which drugs have similar actions.
Klara Hatinova

Klara Hatinova

Klara is postgraduate researcher in experimental psychology at the
University of Oxford.

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Lixisenatide: An Overview

Lixistenatide is a type 2 diabetes drug that enhances post-meal satiety and reduces the risk of hypoglycaemia. It has recently been shown to reduce motor decline in Parkinson’s Disease.

What Is Lixisenatide?

Lixisenatide, the brand name Lyxumia, is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist that the FDA first approved in 2016 [1].

Lixisenatide is used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) by a daily injection under the skin, most commonly at a dose of 20mg [2]. It works by stimulating insulin secretion after a meal while inhibiting glucagon secretion, which limits the risk of hypoglycaemia. Lixisenatide stands out by slowing down gastric emptying after a meal, which helps to reduce postprandial hyperglycemia [2].

Why Is Lixisenatide Different To Other Diabetes Drugs?

Compared to other GLP-1 agonists, Lixisenatide has several unique properties. It significantly affects postprandial plasma glucose (PPG) levels, reducing them substantially for the meal immediately following injection [3]. This ability to effectively control PPG levels makes Lixisenatide a potential replacement for prandial insulin [3].

Moreover, Lixisenatide has been shown to induce a modest weight reduction, contrasting with the weight gain commonly observed with certain antidiabetic medications, including insulin [2]. This feature makes it an appealing treatment option for patients with weight management issues, commonly comorbid with diabetes.

Lixisenatide has fewer adverse events in terms of safety compared to other GLP-1 receptor agonists on the market. The most common side effects are gastrointestinal, mainly transient nausea and vomiting of mild-to-moderate severity [4].

Lastly, the once-daily administration schedule of lixisenatide is convenient for patients, making it an attractive option as an add-on treatment to basal insulin therapy or oral antidiabetic agents [4].

Lixisenatide For Parkinson’s Disease

Not only is Lixisenatide an effective diabetes treatment, but it has also shown promising effects in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease [5]. This study, published this year (2024) in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, examined 156 patients. The group taking lixisenatide showed a slight improvement in motor symptoms, such as dystonia and dyskinesia, as opposed to the placebo group, where Parkinson’s Disease symptoms got significantly worse over the 12-month trial.

This is the opposite of tesofensine, which was first developed for Parkinson’s Disease symptoms but is now more commonly used for blood sugar and weight management.

Drugs Similar to Lixisenatide

There are other drugs similar to lixisenatide, which are used to treat type 2 diabetes. These have a similar mechanism of action by acting on the GLP-1 receptor.

One such drug is Liraglutide. It has been compared directly with Lixisenatide in clinical trials, demonstrating similar effects on glycemic control. Lixisenatide had greater benefits for enhancing post-meal satiety and lower rates of side effects [6, 7].

Exenatide is another GLP-1 receptor agonist that has been studied in comparison with Lixisenatide. It has similar effects on glycemic control, but Lixisenatide was also better tolerated [7].

Summary Of Lixisenatide (Lyxumia)

To summarise, lixisenatide is a novel drug used to manage type 2 diabetes, with emerging efficacy at reducing Parkinson’s Disease motor decline. It is better tolerated than other GLP-1 agonist drugs used for type 2 diabetes and weight loss and can promote post-meal satiety, making it an attractive option for many patients.

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Klara Hatinova

Klara Hatinova

Klara is a postgraduate researcher in experimental psychology at the University of Oxford. She has worked across a spectrum of hot topics in neuroscience, including her current project measuring reinforcement learning strategies in Parkinson’s disease. Previously, she studied the efficacy of psilocybin as a therapy for critical mental health conditions and examined molecular circadian rhythms of migraine disorders. She completed her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow and participated in a year abroad at the University of California, where she worked on a clinical trial for spinal cord injury.