Introduced less than two decades ago, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists rapidly reshaped the field of Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) care by providing glycaemic control in tandem with weight loss. However, FDA-approved GLP-1 receptor agonists are often accompanied by nausea and emesis and, in some lean T2DM patients, by undesired anorexia. Importantly, the hypophagic and emetic effects of GLP-1 receptor agonists are caused by activation of central GLP-1 receptors. This review summarizes two different approaches to mitigate the incidence and severity of nausea and emesis related to GLP-1 receptor agonists: conjugation with vitamin B12, or related corrin ring-containing compounds (‘corrination’), and development of dual agonists of GLP-1 receptors with glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). Such approaches could lead to the generation of GLP-1 receptor agonists with improved therapeutic efficacy, thus decreasing treatment attrition, increasing patient compliance and extending treatment to a broader population of T2DM patients. The data reviewed show that it is possible to pharmacologically separate the emetic effects of GLP-1 receptor agonists from their glucoregulatory action. LINKED ARTICLES: This article is part of a themed issue on GLP1 receptor ligands (BJP 75th Anniversary). To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v179.4/issuetoc.
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