The development of glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RA) for type 2 diabetes and obesity was followed by data establishing the cardiorenal benefits of GLP-1RA in select patient populations. In ongoing trials investigators are interrogating the efficacy of these agents for new indications, including metabolic liver disease, peripheral artery disease, Parkinson disease, and Alzheimer disease. The success of GLP-1–based medicines has spurred the development of new molecular entities and combinations with unique pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles, exemplified by tirzepatide, a GIP-GLP-1 receptor coagonist. Simultaneously, investigational molecules such as maritide block the GIP and activate the GLP-1 receptor, whereas retatrutide and survodutide enable simultaneous activation of the glucagon and GLP-1 receptors. Here I highlight evidence establishing the efficacy of GLP-1–based medicines, while discussing data that inform safety, focusing on muscle strength, bone density and fractures, exercise capacity, gastrointestinal motility, retained gastric contents and anesthesia, pancreatic and biliary tract disorders, and the risk of cancer. Rapid progress in development of highly efficacious GLP-1 medicines, and anticipated differentiation of newer agents in subsets of metabolic disorders, will provide greater opportunities for use of personalized medicine approaches to improve the health of people living with cardiometabolic disorders.

This content is only available via PDF.
Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at https://www.diabetesjournals.org/journals/pages/license.