Dulaglutide, Exenatide, Liraglutide, Lixisenatide, Semaglutide
Issues for Surgery
For type 2 diabetes mellitus – increased risk of post-operative infection and delayed wound healing due to poor glycaemic control if omitted.
For weight management (liraglutide only) – see Further Information.
Dehydration (including renal impairment/acute renal failure) if continued (see Further Information).
Delay in absorption of some medicines due to delay in gastric emptying if continued (see Interaction with Common Medicines used in the Perioperative Period).
Potential for hypoglycaemia when used in combination with a sulfonylurea or insulin and continued during nil by mouth (NBM) period (includes the combination products Xultrophy® and Suliqua®).
Advice in the Perioperative period
Emergency or Elective Surgery
GLP-1 receptor agonists should be taken as normal the day prior to surgery1.
Morning or Afternoon Surgery
Consideration should be given to prescribing the components of combination products as separate medicines perioperatively.
Commence variable rate intravenous insulin infusion (VRIII) perioperatively where indicated (see Further Information) and continue GLP-1 receptor agonist1, 2.
Ensure emergency treatment of hypoglycaemia is prescribed i.e. Glucogel® and 20% dextrose. Rapid acting insulin should also be prescribed1, 2.
Continue, even if VRIII is used.
NB: For GLP-1 analogues that are administered on a weekly basis – where the usual day of administration is missed, consult product literature for advice on when to safely administer a dose.
Interaction(s) with Common Anaesthetic Agents
None2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.
Interaction(s) with other Common Medicines used in the Perioperative Period
Dulaglutide, immediate release exenatide, liraglutide and lixisenatide may delay gastric emptying and have the potential to impact the rate of absorption of concomitantly administered oral medicinal products. Care should be taken in patients who may require oral medicinal products that require rapid gastrointestinal absorption during the perioperative phase 3, 4, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14.
Immediate-Release Exenatide and Lixisenatide
Oral medications that are particularly dependent on threshold concentrations for efficacy (e.g. antibiotics) should be taken 1 hour before immediate-release exenatide or lixisenatide injection4, 8.
Gastroresistant formulations containing substances sensitive for degradation in the stomach (e.g. proton pump inhibitors) should be taken 1 hour before or 4 hours after immediate-release exenatide or lixisenatide injection4, 8.
Signs and symptoms of dehydration, including renal impairment and acute renal failure, have been reported in patients treated with GLP-1 analogues. Consideration should be given to the potential risk of dehydration in the perioperative period in relation to gastrointestinal side effects (i.e. vomiting) and precautions taken to avoid fluid depletion3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14.
Patients with a planned short starvation period (no more than one missed meal in total) should be managed by modification of their usual diabetes medication, avoiding VRIII wherever possible (although VRIII may be necessary if emergency surgery or in people with poorly controlled diabetes (HbA1c >69mmol/mol))1. Patients with type 2 diabetes who are expected to miss more than one meal should have VRIII if they develop hyperglycaemia (capillary blood glucose (CBG) >12mmol/L)1.
Liraglutide as Saxenda® is indicated as an adjunct in weight management. Whilst omission over a short-term period should not cause an issue, ability to sustain any weight loss achieved during treatment is unlikely if Saxenda® is stopped for any prolonged period of time. There is no clear evidence to confirm if and how long the benefits of liraglutide will persist after treatment discontinuation15.