New Study Demonstrates Diabetes Drug Effective in Weight Loss

Full results from a year long trial involving over 3,700 overweight and obese patients taking the drug liraglutide (Saxenda) show that patients receiving the drug lost more weight than those given placebo.

[For the sake of clarification: Liraglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor. In the treatment of type 2 diabetes it is sold under the brand name Victoza. For weight loss, liraglutide has been reformulated and sold under the brand name Saxenda.]

In this study:

  • Those on liraglutide lost an average of 8.4±7.3 kg (18.5 ± 16.1 lbs) of body weight.
  • Those in the placebo group lost an average of 2.8±6.5 kg (6.2 ± 14.3 lbs).
  • More than 63 percent of patients on the drug lost at least 5 percent of their body weight versus 27 percent of the placebo group.
  • 33.1 percent of those in the treatment group lost more than 10 percent of their body weight.
  • Just 10.6 percent lost more than 10 percent of their body weight in the placebo group.
  • 14.4 percent of patients in the treatment group lost more than 15 percent of their body weight.
  • 3.5 percent in the placebo group lost more than 15 percent of their body weight.
  • However, 9.9 percent of patients in the treatment group withdrew from the study because of adverse events or side effects, compared to 3.8 percent of the placebo group.
  • In addition to medication, both groups received both lifestyle interventions and counseling.

This study was led by Xavier Pi-Sunyer, MD, at Columbia University in New York City, and the team reported their findings in the 2 July 2015 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"The treatment effect was similar in patients with prediabetes and those without prediabetes and was similar across body mass index categories," wrote Pi-Sunyer and colleagues.

In addition, the researchers found that there was a greater reduction in glycated hemoglobin, fasting glucose, and fasting insulin levels in the liraglutide group than in the placebo group.

Sources:
MedPage Today
NEJM

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