Liraglutide helps patients with type 2 diabetes lose weight, according to a new study. In a 56-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 846 adults with type 2 diabetes who were overweight or obese were randomized to once-daily subcutaneous liraglutide 3 mg (n = 423), liraglutide 1.8 mg (n = 211), or placebo (n = 212). Patients were also on a calorie-restricted diet and counseled on engaging in more physical activity. Baseline weight was similar in all three groups. Weight loss was 6% with liraglutide (3 mg), 4.7% with liraglutide (1.8 mg), and 2% with placebo (P < 0.001 for both doses). Weight loss of 5% or more occurred in 54.3% of patients on the higher dose, 40% on the lower dose, and 21.4% on placebo. Weight loss of more than 10% occurred in 25% of patients on the higher dose, 18.5% on the lower dose, and 12.4% of placebo patients. Measures of weight-related quality of life significantly improved with the 3 mg dose of liraglutide, but not with the 1.8 mg dose. Gastrointestinal symptoms were more common with liraglutide compared to placebo, but no cases of pancreatitis were seen. The authors concluded that among overweight and obese participants with type 2 diabetes, use of subcutaneous liraglutide (3 mg) daily compared with placebo resulted in weight loss over 56 weeks (JAMA 2015;314:687-699). Liraglutide as Victoza (0.6 mg to 1.8 mg) is approved for treatment of type 2 diabetes, while liraglutide as Saxenda (0.6 mg to 3 mg) is approved for long-term treatment of obesity.
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