GLP-1 receptor agonists for diabetes: a review of the cardiovascular, kidney and mortality outcomes

Can liraglutide promote weight loss in patients with diabetes?

Posted by Medivizor on Mar 31, 2020 in Diabetes mellitus |


In a nutshell

This study examined whether liraglutide (Victoza) can aid in weight loss for patients with diabetes who are overweight or obese. It found that liraglutide led to increased weight loss when used with diet and exercise in these patients.

Some background

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body stops responding to the hormone insulin. This causes high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Weight loss can improve blood glucose control. Unfortunately, many of the medications to control blood glucose cause weight gain.

Liraglutide is a medication with properties like the hormone glucagon. Liraglutide lowers appetite and causes the body to release more insulin. Liraglutide has been used with insulin to treat diabetes, and it has also been used for weight control. It is unclear whether liraglutide can be used for weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes who are overweight or obese.

Methods & findings

This study followed 396 people overweight or obese with type 2 diabetes. All of the participants received intensive behavioral therapy, which includes group counseling with a dietitian and a diet-and-exercise plan. Half of the participants received liraglutide, and the other half received an inactive placebo. Patients continued to take diabetes medication they were already on, but the dose of some medicines was reduced. Patients were followed for 56 weeks.

On average, patients taking liraglutide lost 5.8% of their body weight, while controls lost 1.5%. The waists of patients taking liraglutide also became slimmer (5.28 cm vs. 2.56 cm circumference reduction).

Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) is a measure of blood glucose control over the previous 2-3 months. HbA1c decreased more for patients taking liraglutide (-1.1% vs. -0.6%). Keeping HbA1c below 7% is a common target for patients with diabetes. Significantly more patients taking liraglutide both lost at least 5% of body weight and kept HbA1c below the target level (39.0% vs. 13.9%).

Patients taking liraglutide were more likely to have nausea (29.7% vs. 11.7%), diarrhea (23.1% vs. 15.2%), and vomiting (16.4% vs. 6.1%). There were fewer episodes of hypoglycemia (unusually low blood glucose) in the liraglutide group.

The bottom line

This study found that patients with diabetes who are overweight or obese had more weight loss taking liraglutide than diet and exercise alone. Patients also had improved HbA1c.

The fine print

This study received funding from NovoNordisk, the manufacturer of liraglutide.

What’s next?

If you have concerns about type 2 diabetes and weight-loss please discuss tine with your doctor.

Published By :

Diabetes Care

Original Title :

Efficacy and Safety of Liraglutide 3.0 mg in Individuals With Overweight or Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Treated With Basal Insulin: The SCALE Insulin Randomized Controlled Trial.

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