Diabetes Treatment Aids Weight Loss in Patients with Diabetes

Pharmacy Times, October 2015 Diabetes, Volume 81, Issue 10

Daily injection of the diabetes drug liraglutide can lead to greater weight loss when used in addition to diet and exercise.

Although losing weight can often prove challenging for patients who are obese and have type 2 diabetes, recent study results show that daily injection of the diabetes drug liraglutide can lead to greater weight loss when used in addition to diet and exercise. The study, published in JAMA, randomly assigned 846 adult patients with diabetes to once-daily injections of 3.0 mg of liraglutide, 1.8 mg of liraglutide, or placebo. The participants were also instructed to follow a reduced-calorie diet and increase physical activity for weight management.

After 56 weeks, the research team found that the participants treated with 3.0 and 1.8 mg of liraglutide experienced an average weight loss of 6.0% and 4.7%, respectively, compared with an average 2.0% weight loss reported by the placebo group. Additionally, weight loss of 5.0% or greater occurred in 54.3% of patients treated with 3.0 mg of liraglutide, 40.4% of those treated with 1.8 mg of liraglutide, and 21.4% of those in the placebo group.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study specifically designed to investigate the efficacy of liraglutide for weight management in patients with type 2 diabetes and also the first study to investigate liraglutide at the higher 3.0-mg dose in a population with type 2 diabetes,” the authors wrote. “In the present trial, liraglutide (3.0 mg), as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity, was effective and generally well tolerated and was significantly better than placebo on all 3 co-primary weight-related end points.”

The study authors noted that further studies are needed to evaluate the drug’s long-term efficacy and safety when used for weight loss.