Type 2 Diabetes Drug Studied For Obesity Treatment

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have found the medication liraglutide to be effective for weight loss therapy. Liraglutide injections are currently used treat difficult to control type 2 diabetes.

The Mayo study was a double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled investigation involving 40 obese, but otherwise healthy adults.

When liraglutide (brand name Victoza) was administered to patients for three months, at three milligrams per day, their average weight loss was 12 lbs. The patients taking a placebo lost an average of 6.6 lbs. All the study participants were on a standardized diet, and had behavioral health support.

“We also found that liraglutide dramatically slowed stomach emptying and the degree of stomach emptying delay in study participants was significantly associated with the degree of weight loss,” said Dr. Michael Camilleri, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist. Stomach emptying refers to the stomach moving its contents into the small intestine for further digestion.

Dr. Camilleri suggests the measurement of stomach emptying after four to eight weeks on liraglutide may be a useful predictor of weight loss, and help clinicians individualize a patient’s treatment based on their response.

“Medications are often prescribed in patients with obesity for at least six months. Making this determination after the first one to two months has the potential to determine whether to continue the treatment or to stop relatively expensive treatment and move on to alternative approved therapy in accordance with guidelines,” says Camilleri.

Alternative approved weight loss therapies include medications, endoscopic devices, and bariatric surgery.

Source: Science Daily; CDC
Photo credit: Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose

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