Diabetes Rx May Offer Weight Loss Bonus

Liraglutide (Victoza) linked to increased weight loss in overweight type 2 diabetes patients

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) If you're a type 2 diabetes patient trying to lose weight, the medication you take could make a difference.

A recent study from the UK found that the drug liraglutide (brand name Victoza) may increase weight loss in patients who take it to control type 2 diabetes.

"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," wrote lead study author Melanie J. Davies, MD, of the Leicester Diabetes Centre at Leicester General Hospital in the UK, and colleagues. "Liraglutide, as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity, was effective and generally well-tolerated and was significantly better than placebo."

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by insulin resistance, which makes it difficult for the body to control blood sugar.

Patients with type 2 diabetes are often overweight or obese. While weight loss can be difficult, it can greatly improve health outcomes for these patients.

Dr. Davies and team looked at 846 adults with type 2 diabetes who were also overweight or obese.

These patients were given daily injections of either 3 milligrams (MG) of liraglutide, 1.8 mg of liraglutide or a placebo for 56 weeks. They were also instructed to follow a reduced-calorie diet and to walk briskly for at least 150 minutes per week.

The group taking the higher dose of liraglutide lost 6 percent body weight on average. The group taking the lower dose lost 4.7 percent body weight on average.

The placebo group lost only 2 percent body weight on average.

The group taking the higher dose did experience some gastrointestinal issues as a result of the medication, however.

This study was published Aug. 18 in the journal JAMA.

Novo Nordisk (the maker of liraglutide) funded this research.

A number of conflicts of interest were disclosed, including several authors serving on the advisory board of Novo Nordisk.

Review Date: 
August 17, 2015
Last Updated:
August 30, 2015