Liraglutide (better known as Saxenda), a new injectable diabetes drug approved last year, helps patients who are obese or severely overweight lose weight, according to a new study.
The most recent study of the drug, Saxenda, involved 3,700 individuals from six different continents and presented similar results to those in the previous trial: improved fat loss and control of blood sugars, but also several known side effects (New England Journal of Medicine 2015). These discoveries were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. I don’t usually recommend weight loss drugs to help individuals lose weight but this one was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) back in December of last year.
Patients who injected Saxenda lost an average of 18 pounds over a year compared to an average of 6 pounds for those who took a placebo. The participants were also given a reduced-calorie diet and an increased exercise regimen along with the injections. Combining a healthy diet and physical activity is what makes any weight loss medication successful and that is exactly what happened in this study. Women who are pregnant can also benefit from liraglutide which is another advantage.
Sixty-three percent of those who got the injection lost more than 5 percent of their body weight compared to 27 percent who used a placebo. The drug “tends to decrease gastric emptying, the emptying of the stomach. And it gives signals to the brain to lower and increase satiety, said Dr. Xavier Pi-Sunyer of Colombia University Medical Center (New England Journal of Medicine 2015). In other words, this weight loss drug can act as an appetite suppressant to help you lower calories by making you feel full.
This drug is specifically for individuals who are overweight or obese with at least one related health condition, such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. The side effects of liraglutide (Saxenda) include nausea, diarrhea, pancreatitis and gall bladder abnormalities.
The study was funded by the drug’s creator, Novo Nordisk, in which the FDA required the company to conduct further safety testing showing the serious side effects. For people who are overweight or obese, this new diabetes drug may be a powerful option to finally conquer fat loss along with diet and exercise.
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Source: Xavier Pi-Sunyer, Arne Astrup, Ken Fujioka, et al “A Randomized, Controlled Trial of 3.0 mg of Liraglutide in Weight Management” The New England Journal of Medicine 2 July 2015