Type 2 diabetes drug aids weight loss, study finds

Patients given GLP-1 receptor agonists to treat obesity lost weight compared with those treated with placebo.

GLP-1 receptor agonists, diabetes drug injectors

Up to 80% of those treated with GLP-1 receptor agonists lose weight, according to a randomised, placebo-controlled study in 957 individuals without diabetes.

Researchers evaluated the use of semaglutide (SEMA) for the treatment of obesity in a dose-ranging study (doses: 0.05mg, 0.1mg, 0.2mg, 0.3mg or 0.4mg) versus placebo and an active liraglutide (LIRA) control, each combined with counselling[1]

After one year, estimated mean weight loss was –2.3% in the placebo group and –7.8% in the LIRA group. In the SEMA treatment group, weight loss ranged from –6% at 0.05mg to –13.8% at 0.4mg.

An estimated 23% of participants lost weight in the placebo group compared with 66% in the LIRA group. In the SEMA group, it ranged from 54% of subjects in the 0.05mg group to 83% in the 0.4mg group.

Presenting their findings at the Endocrine Society’s 100th annual meeting in Chicago (18 March 2018), the researchers concluded that, combined with counselling, SEMA was well tolerated and led to higher weight loss than placebo in obese people without diabetes.


[1] O’Neil, P, Birkenfled A, McGowan B et al. A randomized, phase II, placebo- and active-controlled dose-ranging study of semaglutide for treatment of obesity in subjects without diabetes. Presented on 18 March 2018 at ENDO 2018: The Endocrine Society’s 100th Annual Meeting & Expo in Chicago, United States.

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, July 2018, Vol 10, No 7;10(7):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2018.20205053

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