Researchers have found that a common drug used in treating diabetes liraglutide may also patients trim down some extra pounds.
The study, which was sponsored by the drug’s producer Novo Nordisk, volunteers who took a daily dose of 3 mg of the diabetes drug were able to lose about six percent of their body weight or up to 14 pounds in 14 months.
Researchers explained that 3 mg is a relatively high dose of the medicine so patients should only take it if they plan to lose some weight. For treating type 2 diabetes, 1.8 mg per day is more than enough.
Liraglutide was approved by the FDA to be sold in the U.S. as Saxenda (the 3 mg version) and Victoza (the 18 mg version).
The research team noted that their study is the fist to find that higher doses of liraglutide are beneficial in weight loss plans. Until, now doctors were cautious and didn’t prescribe too much of the medicine to type 2 diabetes patients who were also affected by obesity.
The recent trial involved more than 800 type 2 diabetes patients who were also diagnosed with obesity. Volunteers were divided into three groups. The first group was asked to take a 1.8 mg daily dose of the drug, the second group took 3 mg, while the third group was given a placebo.
The 1.8 mg group lost on average 5 percent of their body weight, which is 11 pounds, while the placebo group only lost 2 percent of their bodyweight or about 5 pounds. The most spectacular results were observed in the 3 mg group – six percent of their body weight.
Researchers observed that 54 percent of those who took the 3 mg dose experienced a significant weight loss. Of those who took the 1.8 mg dose, 40 percent had a similar result, while only 7 percent of those on a placebo lost the same amount of weight.
Additionally, one-quarter of those in the high-dose group lost 10 percent of their body weight. In the 1.8 mg-dose group, only 16 percent had a similar result. But these positive outcomes were also the result of a low-calorie diet and workout plan.
“We now have evidence that supports the use of the 3 mg-dose for weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes,”
argued Dr. Melanie Davies, senior author of the study and diabetes expert at the University of Leicester in the U.K.
Moreover, higher doses of liraglutide were more effective in lowering blood sugar levels than the traditional dose prescribed for type 2 diabetes patients.
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