Liraglutide, a drug typically used to treat diabetes has been found to greatly aid in fighting obesity as well, helping patients to lose body weight.
In 2010 Liraglutide was approved by the FDA as diabetes drug. Later, in 2014, the agency also approved it as a treatment for patients suffering from obesity. The new study looks to confirm the positive effects the drug has on shedding body weight.
For fighting obesity, Liraglutide simulates the release of the naturally produced hormone peptide-1 which is responsible for curbing hunger and increasing the satiety sensation. At the same time, peptide-1 reduces the rate at which the stomach releases the necessary content into the small intestine.
The new study, funded entirely by Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Liraglutide covered 27 states from Europe, South and North America, as well as Asia, Australia and Africa.
The sample group amounted to 3,731 patients with a BMI of 27 or above. Some of the patients also presented high blood cholesterol levels, as well as high blood pressure. The study group was comprised of both male and female participants.
An approximate 1,200 participants represented the control group to which a placebo was administered throughout. The rest of the patients were administered one injection of 3 milligrams Liraglutide daily for a period of 56 weeks.
The overall result of the study indicated that within the control group, only 27 percent of the participants lost more than 5 percent body weight. Comparatively, 63 percent of the participants in the study group lost the same percentage of body weight.
During the study, all patients also participated in counseling related to lifestyle choices that may significantly impact sustainable weight loss.
On average, the participants who were administered Liraglutide lost 18.5 pounds, with 63 percent of the group shedding 5 percent of the body weight or above, and 33 percent losing 10 percent body weight or above.
For the placebo group the results were significantly lower. The average loss was set at 6.4 pounds, with 27 percent of participants shedding 5 percent of body weight and 11 percent losing above 10 percent.
Liraglutide also presented side effects when administered to the participants in the study. The most common included diarrhea and nausea. At the same time, gallbladder issues featured on the list of side effects.
Currently, one month of treatment with Liraglutide costs nearly 1,000 dollars, making it rather prohibitive for many patients.
The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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