Can Victoza (Liraglutide) Help Diabetics Lose Weight?

Posted by on Sep 19, 2012 in News | 1 comment

Victoza (liraglutide) has been on the market for several years for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It’s often recommended that patients also incorporate exercise and changes in diet for maximal benefit from the drug.

Victoza is similar to the hormone incretin and works by lowering sugar produced by the liver and increasing insulin release to high levels of sugar in the body. The drug also slows down stomach emptying and reduces appetite. The drug is usually injected once a day.

As far as weight loss is concerned, most of the studies done have been sponsored by the manufacturer of the drug, so inevitably the results are always positive.

From anecdotal reports, the weight loss induced by liraglutide is minimal.

Liraglutide by itself does not induce weight loss like metformin. In order to reduce weight with liraglutide, one has to incorporate exercise and changes in diet. Just injecting the drug and sitting on the couch won’t help anyone lose weight.

Liraglutide is not only an expensive medication, but in animal studies is known to cause certain types of thyroid cancer. So far it has not been determined if the same thing happens in humans.

For diabetics who would like to lose weight metformin is still the best drug. Not only is it cheap, but it’s the gold standard against which other diabetic drugs are compared to.

Contributed by Dr. Steven Bhimji, M.D.
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