Research Suggests This Diabetes Drug May Help Type 2 Patients Lose Weight

A 2015 study shows that the diabetes drug Liraglutide can help obese people with Type 2 diabetes lose weight. The weight loss was greater when the participant took a higher dose of the medication than the dose normally used for diabetes.

Liraglutide has FDA approval to treat Type 2 diabetes with a dose of 1.8 milligrams. It’s also FDA-approved for treatment of obesity at a higher dose of 3 milligrams. Medical Daily reports that the drug is not recommended for treatment of obesity in individuals who also have Type 2 diabetes. In other words, diabetics normally receive the lower dose of the medication, even if they are also obese. The researchers set out to discover whether this drug could also help obese diabetic patients lose weight.


This 68-week study tracked more than 800 people with Type 2 diabetes in nine countries. Half of the participants took the 3 milligram dose during the study, about 25 percent of them took the 1.8 milligram dose, and the remaining 25 percent took a placebo. The participants reduced their food intake and increased their exercise.

The average weight loss from the group taking the higher dose was 6 percent of each participant’s original weight, while the participants on the lower dose lost an average of 4.7 percent of their original weight. Those taking the placebo lost an average of 2 percent. The study also found that the higher dose improved blood sugar control, according to WebMD.

Young healthy girl on home scales.

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The researchers hope the study will lead to FDA approval of the higher dose to treat individuals with both obesity and Type 2 diabetes. The medication can cost upwards of $800 a month, and insurance will not cover the higher dose of the drug for diabetics due to its lack of FDA approval for this use.

Although the study’s researchers warn that further investigation into this use of liraglutide is necessary, the initial results show promise for the treatment. Read this article to learn about recently identified positive effects of metformin, an older diabetes treatment.

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