The type 2 diabetes drug liraglutide (Victoza) enhances the weight loss benefits of exercise and healthy diet, according to a wide-ranging UK study.
The study involved 846 participants from nine countries. The participants were split into three groups: the first group – made up of 423 participants – were given a daily 3.0mg dose of liraglutide; the second – made up of 211 – were given a daily 1.8mg dose; the third – made up of 212 – was given a placebo. All doses of liraglutide were delivered via injection.
The participants weighed an average of around 16.4 stone, and all had a BMI of 27 or over. In addition to the liraglutide, participants reduced their caloric intake by 500, and took part in 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
The first group – the one given 3.0mg doses of liraglutide – lost, on average, six per cent of their original body weight; the second lost 4.7; and the third lost two per cent. The researchers concluded that higher doses of liraglutide enhance the weight loss benefits of exercise and healthy diet.
“To our knowledge, this is the first study specifically designed to investigate the efficacy of liraglutide for weight management in patients with type 2 diabetes and also the first study to investigate liraglutide at the high 3.0mg dose in a population with type 2 diabetes,” the authors wrote.
“In the present trial, liraglutide (3.0mg), as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity, was effective and generally well tolerated and was significantly better than placebo on all 3 co-primary weight-related end points.”
The findings were published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

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