A new weight loss drug?

Maybe a step in the right direction, but when you look at the numbers, it seems like only a small step.  The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) reports on a new drug that may be useful in weight loss:  New drug — Saxenda — useful for weight loss  from a study using the drug.  The test and control groups received daily subcutaneous injections, diet, exercise and lifestyle counselling.  The results:

After 56 weeks, patients in the liraglutide group had lost a mean (±SD) of 8.0±6.7% (8.4±7.3 kg) of their body weight, whereas patients in the placebo group had lost a mean of 2.6±5.7% (2.8±6.5 kg) of their body weight

Not as much as one would hope from a drug over 56 weeks with all the other standard weight loss interventions.  The results up to 0.3/lbs week are hardly observable.  Perhaps it shows that the standard weight “interventions” are not that good for the populations.


2 responses to “A new weight loss drug?

  1. You can have a sensible diet and still gain weight. You can exercise, especially by walking and still gain weight.

    There are many factors that contribute to weight fluctuations. This new drug might have possibilities so long as it is not like orlistat!!

    The loss of 0.3 lb per week over 56 weeks is actually quite good because it sounds like it is a sustainable weight loss that is steady as you go. It is better to have this kind of weight loss than to suddenly drop weight, and put it on again.

    However, I still believe that there is a real need to look at a variety of other factors that might contribute to the retention of weight, especially in women after childbirth. At the same time some attention needs to be given to the fact that there could be hereditary factors in play. For example most of the women in my mother’s side of the family have weight issues, going back several generations. My great-grandmother for example was a tall and very ample woman… and her daughters had a similar ample structure.

    This aspect is something that is ignored by researchers today. It is not taken into account at all, and that means that someone who put on weight during pregnancy but has failed to take off that weight is frowned upon even though there might have been genetic factors in play.

  2. With one-third of study participants dropping out of the study and mediocre short-term weight loss, and high rate of adverse events, this study wasn’t convincing. I would hesitate to support messing with GLP-1 hormones without well-designed tests with long-term follow-up. One concern, for example, is that stimulating GLP-1 secretion interferes with the normal regulation of insulin secretion and stimulates the beta cells in the pancreas to grow and produce more insulin. This continual stimulation of the pancreas can result in an overgrowth of cells (hyperplasia) in the pancreas and islets, leading to nesidioblastosis.

    The bottom line is that this study was not able to demonstrate that it improved mortality. Using surrogate endpoints, like weight, is not evidence a pill is good for overall health with benefits that outweigh the risks.

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