July 17, 2015 – Liraglutide


Anchor lead:  A new weight loss drug has entered the fray, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Can the diabetes drug liraglutide be used to help people lose weight?  Yes indeed, a study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine concludes.  Lawrence Cheskin, a weight loss expert at Johns Hopkins, describes the findings.

Cheskin: It does cause weight loss much better than placebo, however, because it requires injection, and because it’s so costly and insurance usually does not pay for it, at this stage anyway, I would say it’s not a first line treatment for obesity. First line treatment is the old standby you come to a place that helps you change your diet, physical activity and eating related behaviors, and there’s nothing that will stop you from losing weight in that fashion.   :28

Cheskin says there are a number of medications that can help assist in weight loss efforts, but none of them, including liraglutide, is a magic bullet, and as is the case with all medications, also has side effects.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.