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Can liraglutide be used for weight loss?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Sep 26, 2021.

Official answer

by Drugs.com

Yes, the Saxenda brand of liraglutide is approved to be used for weight loss. The Victoza brand of liraglutide is only approved to treat type 2 diabetes, but may also help you lose some weight and protect your heart. Both Saxenda and Victoza are used in addition to diet and exercise. Do not use Saxenda and Victoza at the same time.

Liraglutide is similar to a hormone that occurs naturally in the body and helps to control blood sugar, insulin levels, and digestion. Liraglutide is commonly associated with digestive tract side effects like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. In general, these side effects decrease over time for most people as their body gets used to the medicine.

Saxenda

Saxenda injection is approved to be used with diet and exercise for weight loss in adults who are obese or overweight with certain health conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes mellitus, or high cholesterol (lipid) levels.

Saxenda can also be used in children 12 to 17 years of age with a body weight above 60 kg (132 lb) and obesity (a body mass of 30 kg/m2 or greater), in addition to diet and exercise.

The Saxenda brand of liraglutide is not used for treating type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

In 56-week long clinical studies of Saxenda in over 3,700 adults, 85% of patients lost some weight.

  • 3 of out 5 people lost an average of 12 lb (5.5 kg), a 5% or more weight loss
  • 1 of 3 people lost an average of 23 lb. (10.5 kg), a 10% or more weight loss
  • 6% of patients lost an average of 47 lb. (21 kg), a 20% or more weight loss

Victoza

The Victoza injection also contains liraglutide. It is used in addition to diet and exercise to lower blood sugar (glucose) in adults and children 10 years of age and older with type 2 diabetes.

Victoza is not specifically approved by the FDA to be used for weight loss, like Saxenda, but can help with weight loss when used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes.

Victoza is also used to help reduce the risk of serious heart problems such as heart attack or stroke in adults who have type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Victoza is not for treating type 1 diabetes.

Even though Victoza is not approved for weight loss by the FDA, some people lost weight in studies evaluating its use in type 2 diabetes.

  • In clinical studies of Victoza ranging from 26 to 52 weeks, patients lost a range of weight.
  • For example, in a large study, when Victoza was added to metformin treatment, adults lost on average up to 6.2 lb (2.8 kg).

Learn more:

This is not all the information you need to know about Saxenda and Victoza for safe and effective use and does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your treatment. Review the full product information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.

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