The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Liraglutide (Saxenda) for Weight Loss

The injectable glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist liraglutide, previously approved by the FDA for treatment of type 2 diabetes as Victoza,1 has now also been approved at a higher dose as Saxenda (Novo Nordisk) for chronic weight management in adults with a BMI ≥30, or a BMI ≥27 with a weight-related comorbidity such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, or diabetes.

DRUGS FOR WEIGHT LOSS – Pharmacologic treatment of obesity has been limited by modest efficacy, adverse effects, low adherence rates, and regain of weight with drug cessation.2 Drugs approved by the FDA for long-term treatment of obesity are listed in Table 2.

Phentermine/topiramate ER (Qsymia) is the most effective drug available to date for weight loss. Lorcaserin (Belviq) is only modestly effective, but ... more      

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