High dose liraglutide (Saxenda) has been shown to be effective for weight loss management. At present, it is only available on a private script. Its usefulness may be limited by its cost and side effect profile. We report our experiences with the use of liraglutide in managing obese patients from a community endocrinology clinic. Data was obtained over three years and expressed as mean ± SD.
42 patients (34 females, 8 males) were studied (age 51.5± 11.3 years, BMI 39.4± 6.0). Duration of use was from one to thirty-six months, with majority over 4 to 6 months. A majority received co-administered metformin (93%) but only 36% had diabetes at the beginning. Throughout therapy, patients were instructed to stay on the liraglutide dose most tolerable for them. As a result, 1.2mg, 1.8mg and 3.0mg doses were used by 12 patients each, and 3 patients had used daily doses of 0.6mg and 2.4mg. 88% reported decrease in food intake as a result of liraglutide. 44% had experienced side effects namely nausea, constipation. Mean weight loss achieved was 6.8± 6.1kg. Weight loss correlated significantly with duration of use (P=0.002) and with reduced food intake (P=0.007), but not with dose, side effects, sex, use of metformin, age, or starting weight.
Liraglutide is effective for weight loss management in a community clinic. Its effect is likely to be achieved through reduction in food intake and is more effective with longer duration of use. This report suggests that a smaller treatment dose may be feasible and cost-effective.