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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2014 Aug;14(8):1215-24. doi: 10.1517/14712598.2014.925870. Epub 2014 Jun 6.

Liraglutide in the treatment of obesity.

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  • 1University of Liverpool, Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Clinical Sciences Centre, Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology , Longmoor Lane, Liverpool L9 7AL , UK.



Obesity is a global epidemic with important healthcare and financial implications. Most current antiobesity pharmacological therapies are unsatisfactory due to undesirable side effects. Many drugs have been withdrawn due to safety concerns. Maintaining weight loss remains the Achilles' heel of antiobesity therapy.


This is an overview of the use of liraglutide for obesity treatment. Clinical efficacy on weight, cardiovascular parameters, as well as safety and tolerability issues are discussed.


Liraglutide is a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, which has a protracted pharmacokinetic profile compared to native GLP-1 while maintaining its biological activity. It induces weight loss by reducing appetite and energy intake. It stimulates insulin release and decreases glucagon secretion in response to hyperglycaemia. Treatment with liraglutide, in addition with diet and exercise, induces sustained mean weight loss of 7.6 kg at 2 years (weight loss induced by orlistat = 5.7 kg, phentermine/topiramate controlled release 15/92 = 10.9 kg). It reduces blood pressure and improves glycaemic control, which has clinically relevant significance on reducing obesity-related morbidity and mortality. Liraglutide is reasonably well tolerated with gastrointestinal side effects being most commonly encountered. Novo Nordisk filed for regulatory approval of liraglutide 3.0 mg for obesity treatment in December 2013.


glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist; liraglutide; obesity; overweight

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