Drug helps diabetes patients lose weight, study shows
June 27, 2012 4:19PM
Overcoming obesity: A recent study on the effects of lorcaserin shows that the drug facilitates weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes. | FILE PHOTO The study, published in the scientific journal Obesity, evaluated 604 obese and overweight participants with type 2 diabetes in a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial over a one-year treatment period.
A new study on the effects of lorcaserin, a drug recently recommended for approval by an FDA advisory panel for the treatment of obesity, shows that the drug facilitates weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes.
The study, published in the scientific journal Obesity, evaluated 604 obese and overweight participants with type 2 diabetes in a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial over a one-year treatment period. Although all participants received systematic lifestyle change counseling, those on the medication lost 4.5 percent to 5 percent of their initial body weight compared to a loss of 1.5 percent by patients on the inactive placebo.
“That’s a very meaningful difference in weight loss for this population. Importantly, the patients on active medication also showed much greater improvement on a key measure of blood glucose control,” said Patrick O’Neil, Ph.D., lead author of the study.
Lorcaserin is a selective serotonin receptor agonist that works specifically on appetite signals in the brain. It has been developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals, which sponsored the trial. In previous clinical trials, lorcaserin decreased body weight in non-diabetic overweight and obese individuals. Although current American Diabetes Association treatment guidelines recommend that individuals with type 2 diabetes achieve modest weight loss (5 percent to 7 percent) to improve glycemic control, weight loss has historically been more difficult to achieve among patients with type 2 diabetes than among those without diabetes.
More than 85 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight, and they often find weight loss more difficult than do non-diabetics. Weight losses of 5 percent to 10 percent can significantly improve glycemic control as well as other weight-related comorbid conditions.