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  • Posted June 5, 2023

Wegovy, Saxenda Help Folks Lose Pounds They Regained After Weight-Loss Surgery

When people regained weight after obesity surgery, it wasn't entirely clear what to do next. Now, it appears the weight-loss medications Wegovy and Saxenda can help.

Both work by controlling appetite and satiety. Wegovy (semaglutide), however, may be superior to Saxenda (liraglutide), a new study finds.

“Our research found that newer anti-obesity medications are effective for treating weight regain and optimizing body weight after bariatric [weight-loss] surgery," said study co-author Dr. Jaime Almandoz, an associate professor in the division of endocrinology at UT Southwestern (UTSW) in Dallas.

"Our study also found that weight management medication regimens containing semaglutide worked better than those containing liraglutide, even when the dose of semaglutide was lower than what is currently approved to treat obesity,” Almandoz said in a university news release.

More than 40% of American adults are obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Weight gain after bariatric surgery is common and can make type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease worse.

To see if medication might help this group of post-surgery patients, the new study compared glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists Wegovy, which is given as a weekly injection, and Saxenda, a daily injection.

The researchers analyzed health records for 207 adults who previously had bariatric surgery and were then treated for obesity at UTSW's Weight Wellness Program between 2015 and 2021. The patients were mostly women, average age 55.

Patients had regained more than 40% of the weight they lost after surgery and were an average of eight years out from surgery.

Each was assigned to take Wegovy or Saxenda for at least three months. A year later, those on Wegovy had lost about 13% of their body weight on average. Those taking liraglutide had lost about 9% on average.

Also, those in the Wegovy group were more than twice as likely to have lost at least 10% of their body weight, the study found.

“Our results support the real-world effectiveness of GLP-1 receptor agonists for treating post-bariatric weight recurrence and suggest that semaglutide is superior to liraglutide,” Almandoz said.

The study was published online recently in the journal Obesity.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on obesity.

SOURCE: UT Southwestern, news release, June 1, 2023

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