Emerging role of GLP-1 receptor agonists in the treatment of obesity
Lisa M Neff1, Robert F Kushner2
1Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Molecular Medicine, 2Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA
Abstract: The prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically in recent decades, both in the US and worldwide. Pharmacotherapy can augment the weight-reducing effects of lifestyle modification and can facilitate long-term weight maintenance. However, there is a paucity of pharmacologic agents approved for the treatment of obesity, and the use of existing weight loss medications is frequently limited by contraindications, drug interactions, adverse effects, limited coverage by third-party payers, and cost. In recent years, there has been an increased understanding and appreciation of the role of gastrointestinal hormones in the control of body weight. One such hormone, GLP-1, also plays an important role in glucose homeostasis. GLP-1 receptor agonists, such as exenatide and liraglutide, have been developed and are already approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. There has also been interest in the use of GLP-1 receptor agonists for the treatment of obesity in nondiabetic patients. This review explores the potential utility and limitations of exenatide and liraglutide as therapeutic agents for obesity.
Keywords: obesity, GLP-1, exenatide, liraglutide
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