The use of Liraglutide for the use of the treatment of obesity was first approved in December of 2014. It is administered as a subcutaneous injection just below the surface of the skin. The treatment dose of obesity is significantly higher than the dose used for the management of diabetes.
When dosing this drug, it is started at 0.6mg once a day for the first week of its use. This dose is not an effective dose; however it is used to reduce the amount of gastrointestinal symptoms that a patient may experience during the initiation of the drug. After the first week, it is increased by 0.6mg weekly until the target dose of 3.0mg is achieved. Using this recommended dosing protocol, it will take 5 weeks to achieve the recommended dosing of Liraglutide. The dose of 3.0mg is essential to achieve as this is the only dose that has been shown to have a weight loss effect. If 3.0mg is not achieved, then the use of the drug is no longer recommended.
Evaluation of weight loss is recommended at 16 weeks after it has been initiated. Discontinuation of the drug is recommended if 4% of baseline body weight loss has not been achieved.
16 weeks of daily subcutaneous injections of Liraglutide results in a total of 112 injections; just to have the possibility of losing 4% of your baseline starting weight. To put that in perspective that is 8.8 lbs in a patient that weighs 220 lbs or 7.28 lbs in a patient that weighs 182 lbs. To break it down further that is 14 injections per pound of weight lost. Is that worth it? Why is the dosing higher than the dosing for the treatment of diabetes? These are the questions that need to be asked. This is the type of information that needs to be discussed with patients prior to them electing this type of approach. Also are you okay with experiencing a 39% rate of nausea occurrence, a 21% rate of diarrhea, and a 16% rate of vomiting?
No longer is it acceptable to subject patients to drugs that do not address the metabolism. The metabolism is responsible for our weight at any given time. Prescribing a medication for weight loss that does not address the metabolism is equivalent to prescribing a psychiatric medication for weight loss (yes this is also done at weight loss clinics and is wrong).
The Metabolism Clinic is established as the destination for weight loss and reversal of diabetes. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina. www.themetabolismclinic.com