Medical News

Weight loss drug, Saxenda, shouldn’t be used alone

THURSDAY, May 6, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The weight-loss drug Saxenda can keep extra pounds off — but combining it with exercise brings a bigger payoff, a new clinical trial finds.

The study found that some longstanding advice is valid: Prescription weight-loss drugs work best when used along with — and not in place of — lifestyle changes.

Saxenda (liraglutide) is a prescription drug approved in the United States for spurring and maintaining weight loss when added to calorie-cutting and exercise.

But whether the drug plus exercise is any better than the drug alone — or exercise alone — has not been rigorously tested.

The new trial, published May 6 in the New England Journal of Medicine, did just that. And it found that over one year, the combination won, helping people shed more pounds and, specifically, body fat.

Experts not involved in the trial said it underscores the importance of “comprehensive” tactics for keeping extra weight off.

“The standard of care with all obesity treatments — medications and surgery — is to use them as adjuncts to ongoing behavioral changes,” said Dr. Scott Kahan, a spokesperson for The Obesity Society.

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