In a nutshell
This study aimed to see if lorcaserin (Belviq), a drug that reduces appetite, can prevent and reverse type 2 diabetes (T2D). The main finding of the study was that lorcaserin decreases the risk of T2D and reverses T2D in overweight patients.
There is a significant link between obesity and T2D. Therefore, lowering bodyweight can decrease the risk of developing T2D. In patients that already have a diagnosis of T2D, weight loss can improve blood sugar control and effectively reverse T2D.
Lorcaserin is a serotonin agonist. It works by reducing the appetite, thus helping with weight loss. It is an FDA-approved drug for chronic weight management. It should be used along with a calorie-restricted diet and increased physical exercise. Lorcaserin’s ability to reverse and reduce the risk of developing T2D is still under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study included 12,000 patients. 6816 patients had T2D, 3991 had prediabetes and 1193 had normal blood sugar levels. Patients either received lorcaserin (50%) or a placebo (a drug that has no effect on the body; 50%). They were followed-up for an average of 3.3 years. Weight loss and the HbA1c (a blood test that measures blood sugar control in the past 3 months) were measured.
Patients with prediabetes and normal blood glucose levels who received lorcaserin were found to have a 23% reduced risk of developing T2D. In patients with prediabetes only, there was a 19% lower risk of developing T2D.
At 1 year, there was significant weight loss in the lorcaserin-treated group compared to placebo in all patients. Patients with T2D treated with lorcaserin had bigger reductions in HbA1c compared to placebo. Lorcaserin also resulted in the reversal of T2D in more patients than in the placebo group. Patients with established T2D treated with lorcaserin were found to have a 21% reduced risk of diabetic complications such as kidney, nerve or eye damage.
The bottom line
The study determined that lorcaserin can reverse T2D in patients with prediabetes and can help better control blood sugar levels and prevent complications in patients with established T2D.
The fine print
The study was funded by Eisai, the developer of lorcaserin.
If you have any concerns regarding weight control and T2D, please discuss this with your doctor.
Published By :
Lancet (London, England)
Oct 03, 2018
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