Semaglutide Bests Liraglutide for Post-Surgery Weight Regain

Miriam E. Tucker

June 08, 2023


Semaglutide 1.0 mg/wk led to greater weight loss than liraglutide 3.0 mg/d in treating weight recurrence after metabolic bariatric surgery (MBS).


The study was a retrospective analysis of 207 adults with post-MBS weight recurrence who were treated with semaglutide 1.0 mg/wk or liraglutide 3.0 mg/d from January 1, 2015, through April 1, 2021. The mean body mass index was 40.4 kg/m2; 89.9% of the patients were women; 50% underwent sleeve gastrectomy, 29% underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, and 21% underwent adjustable gastric banding. On average, the patients had undergone surgery 8 years in the past and had regained more than 40% of the weight they lost after their bariatric procedures. The primary endpoint was percentage body weight change at 12 months.


Mean weight changes were -12.92% with semaglutide, vs -8.77% with liraglutide (mean difference, -4.15%; P < .001). Adjusted odds ratio for ≥10% weight loss was 2.34 (95% CI, 1.28 – 4.29) in favor of semaglutide.


"Our results support...the real-world effectiveness of GLP-1 receptor agonists...for treating post-MBS weight recurrence. 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 (1.0 mg weekly as opposed to a maximum dose of 2.4 mg weekly)," say the researchers.


The study was conducted by Natia Murvelashvili, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, and colleagues and was published recently in Obesity. The authors received no financial support for their work on this article.


The data collection was retrospective, and some patients took other weight loss medications. In addition, the results may not be generalizable because the patients received care in a specialized obesity medicine clinic, and they had insurance coverage or financial means sufficient to access GLP-1 receptor agonist therapies.


Murvelashvili has disclosed no relevant financial relationships. Other authors have financial relationships with Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, Sanofi, and other companies.

Miriam E. Tucker is a freelance journalist based in the Washington, DC, area. She is a regular contributor to Medscape. Other work of hers has appeared in the Washington Post, NPR's Shots blog, and Diabetes Forecast magazine. She can be found on Twitter @MiriamETucker.

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