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Liraglutide is a prescription medication used alongside diet and exercise to control blood sugar and aid in weight loss. It’s delivered via subcutaneous injection, typically once per day.

Liraglutide is a GLP-1 agonist in the same class of medications as Semaglutide and Tirzepatide, and it has similar effects. We’ll go over the details so you can see if Liraglutide is right for you.

How Does Liraglutide Work?

Liraglutide mimics a naturally occurring hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1).

The medication functions by:

  • Slowing down digestion, which helps to keep blood sugar levels from rising too high after eating.
  • Increasing the production of insulin, which helps to lower blood sugar levels.
  • Reducing the production of glucagon, which helps to prevent blood sugar levels from dropping too low.

These benefits keep blood sugar in a healthy range while also curbing hunger and improving weight loss when combined with diet and exercise.

The Relationship Between Blood Sugar and Weight Gain

Insulin regulates blood sugar by helping the body utilize glucose for energy. The body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, and then insulin ushers that glucose into cells. Glucagon is another hormone that plays a role in blood sugar, and it’s released to ensure blood sugar levels don’t fall too low.

An unhealthy lifestyle, a carbohydrate-heavy diet, lack of exercise, and other factors can lead to insulin resistance. This means the cells can’t absorb glucose from the bloodstream as easily, which causes elevated blood sugar.

Left untreated, high blood sugar and insulin resistance can lead to weight gain from excess glucose being stored as fat. It can also lead to chronic conditions like type-2 diabetes and obesity.

Because of this relationship between blood sugar and body weight, GLP-1 agonists like Liraglutide assist with weight loss.

What’s the Evidence for Liraglutide?

A 2015 study included non-diabetic adults with a BMI of at least 30 (or 27 if they also had hypertension or high cholesterol).

Participants who received daily injections of 3mg of Liraglutide lost significantly more weight than those who received a placebo injection over the course of 56 weeks.

The Liraglutide group also saw a decrease in cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors, as well as improved insulin sensitivity.

A review of recent research concluded that Liraglutide was successful at boosting weight loss across several studies, as well.

Liraglutide Injection Dosage and Frequency

Liraglutide is a once daily subcutaneous (SQ) injection. SQ injections are delivered into the fatty layer of the skin and absorb into the bloodstream over time.

Typically, these injections are delivered with a small insulin needle for a more painless experience.

Injection sites for Liraglutide include:

  • The stomach
  • Upper arms
  • Upper thighs

We recommend rotating injection sites to avoid site fatigue in those areas. Prior to injection, you should use an alcohol wipe to sanitize the skin. See more subcutaneous injection instructions.

Liraglutide is also titrated, or started at a lower dosage and increased over time. This helps the body adjust to the medication and minimizes side effects.

The titration schedule for Liraglutide is typically:

  • Start with a 0.5 mg (5 units on an insulin syringe) subcutaneous injection daily for one week.
  • After that, increase to 1mg (10 units on an insulin syringe) subcutaneous injection daily for one week.
  • Increase to 1.5 mg (15 units on an insulin syringe) daily for one week.
  • Increase to 2 mg (20 units on an insulin syringe) daily for one week.
  • Increase to the maximum dosage of 2.5 mg (25 units on an insulin syringe) daily.

Is Liraglutide Right for Me?

The right medication for you depends on a number of factors, including your response to the treatment, your comfort level with daily injections, and whether you commit to lifestyle changes alongside Liraglutide.

Liraglutide has shown tangible results as a weight loss aid when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

You can discuss your weight loss and weight management options with an experienced Defy Medical provider to find the medication that best suits your needs.

Weight Loss with Defy Medical

Defy Medical offers provider-guided weight loss and weight management plans to help you reach your goals. We encourage patients to focus on their overall wellness by changing their body composition and finding a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.

A number of factors lead to weight gain, and medically assisted weight loss plans can address these issues.

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