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GLP-1 agonists linked to adverse gastrointestinal events in weight loss patients

BMJ 2023; 383 doi: (Published 09 October 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;383:p2330
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

The use of glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists for weight loss has been linked to an increased risk of pancreatitis, gastroparesis, and bowel obstruction.1

A research team from the University of British Columbia, Canada, compared non-diabetic patients using GLP-1 agonists—4144 using liraglutide (Saxenda) and 613 using semaglutide (Ozempic/Wegovy)—with 654 people taking the weight loss agent bupropion-naltrexone.

The results, published in a short research letter in JAMA, showed that the use of GLP-1 agonists was associated with increased risk of pancreatitis (adjusted hazard ratio, 9.09 [95% confidence interval, 1.25 to 66.00]), bowel obstruction (HR, 4.22 [95% CI, 1.02 to 17.40]), and gastroparesis (HR, 3.67 [95% CI, 1.15 to 11.90]) but not biliary disease (HR, 1.50 [95% CI, 0.89 to 2.53]), when …

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