The following is a summary of “Liraglutide for Weight Management in Children and Adolescents With Prader–Willi Syndrome and Obesity,” published in the January 2023 issue of Endocrinology & Metabolism by Diene, et al.
Obesity is caused by Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), which is characterized by an inability to control one’s appetite and hyperphagia. Therefore, there was a need for pharmacological weight-management solutions. For a study, researchers sought to ascertain if liraglutide medication for weight control in children with PWS was preferable to a placebo or no treatment.
It was a 16-week double-blind, 52-week, multicenter experiment that was placebo-controlled. Children (n = 24, aged 6–11 years; Tanner stage 2) and adolescents (n = 31, aged 12-17 years; Tanner stage 2-5) with PWS and obesity were included. Liraglutide 3.0 mg (or the maximal acceptable dose) was given to patients in a 2:1 randomization for 16 weeks before the placebo was discontinued. Then, for 52 weeks, liraglutide was continued. Throughout the course of the experiment, each patient adhered to a prescribed diet and exercise regimen. Body mass index (BMI) standard deviation score (SDS) changes from baseline to 16 and 52 weeks were the coprimary outcomes. Other weight-related indicators, hyperphagia, and safety were considered secondary objectives.
Treatment differences between adolescents (estimated treatment difference: −0.07 at week 16 and −0.14 at week 52) and children (−0.06 and −0.07, respectively) were not statistically different for change in BMI SDS from baseline to weeks 16 & 52. Other weight-related metrics did not differ significantly across treatments. At week 52, adolescents using liraglutide had lower hyperphagia total and drive ratings than those taking no medication. Gastrointestinal issues were the most typical side effects of liraglutide.
The co-primary objectives were not reached, but the increases in teenagers’ hyperphagia total and drive scores called for more research on liraglutide in the cohort.