The following is the summary of “Liraglutide for Weight Management in Children and Adolescents With Prader–Willi Syndrome and Obesity” published in the January 2023 issue of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism by Diene, et al.

When a person has Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) often struggle to manage their eating habits, leading to morbid obesity. Therefore, there should be weight-management drugs available. To compare the effectiveness of liraglutide medication for weight management in children and adolescents with PWS to that of placebo or no treatment. In this 52-week long, randomized, placebo-controlled study, participants were kept in the dark for the first 16 weeks. Both children (n=24, Tanner stage <2) and adolescents (n=31, Tanner stages 2-5) with PWS and obesity were included. For 16 weeks, patients were randomly assigned to receive either liraglutide 3.0 mg (or maximum-tolerated dose) or placebo. This study lasted for 52 weeks, during which time liraglutide was maintained. Throughout the course of the study, all participants maintained a consistent diet and exercise routine. 

Coprimary outcomes included the percentage change in body mass index (BMI) standard deviation score (SDS) from baseline to 16 and 52 weeks. Variables unrelated to weight loss, such as hyperphagia and safety, were considered secondary objectives. Adolescents (estimated treatment difference: -0.07 at week 16 and 0.14 at week 52) and children (-0.06 at week 16 and -0.07 at week 52) did not show a statistically significant difference in the change in BMI SDS from baseline to weeks 16 and 52. In addition, there were no significant differences in the other measures of body weight between the regimens. 

Total and drive scores for hyperphagia were reduced in teenage patients treated with liraglutide compared to those who received no therapy at week 52. Liraglutide’s most common side effects were stomach problems. Changes in hyperphagia total and drive scores in adolescents warrant additional studies on liraglutide in this cohort, despite failing to meet the coprimary objectives.