Liraglutide for Type 2 diabetes and obesity: a 2015 update

Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2015;13(7):753-67. doi: 10.1586/14779072.2015.1054810.


Subcutaneous liraglutide (Victoza(®), Novo Nordisk) was approved for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in Europe in 2009 and in the USA in 2010. In December 2014, liraglutide 3.0 mg was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and in March 2015 by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the treatment of chronic weight management under the brand name Saxenda(®) Novo Nordisk. Liraglutide causes a glucose-dependent increase in insulin secretion, decreases glucagon secretion and promotes weight loss by inhibiting appetite. Liraglutide probably induces satiety through activation of different areas in the hind brain and possibly by preserving free leptin levels. Recently, liraglutide has been suggested to protect against prediabetes and seems to prevent bone loss by increasing bone formation following diet-induced weight loss in obesity. This article not only covers the major clinical trials evaluating the effects of liraglutide in obesity and T2DM but also provides novel insights into the pharmacological mechanisms of liraglutide.

Keywords: GLP-1 receptor agonist; T2DM; efficacy; obesity; pre-diabetes; safety; tolerability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Appetite Depressants / pharmacology
  • Appetite Depressants / therapeutic use*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / physiology
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor / agonists
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Liraglutide / pharmacokinetics
  • Liraglutide / therapeutic use*
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / physiopathology


  • Appetite Depressants
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Liraglutide
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1