Weight loss drugs may increase risks for digestive problems: study


People taking popular medications for weight loss may be at higher risk for serious digestive problems such as stomach paralysis, pancreatitis, and bowel obstructions, according to a new study published on Thursday. 

Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists are medications approved for treatment of diabetes that recently have also been used off label for weight loss. 

For the study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association researchers at the University of British Columbia sifted through a random sample of more than 16 million insurance claims from a prescription drug database that covers about 93 percent of all outpatient prescriptions in the United States. 

The researchers examined gastrointestinal adverse events associated with GLP-1 agonists used for weight loss in a clinical setting. 

They found that use of GLP-1 agonists was associated with increased risk of pancreatitis, bowel obstruction, and gastroparesis. 

The researchers noted that these problems are not mild. Bowel obstructions, for example, can be medical emergencies.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency

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