A recent study has found that the use of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists for weight loss, when compared with bupropion-naltrexone, is associated with an increased risk of pancreatitis, gastroparesis, and bowel obstruction. However, there was no increased risk for biliary disease. The study, published in JAMA, highlighted that despite these adverse events being rare, they should be considered by patients contemplating the use of these drugs for weight loss.
The research was based on a sample of 16 million patients from the PharMetrics Plus database, evaluating gastrointestinal adverse events among new users of GLP-1 agonists between 2006 and 2020. Mohit Sodhi, MSc, a medical student at the University of British Columbia, emphasized the importance of informed consent, especially as these drugs become more accessible.