Can diabetes medications help you lose weight?
LAST UPDATED: Sep 19, 2023
1 MIN READ
HERE'S WHAT WE'LL COVER
We spoke with Dr. Beverly Tchang MD, about diabetes medications, how they work, and whether they can help you lose weight.
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Can medications for diabetes help you lose weight?
There are many different medications that are used to treat diabetes and different medication types work in different ways, but there are diabetes medications—more specifically, those treating type 2 diabetes—that can help you lose weight. Metformin, for example, is a commonly prescribed diabetes medication that can help regulate your blood sugar, and while it’s not considered to be a weight loss medication per se, many people who use the medication to treat diabetes do lose weight.
Other medications, like Ozempic, Victoza, and Mounjaro are part of a class of medications called GLP-1s that were initially FDA-approved to treat type 2 diabetes but can have significant weight loss-inducing effects. In recent years, their use as weight management treatment options has expanded. These drugs help with weight loss by slowing the transit of food through the digestive system, making you feel fuller for longer, as well as by reducing cravings.
If you have diabetes as well as overweight or obesity, you can speak with your healthcare provider about tailoring your treatments to your health. For people with diabetes who also have obesity, weight management can both reduce the severity of your diabetes (meaning your doctor may be able to reduce the amount of medication you need to control your blood sugar) and improve your health in the long term.
Ozempic Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.
Mounjaro Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.
If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Centers for Disease Control. (2022). Healthy weight. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/healthy-weight.html#:~:text=Taking%20off%20just%205%25%20to,medicine%20after%20you%20lose%20weight
Yerevanian, A. & Soukas, A. A. (2020). MetforminL mechanisms in human obesity and weight loss. Current Obesity Reports, 8(2), 156-164. doi: 10.1007/s13679-019-00335-3. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520185/