Impact of Liraglutide on Amylase, Lipase, and Acute Pancreatitis in Participants With Overweight/Obesity and Normoglycemia, Prediabetes, or Type 2 Diabetes: Secondary Analyses of Pooled Data From the SCALE Clinical Development Program


To describe amylase/lipase activity levels and events of acute pancreatitis (AP) in the SCALE (Satiety and Clinical Adiposity—Liraglutide Evidence in individuals with and without diabetes) weight-management trials.


Secondary analyses were performed on pooled data from four trials (N = 5,358 with BMI ≥30, or 27 to <30 kg/m2 with ≥1 comorbidity). Of these, 1,723 had normoglycemia, 2,789 had prediabetes, and 846 had type 2 diabetes. Participants were randomized to liraglutide 3.0 mg (n = 3,302), liraglutide 1.8 mg (n = 211, only type 2 diabetes), or placebo (n = 1,845). Relationships between baseline characteristics and amylase/lipase activity at baseline and during treatment were investigated.


Over 56 weeks, liraglutide 3.0 mg versus placebo was associated with increases in mean levels of 7% (amylase) and 31% (lipase), respectively. Similar changes in amylase/lipase levels were observed with liraglutide 1.8 mg. More participants receiving liraglutide 3.0 mg versus placebo experienced amylase (9.4% vs. 5.9%) and lipase (43.5% vs. 15.1%) elevations greater than or equal to the upper limit of normal (ULN); few had elevations ≥3 x ULN for amylase (<0.1% with liraglutide 3.0 mg or placebo) or lipase (2.9% vs. 1.5%, respectively). After liraglutide discontinuation, enzymes returned to baseline levels. Thirteen participants developed AP: 12 on (n = 9, 0.3%) or after (n = 3, 0.1%) liraglutide 3.0 mg treatment and one (0.1%) with placebo. A total of 6/13 participants with AP (5/12 liraglutide; 1 placebo) had gallstone disease evident at AP onset. Amylase/lipase elevations either 1 x ULN or ≥3 x ULN before AP onset had very low positive predictive value for AP (<1%).


Liraglutide resulted in dose-independent, reversible increases in amylase/lipase activity, unrelated to baseline characteristics, not predicting AP onset. Gallstones possibly contributed to 50% of AP cases. Data provide no basis for amylase/lipase level monitoring in liraglutide treatment except in suspected AP.

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