July 22, 2024
10 Diabetes Medications That Cause Weight Gain (or Loss) GoodRx

The Link Between Diabetes Medications and Weight Loss

Managing diabetes is a complex task that often involves multiple medications. While the primary goal of these medications is to control blood sugar levels, some people may experience an unexpected side effect – weight loss. In this article, we will explore the different diabetes medications that have been known to cause weight loss and how they work.

Metformin: The Weight Loss Wonder

Metformin is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for type 2 diabetes. Not only does it help lower blood sugar levels, but it also has the added benefit of promoting weight loss. This medication works by reducing the amount of glucose produced by the liver and improving insulin sensitivity.

Studies have shown that metformin can lead to modest weight loss in people with diabetes. It helps to suppress appetite, reduce food intake, and increase the feeling of fullness. It is important to note that the weight loss may not be significant and can vary depending on individual factors such as diet and exercise.

GLP-1 Receptor Agonists: A Double Action Medication

GLP-1 receptor agonists, such as exenatide and liraglutide, are injectable medications that are commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes. They work by mimicking the action of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which helps to regulate blood sugar levels.

These medications not only lower blood sugar levels but also have the added benefit of promoting weight loss. They work by slowing down the movement of food through the stomach, increasing feelings of fullness, and reducing appetite. Studies have shown that GLP-1 receptor agonists can lead to significant weight loss in people with diabetes.

SGLT-2 Inhibitors: Shedding Pounds with Urine

SGLT-2 inhibitors, such as canagliflozin and dapagliflozin, are a newer class of medications that are used to treat type 2 diabetes. They work by blocking the reabsorption of glucose in the kidneys, resulting in increased glucose excretion through urine.

One of the side effects of SGLT-2 inhibitors is weight loss. This is because the excess glucose that is excreted in the urine represents calories that are not absorbed by the body. Studies have shown that SGLT-2 inhibitors can lead to significant weight loss in people with diabetes.


While weight loss may not be the primary goal of diabetes medications, some medications have been shown to have this beneficial side effect. Metformin, GLP-1 receptor agonists, and SGLT-2 inhibitors are among the medications that have been known to promote weight loss in people with diabetes. However, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your medication regimen. They can provide personalized advice and guidance based on your individual needs and health goals.

Remember, the most effective way to manage diabetes and achieve a healthy weight is through a combination of medication, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and lifestyle modifications. Working closely with your healthcare team can help you develop a comprehensive plan that meets your specific needs and goals.

So, if you are struggling with diabetes and weight management, speak to your healthcare provider about the possibility of incorporating these medications into your treatment plan. They can help determine if these medications are suitable for you and guide you on how to use them effectively to achieve your weight loss goals.

Don’t let diabetes hold you back. With the right medications and lifestyle changes, you can take control of your health and achieve your weight loss goals.