HealthDay News — Liraglutide (Victoza) doesn’t appear to improve heart function in patients with advanced heart failure, according to a study published in the August 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Kenneth Margulies, MD, a professor of medicine and research director of heart failure and transplantation at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues randomly assigned 300 recently hospitalized advanced heart failure patients to daily injections of liraglutide or placebo. Over 6 months, the researchers looked for the number of patients who died, who were readmitted to the hospital for heart failure, or whose disease had stabilized.

Among the 271 patients who completed the study, liraglutide had no significant effect on any of the outcomes Margulies’ team was looking for. Among those taking liraglutide, 12% died versus 11% of those receiving placebo. Forty-one percent of those taking liraglutide were rehospitalized for heart failure, compared with 34% of those receiving placebo. No difference was seen between the groups in measurements of heart function and disease stability, including heart structure and function, six-minute walking distance, and quality of life. And, when the researchers looked at those with and without diabetes, they didn’t see any significant differences between the groups.

“Among patients recently hospitalized with heart failure and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction, the use of liraglutide did not lead to greater post-hospitalization clinical stability,” the authors write. “These findings do not support the use of liraglutide in this clinical situation.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Liraglutide and matching placeboinjections were supplied by Novo Nordisk.

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