GLP-1s hinder safety of common procedure: Geisinger-led study

GLP-1s, a popular class of weight loss and diabetes drugs, can hinder the safety of a common gastroenterology procedure, according to a study published in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.  

The researchers — who work at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa., and the health system's medical school — collected data on 35,183 EGD procedures conducted among diabetic and nondiabetic patients.

Among 756 diabetic patients who underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) between 2019 and 2023, those who took GLP-1s were:

  • Four times more likely to have retained gastric contents during the procedure

  • About three times more likely to experience aborted procedures 

  • Twice as likely to require a repeat EGD

Among 166 GLP-1 users who did not have a diabetes diagnosis and underwent the procedure, they were:

  • About five times more likely to have retained gastric contents

  • Five times more likely to have aborted procedures

  • As likely as nonusers to need another EGD

GLP-1s affect gastric emptying regardless of a patient's diabetes status, the researchers found. No significant differences were found in post-procedure adverse events between GLP-1 users and nonusers, and no deaths in either cohort. 

Clinicians "who are responsible for scheduling and performing EGD for these patients should carefully assess the potential impact of these medications on the procedure's safe completion," the researchers concluded. "Healthcare providers must also consider the implications of delayed gastric emptying when planning EGD for patients using GLP-1 [receptor agonists]."

These findings add to a plethora of other studies that investigated the effects of GLP-1s and medical procedures

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