Patients should stop taking new diabetes, weight loss drugs before surgery: New guidance

Ozempic, Mounjaro, Wegovy and other GLP-1 receptor agonists should not be taken before elective surgeries because of a possible risk of vomiting and food entering a patient's airway and lungs, the American Society of Anesthesiologists said June 29. 

The association said the new guidance is based on anecdotal reports of patients who take these drugs experiencing regurgitation and aspiration while undergoing anesthesia. There is "a lack of scientific data on how GLP-1 receptor agonists affect patients having surgery and interact with anesthesia," ASA President Michael Champeau, MD, said in a news release.

GLP-1 drugs, or glucagon-like peptide 1 agonists, are a class of medications that suppress appetite. As of June 29, the FDA has approved 10 GLP-1 therapies: 

  • Adlyxin (lixisenatide)

  • Bydureon BCise (exenatide extended release)

  • Byetta (exenatide)

  • Mounjaro (tirzepatide)

  • Ozempic (semaglutide)

  • Rybelsus (semaglutide)

  • Saxenda (liraglutide)

  • Trulicity (dulaglutide)

  • Victoza (liraglutide)

  • Wegovy (semaglutide)

All are approved to treat Type 2 diabetes except for Saxenda and Wegovy, which are approved for weight loss.

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