Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Solberg, Julie

Second Advisor

Kauffman, Russell


GLP-1 receptor agonist; liraglutide; semaglutide; safety; efficacy; adverse events; lifestyle modifications; obesity; weight loss; long-term management


Obesity has been a source of complications affecting multiple aspects from a physiological and psychological standpoint which has been steadily growing. There are a multitude of weight loss programs and medications with the idea of sustaining consistent weight loss to include use of the pharmaceuticals discussed within this review. The purpose of this literature review is to compare the efficacy and safety with use of liraglutide versus semaglutide (GLP-1 receptor agonists) in respect to long term weight loss management while in conjunction to lifestyle modifications within the obese population. Thorough research has been done with the aid of health science databases to include PubMed, ClinicalKey, and EBSCO. All of the studies were published between the year 2014 to 2022 and utilized human subjects greater than or equal to 18 years of age with specificity to subjects who were classified as “obese” based on their body mass index (BMI). The studies which were used throughout this review were composed of randomized control studies and systematic reviews. The data presented shows that both pharmaceuticals represented significant weight loss compared to their corresponding placebo, however concrete evidence was discovered that semaglutide was noted to be superior compared to liraglutide in the form of weight loss management in obese individuals. Furthermore, the current research that is available and studied does not conclusively provide enough evidence nor has been studied properly when considering long term use of these pharmaceuticals.