GLP-1 RA Use Linked to Lower Quality of Bowel Preparation

More patients taking GLP-1 receptor agonists require repeat colonoscopy due to poor bowel prep
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

THURSDAY, June 13, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- The use of glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) for diabetes or obesity is associated with a lower quality of bowel preparation among patients undergoing colonoscopy, according to a study published online in the June issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Rebecca Yao, M.D., M.P.H., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients who underwent screening or surveillance colonoscopy at a large academic medical center to examine whether use of GLP-1 RA is associated with decreased quality of bowel preparation. Patients taking GLP-1 RAs for diabetes or obesity during colonoscopy were defined as cases, and those who were prescribed GLP-1 RAs at one point but not within three months of colonoscopy were included as controls (265 and 181, respectively).

The researchers found that when controlling for diabetes, the mean Boston Bowel Preparation Score (BBPS) was significantly higher in controls than cases (7.0 ± 1.9 versus 7.5 ± 2.4). The case group had a significantly higher percentage of patients with a total BBPS score of <5 (15.5 versus 6.6 percent). The case group also had a significantly higher proportion of patients who required a repeat colonoscopy due to poor bowel preparation (18.9 versus 11.1 percent).

"It will be essential to understand the cumulative effect of medications that may delay gastric emptying on the quality of bowel preparation to better understand the appropriate measures and counseling that need to be taken before undergoing outpatient colonoscopies," the authors write.

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