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AGA: Not all patients should cease taking GLP-1 RAs prior to endoscopy

The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) has released a rapid clinical practice update addressing the management of patients taking glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) prior to endoscopy. GLP-1 Ras - including Ozempic (semaglutide) and Trulicity (dulaglutide), among others - are commonly prescribed medications used to treat patients with diabetes and/or obesity.

Published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, AGA finds no data to support all patients stopping GLP-1 RAs prior to elective endoscopy procedures. This guidance is in response to American Society of Anesthesiologists' call for patients to stop taking GLP-1 RAs prior to elective procedures and surgeries.

"While GLP-1 RAs might slow gastric emptying in some patients, there is overall insufficient evidence for 'blanket statements' on how to manage patients taking these medications who require endoscopy," said author, Dr Andrew Wang from the University of Virginia.

AGA suggests the following considerations when treating patients on GLP-1 RAs undergoing endoscopic procedures:

  • Proceed with the procedure as planned for patients on GLP-1 RAs who followed the standard pre-procedure fasting instructions (no food for eight hours and no liquids for two hours before the procedure) and who do not have nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia or abdominal distention.

  • In lieu of stopping GLP-1 RAs, patients can also be placed on a liquid diet one day prior to their procedure.

  • In patients, with symptoms suggesting retained gastric contents, for whom delaying endoscopy may have negative clinical consequences, consider rapid-sequence intubation. However, this may not be possible in most ambulatory or office-based endoscopy settings.

Ultimately, this rapid clinical practice update provides a framework for clinicians to navigate the complexities of managing GLP-1 RAs in the pre-endoscopy setting, with the overarching goal of delivering the highest standard of care and prioritizing patient safety.

"AGA's clinical practice update advocates for a balanced approach and supports patient individualization, encouraging physicians to be cautious, putting the patient's safety first," added author, added Dr Jana Al Hashash from the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville.

This guidance further reinforces the GI multi-society statement released in August 2023 in response to the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

The update was reported in the paper, ‘AGA Rapid Clinical Practice Update on the Management of Patients Taking GLP-1 Receptor Agonists Prior to Endoscopy: Communication’, published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

To access this paper, please click here (log-in maybe required)


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