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AGA does not endorse all patients stopping popular diabetes and weight loss drugs prior to endoscopy

Instead, AGA suggests doctors individualize the approach to each patient on a GLP-1 receptor agonist prior to a procedure.

Bethesda, MD (Nov. 7, 2023) — 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. 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. 

GLP-1 RAs — including Ozempic® (semaglutide), Trulicity® (dulaglutide), among others — are commonly prescribed medications used to treat patients with diabetes and/or obesity. 

“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 Andrew Wang, MD, University of Virginia.  

“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,” concluded author Jana Al Hashash, MD, MSc, Mayo Clinic Jacksonville. 

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. 

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

About the AGA Institute 

The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, the AGA has grown to more than 16,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research and educational programs of the organization. 

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About Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology 

The mission of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology is to provide readers with a broad spectrum of themes in clinical gastroenterology and hepatology. This monthly peer-reviewed journal includes original articles as well as scholarly reviews, with the goal that all articles published will be immediately relevant to the practice of gastroenterology and hepatology. For more information, visit 

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