A randomized, open-label pilot of the combination of low-level laser therapy and lorcaserin for weight loss

Ivana T. Croghan, Jon O. Ebbert, Darrell R. Schroeder, Ryan T. Hurt, Victoria Hagstrom, Matthew M. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Obesity is a significant public health problem and innovative treatments are needed. The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the preliminary efficacy and safety of a combined treatment of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and lorcaserin on weight loss, health quality of life (QOL) measures, and cardiovascular risk factors. Methods: Forty-five overweight and obese adult participants with a body mass index (BMI) > 26.9 and < 40 were randomized to receive LLLT, lorcaserin, or a combination of the two therapies. All study participants received treatment for 3 months and were followed for 3 months post-treatment. Participants were recruited from June 2014 through September 2014. Results: The majority of the 44 participants accrued to this study were female (84 %) with an average age of 43. 9 years (range 22 to 64 years). Most participants (93 % LLLT alone, 87 % LLLT + lorcaserin) completed at least 80 % of the LLLT treatments. From baseline to end of treatment, significant reductions in waist circumference were noted for each treatment group (-2.3 ± 4.1 cm, -6.0 ± 7.3 cm, and -4.0 ± 5.5 cm for LLLT, lorcaserin and combination respectively); however, the reduction in body weight was only significant in those receiving lorcaserin and combination treatment (-0.4 ± 1.5 kg, -1.3 ± 1.2 kg and -1.3 ± 1.3 kg). No significant differences were noted between the groups. Self-reported satisfaction was higher in the lorcaserin versus the LLLT group. Conclusion: This small pilot demonstrates that when combined with behavioral intervention, Lorcaserin and LLLT may be effective components of a comprehensive approach to the treatment of overweight and obesity in the clinical setting. Further studies with larger sample size and longer duration of treatment and follow-up are needed to further address efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number42
JournalBMC Obesity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • Central adiposity
  • Lorcaserin
  • Low-level laser therapy
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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