On Friday, authorities announced that a new version of a popular diabetic medication might be sold in the United States as a weight-loss medication.
FDA Approves Weight-Reducing Drug
The Food and Drug Administration has authorized Wegovy, a higher-dose variant of Novo Nordisk’s diabetes medicine semaglutide, for long-term weight control.
Participants in company-funded trials who took Wegovy lost an average of 15% of their body weight, or roughly 34 pounds (15.3 kilograms). For 14 months, participants dropped weight consistently until reaching a plateau. The average weight reduction in a comparative group receiving fake injections was roughly 2.5 percent or a little under 6 pounds.
Existing medicines will only provide a 5% to 10% weight loss, and often not even that, according to Dr. Bays, who is a medical director of the Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center. Bays, who is also the Obesity Medicine Association’s chief science officer, assisted in the drug’s research.
Obesity affects more than 100 million individuals in the United States, accounting for around one-third of all adults.
Even losing 5% of one’s body weight can result in health advantages such as increased energy, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, according to Bays, but this amount generally does not please patients who are looking to lose weight.
Wegovy, according to Bays, looks to be considerably safer than previous obesity medications that have gone down in flames due to safety issues. The most common side effects of Wegovy were gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Those normally subsided, although approximately 5% of trial participants stopped taking it.
Because the medicine may increase the risk of a kind of thyroid tumor, those who have a personal or family history of certain thyroid and endocrine malignancies should not take it. Wegovy is also linked to sadness and pancreatic inflammation.
Wegovy is a man-made version of a gastrointestinal hormone that suppresses hunger. Patients are given it beneath their skin once a week. It, like other weight-loss medications, should be taken in conjunction with exercise, a nutritious diet, and other procedures such as keeping a food diary.
The Danish business has not specified Wegovy’s pricing but has stated that it will be comparable to the price of its Saxenda, a daily injectable weight reduction medicine that already costs more than $1,300 a month without insurance.
Dr. Archana Sadhu, director of the diabetic department at Houston Methodist Hospital, stated that the use of Wegovy is entirely dependent on the pricing. She pointed out that some patients’ health insurance policies do not cover weight-loss procedures, placing pricey medication out of reach.
Sadhu, who has no ties to Novo Nordisk, intends to convert obese patients with Type 2 diabetes to Wegovy. According to her, it causes patients to feel full faster and stimulates insulin secretion from the pancreas to manage blood sugar. Patients would be more likely to get inspired to exercise and eat healthier, as a result, she noted.
Wegovy draws on a trend in which manufacturers of relatively new diabetes medications try them to treat other diabetic-related illnesses. Popular diabetic medications like Jardiance and Novo Nordisk’s Victoza, for example, have recently been approved for lowering the risk of heart attack, stroke, and mortality in heart patients.
Phylander Pannell, 49, of Largo, Maryland, enrolled in a patient study after experiencing cycles of losing and regaining weight. She claimed to have gotten Wegovy, worked out several times each week, and dropped 65 pounds over 16 months.
It reduced her appetite and made her feel fuller sooner, according to Pannell. It steered her in the correct direction.
She regained almost half her weight shortly after completing the research and ceasing to get Wegovy. She’s now shed a lot of weight, begun exercising and purchased home workout equipment. She’s thinking about going back on Wegovy once it’s authorized.
Novo Nordisk is also working on a tablet form.