WEIGHT LOSS: New drug produces dramatic weight loss
March 04, 2021 • 1 min read
-- Drug so effective that patients dodge obesity’s heath consequences
Medications have proven largely ineffective and often messy in the war on obesity.
But a new drug called Semaglutide could put a dent in the obesity epidemic following a successful trial that saw more than a third of trialists lose more than 20% of their body weight, with some even reducing symptoms of diabetes and pre-diabetes.
Nearly 2,000 participants in 16 countries injected themselves weekly with Semaglutide or a placebo for 68 weeks. Those who got the drug lost close to 15% of their body weight, on average, compared with 2.4% among those receiving the placebo.
Those results far exceed the weight loss observed in clinical trials of other obesity medications and were achieved without messy gastrointestinal symptoms.
Semaglutide is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring hormone that acts on appetite centres in the brain and in the gut to produce feelings of satiety.
Bariatric surgery is considered the most effective treatment for weight loss, typically resulting in up to 30% loss of body weight. But the surgery is invasive and permanently alters the digestive system. What’s more, only 1% of those who qualify go through with the procedure.
Generally, insurers have refused to pay for the weight-loss drugs on the market. However, the effectiveness of the drug may lead insurers to cover it. Otherwise, a lower dose used to treat diabetes carries an average retail price of nearly $US1,000 a month.