Finding a drug that helps weight loss has been difficult to find over the years but researchers discovered that this diabetes drug aides weight loss.
The drug, semaglutide, was created by Novo Nordisk and already is advertised as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes. In a clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists at Northwestern University in Chicago tested semaglutide at a much higher dose as an anti-obesity medication.
Nearly 2,000 participants around the world injected themselves each week with semaglutide or a placebo for 68 weeks. The people who got the drug lost close to 15 percent of their body weight, on average, compared with 2.4 percent to those who received the placebo.
More than 30 percent of the people receiving the drug lost more than 20 percent of their weight. Symptoms of diabetes and pre-diabetes improved in many patients.
More importantly, these findings on weight loss are much greater than previous studies of other obesity medications. The drug is a “game-changer,” mentions Dr. Robert F. Kushner, an obesity researcher at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who led the study. “This is the start of a new era of effective treatments for obesity.”
The drug that helps weight loss
Researchers have spent years searching for ways to help struggling individuals with obesity. The current obesity medications have side effects that limit use. The most effective drug, phentermine, brings a 7 percent weight loss but the weight is regained after you stop taking it.
Bariatric surgery is 20 to 30 percent effective but it is invasive. Only 1 percent of people who qualify actually go through with the weight loss surgery.
Willpower is not enough
The semaglutide study confirms what researchers already know, willpower is not enough. In the new trial, people who got the placebo and diet and exercise counseling were not able to see any major difference in their weight.
The downside is that this diabetes drug is without a doubt expensive and insurers usually do not cover weight loss drugs. However, insurers do cover diabetes drugs and semaglutide may be an exception.
The bottom line
Finally, semaglutide is an fake version of a naturally occurring hormone that acts on producing feelings of hunger. A high-dose routine of the drug has not been studied long enough to know if it has serious long-term side effects.
To say the least, diet and exercise is key when it comes to long-term weight loss. However, obese people have a new diabetes drug that helps weight loss.
Source: Gina, Kolata. “A Game Changer’: Drug Brings Weight Loss in Patients With Obesity” February 10, 2021