The FDA approves obesity drug for weight loss as obese people are on the rise. Doctors are still searching for new weight loss drugs and treatments to help fight obesity.
Semaglutide, an injectable drug, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for people struggling with chronic obesity.
According to Dr. Robert F. Kushner, he has been in the field for 40 years and has not seen anything close to 15% weight loss.
“Today’s approval offers adults with obesity or overweight a beneficial new treatment option to incorporate into a weight management program,” John Sharretts, deputy director of the Division of Diabetes, Lipid Disorders, and Obesity in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.
Obesity drug for weight loss
Semaglutide acts on centers in the brain to reduce appetite. This can lead to potentially significant weight loss when combined with increased physical activity and counseling.
During a 68-week study, patients injected themselves each week with either semaglutide or a placebo. On average, over 50% of those who received the drug itself lost about 15% of their body weight. Over a third accomplished a weight loss of at least 20% of their weight.
On the other hand, obesity is a growing public crisis and if the trend continues, 1 in 2 Americans could become obese or overweight by 2030. This is according to a 2019 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
In addition to the crisis, I do believe this semaglutide study can lead to a new generation of weight loss drugs.
Common side effects of semaglutide were mild to moderate in severity. They mostly consisted of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, and abated with time.
One downfall to access could be pricing, as weight-loss drugs could be costly and are not always covered by insurance. According to the company, this drug could cost up to $1,300 for a 30-day supply.
Lastly, there needs to be more research on the effects of this drug. However, it does give people who are overweight another tool to add to their weight loss regimen.
Source: Mitropoulos, Airelle. “Newly approved drug heralded as ‘game changer’ in the growing national obesity crisis” www.abcnews.go.com June 4, 2021