by Linda A. Johnson

This picture offered by Novo Nordisk on Friday, June 4, 2021 exhibits a package deal of injection pens for the corporate’s semaglutide treatment, named Wegovy. On Friday, the Meals and Drug Administration stated this new model of a well-liked diabetes medication might be offered as a weight-loss drug within the U.S. Credit score: Novo Nordisk by way of AP

Regulators on Friday stated a brand new model of a well-liked diabetes medication might be offered as a weight-loss drug within the U.S.

The Meals and Drug Administration accredited Wegovy, a higher-dose model of Novo Nordisk’s diabetes drug semaglutide, for long-term weight administration.

In company-funded research, individuals taking Wegovy had common weight lack of 15%, about 34 kilos (15.3 kilograms). Contributors misplaced weight steadily for 14 months earlier than plateauing. In a comparability group getting dummy pictures, the common weight reduction was about 2.5%, or simply below 6 kilos.

“With current medicine, you are going to get perhaps 5% to 10% weight discount, typically not even that,” stated Dr. Harold Bays, medical director of the Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Analysis Heart. Bays, who can also be the Weight problems Medication Affiliation’s chief science officer, helped run research of the drug.

Within the U.S., greater than 100 million adults—about 1 in 3—are overweight.

Dropping even 5% of 1’s weight can carry well being advantages, equivalent to improved power, blood stress, blood sugar and levels of cholesterol, however that quantity usually would not fulfill sufferers who’re targeted on weight reduction, Bays stated.

Bays stated Wegovy seems far safer than earlier weight problems medicine that “have gone down in flames” over security issues. Wegovy’s commonest unwanted effects have been gastrointestinal issues, together with nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. These normally subsided, however led about 5% of examine individuals to cease taking it.

The drug carries a possible threat for a kind of thyroid tumor, so it should not be taken by folks with a private or household historical past of sure thyroid and endocrine tumors. Wegovy additionally has a threat of melancholy and pancreas irritation.

Wegovy (pronounced wee-GOH’-vee) is a synthesized model of a intestine hormone that curbs urge for food. Sufferers inject it weekly below their pores and skin. Like different weight-loss medicine, it is for use together with train, a nutritious diet and different steps like holding a meals diary.

The Danish firm hasn’t disclosed Wegovy’s worth however stated it will likely be just like the value of its Saxenda, a weight reduction drug injected each day that now sometimes prices greater than $1,300 per 30 days with out insurance coverage.

Dr. Archana Sadhu, head of the diabetes program at Houston Methodist Hospital, stated Wegovy’s usefulness “all relies on what the value might be.” She famous sufferers’ medical insurance plans someday do not cowl weight-loss therapies, placing costly medicine out of attain.

FDA approves obesity drug that helped people cut weight 15%
This picture offered by Novo Nordisk on Friday, June 4, 2021 exhibits an injection pen for the corporate’s semaglutide treatment, named Wegovy. On Friday, the Meals and Drug Administration stated this new model of a well-liked diabetes medication might be offered as a weight-loss drug within the U.S. Credit score: Novo Nordisk by way of AP

Sadhu, who has no connection to Novo Nordisk, plans to modify sufferers who’re overweight and have Sort 2 diabetes to Wegovy. It makes sufferers really feel full sooner and will increase launch of insulin from the pancreas to manage blood sugar, she stated. Sufferers would then be extra prone to get motivated to train and eat more healthy, she added.

Wegovy builds on a development during which makers of comparatively new diabetes medicine take a look at them to deal with different circumstances widespread in diabetics. For instance, common diabetes medicine Jardiance and Novo Nordisk’s Victoza now have approvals for lowering threat of coronary heart assault, stroke and demise in coronary heart sufferers.

Phylander Pannell, 49, of Largo, Maryland, joined a affected person examine after cycles of dropping after which regaining weight. She stated she acquired Wegovy, labored out a number of occasions per week and misplaced 65 kilos over 16 months.

“It helped curb my urge for food and it helped me really feel full sooner,” stated Pannell. “It acquired me on the appropriate path.”

Shortly after she completed the examine and stopped receiving Wegovy, she regained about half the burden. She’s since misplaced a lot of that, began train lessons and acquired residence train tools. She’s contemplating going again on Wegovy after it is accredited.

Novo Nordisk is also growing a capsule model.


Drug saxenda aids weight reduction—however you need to train, too


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