The Food and Drug Administration has permitted Wegovy, a higher-dose model of Novo Nordisk’s diabetes drug semaglutide, for long-term weight reduction and weight problems administration.
In company-funded research, contributors taking Wegovy had common weight lack of 15%, about 34 kilos. Contributors misplaced weight steadily for 14 months earlier than plateauing. In a comparability group getting dummy photographs, the common weight reduction was about 2.5%, or simply beneath 6 kilos.
“With current medicine, you’re 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 Middle. Bays, who can 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, similar to improved power, blood strain, blood sugar and levels of cholesterol, however that quantity typically doesn’t 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 most typical uncomfortable side effects have been gastrointestinal issues, together with nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. These normally subsided, however led about 5% of research contributors to cease taking it.
The drug carries a possible threat for a sort of thyroid tumor, so it shouldn’t be taken by individuals with a private or household historical past of sure thyroid and endocrine tumors. Wegovy additionally has a threat of despair 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 beneath their pores and skin. Like different weight-loss medicine, it’s for use together with train, a nutritious diet and different steps like conserving a meals diary.
The Danish firm hasn’t disclosed Wegovy’s value however stated it will likely be much like the value of its Saxenda, a weight reduction drug injected each day that now sometimes prices greater than $1,300 monthly with out insurance coverage.
Dr. Archana Sadhu, head of the diabetes program at Houston Methodist Hospital, stated Wegovy’s usefulness “all will depend on what the value shall be.” She famous sufferers’ medical insurance plans someday don’t cowl weight-loss remedies, placing costly medicine out of attain.
Sadhu, who has no connection to Novo Nordisk, plans to modify sufferers who’re overweight and have Kind 2 diabetes to Wegovy. It makes sufferers really feel full sooner and will increase launch of insulin from the pancreas to regulate blood sugar, she stated. Sufferers would then be extra more likely to get motivated to train and eat more healthy, she added.
Wegovy builds on a development wherein makers of comparatively new diabetes medicine take a look at them to deal with different circumstances widespread in diabetics. For instance, standard 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 research after cycles of shedding 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 quicker,” stated Pannell. “It acquired me on the precise path.”
Shortly after she completed the research and stopped receiving Wegovy, she regained about half the burden. She’s since misplaced a lot of that, began train courses and purchased residence train tools. She’s contemplating going again on Wegovy after it’s permitted.
Novo Nordisk is also growing a capsule model.
The Related Press Well being and Science Division receives help from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Division of Science Schooling. The AP is solely liable for all content material.