The Food and Drug Administration has accepted 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, members taking Wegovy had common weight lack of 15%, about 34 kilos. Individuals 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 underneath 6 kilos.
“With current medicine, you’re going to get perhaps 5% to 10% weight discount, generally not even that,” mentioned Dr. Harold Bays, medical director of the Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Analysis Heart. 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 deliver well being advantages, akin to improved vitality, blood stress, blood sugar and levels of cholesterol, however that quantity typically doesn’t fulfill sufferers who’re targeted on weight reduction, Bays mentioned.
Bays mentioned Wegovy seems far safer than earlier weight problems medicine that “have gone down in flames” over security issues. Wegovy’s commonest unwanted side effects have been gastrointestinal issues, together with nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. These often subsided, however led about 5% of research members to cease taking it.
The drug carries a possible danger for a kind of thyroid tumor, so it shouldn’t be taken by folks with a private or household historical past of sure thyroid and endocrine tumors. Wegovy additionally has a danger 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 underneath their pores and skin. Like different weight-loss medicine, it’s for use together with train, a nutritious diet and different steps like holding a meals diary.
The Danish firm hasn’t disclosed Wegovy’s value however mentioned it is going to be much like the value of its Saxenda, a weight reduction drug injected each day that now sometimes prices greater than $1,300 per thirty days with out insurance coverage.
Dr. Archana Sadhu, head of the diabetes program at Houston Methodist Hospital, mentioned Wegovy’s usefulness “all is determined by 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 change 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 manage blood sugar, she mentioned. Sufferers would then be extra more likely to get motivated to train and eat more healthy, she added.
Wegovy builds on a pattern wherein makers of comparatively new diabetes medicine take a look at them to deal with different circumstances frequent in diabetics. For instance, widespread diabetes medicine Jardiance and Novo Nordisk’s Victoza now have approvals for lowering danger of coronary heart assault, stroke and loss of life in coronary heart sufferers.
Phylander Pannell, 49, of Largo, Maryland, joined a affected person research after cycles of dropping after which regaining weight. She mentioned she acquired Wegovy, labored out a number of instances every week and misplaced 65 kilos over 16 months.
“It helped curb my urge for food and it helped me really feel full sooner,” mentioned Pannell. “It obtained me on the fitting 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 gear. She’s contemplating going again on Wegovy after it’s accepted.
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 Training. The AP is solely liable for all content material.