Semaglutide for obesity – a game changer?
Semaglutide is a once weekly injectable medication used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. It improves blood sugar control but also reduces hunger and increases feelings of fullness, helping people lose weight.
Obesity is a chronic and complex disease that requires long term management. Its presence increases the risk of other diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
Lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to treat obesity but when medication are added many people are able to lose weight, reducing their risk of developing obesity related complications.
Just published in the New England Journal of Medicine is a study of just under 2000 people with overweight or obesity who were randomised to high dose Semaglutide or placebo. Those given Semaglutide lost on average a whopping 15.3kg of weight over 68 weeks. More than 2/3 of participants lost 10% or more of their weight and more than half lost 15% of their original weight.
Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association also showed that Semaglutide was an effective treatment for obesity. People with overweight or obesity who were prescribed high dose Semaglutide in addition to a low calorie diet and intensive behavioural therapy lost about 16% of their body weight.
The weight loss achieved with Semaglutide far exceeds the amount of weight loss observed with other obesity medicines. As with any medication it has some side effects and will not be suitable for everyone but Semaglutide represents a major breakthrough for improving the health of people living with obesity. It is exciting that we now have another effective tool to help treat people with obesity.