Obesity is growing as a world issue, especially due to the Coronavirus pandemic that restricted people's movement and forced them to sit at home, further increasing the obesity levels in individuals.
A new study may have resolved this problem as it states that a drug by the name ‘semaglutide’ may be able to curb obesity. This would lead to a reduction of the global burden of the disease. This is a big development in the World Anti-Obesity Market as people suffering from the problem may get a drug that can reduce the hunger and bodyweight of the person, helping them control their diet.
To test the drug, 1,961 adults were enrolled for a trial. The people selected were either in the category of being obese or overweight. The experiment took place in 129 separate sites in 16 different countries across the continents of Europe, South America, Asia, and North America.
The test started in the year 2018, and the participants were given weekly subcutaneous injections of the drug at a dose of 2.4 mg. The study lasted for the whole of 68 weeks, and nearly 94.3% of the participants were able to complete it. The research reported only a few cases of side effects that revolved around mild to moderate nausea and diarrhea that got resolved over time.
The patients were given the service of over-the-phone or in-person counselling from registered practitioners (dieticians) on matters of physical activity, motivation, reduced-calorie diet, and behavioral strategies.
The team concluded that those who received the drug compared to the placebo group lost about 15.3 kg of body weight, while those in the placebo group were only able to reduce approx 2.6 kg. It was noted that 75% of people who received semaglutide lost more than 10% of their weight, and more than one-third of people lost about 20% of their weight.
As a consequence of weight loss, participants also saw a reduction in diabetes and heart attack risk factors, which involve blood fats, waist circumference, blood pressure, and an overall improvement in the quality of life. The drug, ‘Semaglutide,’ has gotten clinical approval and can be prescribed to patients with type 2 diabetes, although at a considerably low dose of only 1 mg.
The team has stated that the drug can cause such beneficial effects on an individual’s body as it contains a substance called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). In the 1990s, GLP-1 was traditionally released into the bloodstream, which helped in inducing weight loss as it hijacked the brain’s appetite regulation system. Hence, the more this substance is released, the fuller people would feel, in turn consuming fewer calories.
The new drug is a huge development as it has achieved what was not yet possible without getting weight loss surgery. It has been submitted for approval and awaits results in some big agencies like FDA, NICE, EMA, etc.
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