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Anti-obesity drug shows unprecedented effectiveness

January 3, 2023  12:55

Anti-obesity drug semaglutide has shown unprecedented effectiveness. A third of the respective study participants lost about 20 percent of their weight. Data from a clinical trial of this drug was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Semaglutide acts on the receptors of the glucogenic hormone in the body. It increases insulin production, lowers blood glucose levels, slows down digestion, and helps control hunger.

In 2012, Novo Nordisk company developed the drug semaglutide for the treatment of diabetes. Clinical research was completed in 2016. A year later, the manufacturer and a group of scientists from the University of Leeds announced that semaglutide could be used to treat obesity, too. According to preliminary data, it could reduce appetite and contribute to reducing the amount of fat in the body.

About two thousand people from 16 countries participated in the new respective research. Those who received semaglutide lost an average of 15 percent of their body weight over 68 weeks, with a third losing more than 20 percent. Weight loss in the placebo group was about 2.4 percent.

In addition to weight loss, many people treated with semaglutide have improved their diabetes or prediabetes condition.

In a commentary for The New York Times, Dr. Louis Aronne said that bariatric surgery, once considered the most effective method of treating obesity, helps to lose 25-30 percent of weight. But this method changes the structure of the digestive system forever.

The effect of treatment does not last forever

Apparently, semaglutide must be taken long-term, or lifelong, to maintain a normal weight.

The New York Times told about one of the participants in the research of this drug. Earlier, the woman unsuccessfully tried to lose weight for several years through diet and physical exercises. Semaglutide helped her lose 15 percent of her weight and caused no significant side effects. She was not aware whether she was receiving medicine or a placebo, so she continued to exercise and diet. However, the excess weight began to disappear unexpectedly quickly.

After the end of taking the drug, the participant of the study began to regain the lost extra kilograms. The woman stated that she would like to take the medication again when it becomes available.

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