We all get suckered in to those weight loss plans and products at some point or another. When I read that a new weight loss drug was coming out, I immediately thought, it’s probably just like all the others. After reading up on it, the drug actually sounds like it could be a game-changer for some. It’s called semaglutide and it is used for diabetes. Accoridng to BBC News, a major international trial shows it suppresses your appetite and has led some people to lose more than a fifth of their body weight.

The study was a 15-month trial done on almost 2,000 people by receiving a weekly injection of semaglutide and following advice on diet and fitness. In the trial, those people averaged a weight loss of 33 pounds. Some people in the study received a dummy injection with the same diet/fitness advice and they only lost 6 pounds. However, some in the study had their appetite and weight build back up after coming off of the trial. There is currently five-year studies taking place to see if the drug can provide long-term weight loss.

Semaglutide is being submitted to drugs regulators so it can’t be routinely prescribed. Some expect the drug would be used initially by specialist weight loss clinics, rather than being widely available.

The amount of weight loss achieved is greater than that seen with any licensed anti-obesity drug. This is the start of a new era for obesity drug development with the future direction being to achieve levels of weight loss comparable to semaglutide, while having fewer side-effects. - Prof Sir Stephen O'Rahilly, the University of Cambridge

 

It is useful to have a potential option to help people lose weight, however we need to acknowledge that weight loss will still need lifestyle change, and that any medication or change in lifestyle can bring potential risks and side-effects. - Dr Duane Mellor, a dietician and from Aston Medical School

Scientists are saying this could mark a “new era” in treating obesity with even more therapies on the horizon. For many people who are researching options for obesity including bariatric surgery, this could be an option. As with any drug, always talk to your health professional before trying it.

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