Weight-loss drug lowers BMI in overweight teenagers, examine finds
Semaglutide is a blockbuster anti-obesity drug Vegs — plus a way of life intervention led to “vital reductions” within the physique mass index of overweight youngsters after greater than a yr of weekly therapy, researchers reported Wednesday in The New England Journal of Drugs.
Wegovy is at the moment solely obtainable by prescription for adults within the US. A brand new examine checked out whether or not it may work on youngsters.
“Boy, is it ever,” NBC Information contributor Dr. Natalie Azar stated.
The examine concerned 201 overweight members in america and different international locations, ages 12 to 17, who had been randomly assigned to obtain a once-weekly injection of semaglutide or a placebo. The dose of the drug is similar as for adults.
Each teams additionally acquired a way of life intervention consisting of dietary counseling and bodily exercise for weight reduction earlier than and through the examine.
After 16 months of this process, the youngsters within the semaglutide group misplaced a mean of just about 15% of their physique weight, or about 34 kilos, whereas the kids within the management group gained about 5 kilos.
“Not solely did they drop pounds, they improved their waist circumference, they improved their ldl cholesterol,” Azar stated. It was additionally one of many first research to take a look at how youngsters’ high quality of life improved after they misplaced weight, “and it improved dramatically,” she famous. “Having this extra weight can considerably have an effect on their social growth.”
The examine was funded by Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceutical large that makes Wegovy.
Emalea Zumo, a 17-year-old lady from Jeanette, Pennsylvania, was one of many teenagers within the examine who acquired semaglutide. She weighed 250 kilos at the beginning, weight acquire that was attributed to polycystic ovary syndrome, and misplaced greater than 70 kilos through the trial.
“I felt higher in my very own pores and skin than I had ever felt earlier than” she informed NBC Information.
The security profile of semaglutide amongst overweight adolescents within the trial was in step with that seen in adults, the researchers write. They famous that the drug “didn’t have an effect on progress and puberty.”
“There are not any issues with growth, however any drugs has negative effects. The principle negative effects of this class of medicine are gastrointestinal (GI) – nausea, vomiting, diarrhea,” Dr. Silva Arslanian, director of the Heart for Pediatric Weight problems and Metabolism Analysis at Kids’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, informed TODAY. She is a co-author of the examine.
“None of our members had their college classes interrupted. However it’s, in fact, very particular person.”
Nearly two-thirds of teenagers who took semaglutide, 62%, skilled gastrointestinal negative effects, in contrast with 42% of teenagers who took placebo.
Semaglutide is in a category of medicine referred to as GLP-1 receptor agonists, and it really works by mimicking the pure hormone launched by the physique when an individual eats. This hormone targets areas of the mind that regulate urge for food and meals consumption. Researchers imagine that its results on the mind assist folks really feel full earlier, so that they eat lower than regular.
In keeping with Arslanian, this works higher for weight reduction than life-style modifications alone for overweight youngsters for a number of causes, together with that starvation and satiety are managed by the central nervous system.
Moreover, “we dwell in an weight problems surroundings the place wholesome life-style selections will not be as straightforward to implement … (and) wholesome routines of day by day bodily exercise have been changed by display screen time actions that do not burn energy,” she famous.
Adolescents have had no issue self-injecting medicine, “but when or have youngsters, mother and father normally have to look at them or remind them, it doesn’t matter what life duties they’re doing,” Arslanian famous.
The drug is pricey, about $1,300 a month, and medical health insurance typically does not cowl weight problems medicine. Sufferers should proceed to take it for it to work or they could regain the burden they misplaced.
When requested if there have been any considerations about younger sufferers beginning this medicine so early and taking it indefinitely, Arslanian stated, “It is an excellent query that is on everybody’s radar. I’m positive that with additional scientific advances we can discover a answer.”
Semaglutide has been within the information lots currently. It’s also an energetic ingredient Azempik, a prescription drugs for sort 2 diabetes and a associated drugs, Wegovy. Ozempic has not been authorised for weight reduction, however many non-diabetics use it off-label — the follow of taking an authorised drug for an off-label use — and credit score it with weight-loss success.
Novo Nordisk is experiencing Wegovy provide shortages on account of “unprecedented product demand and short-term manufacturing points,” the corporate stated on its web site. The corporate has requested medical doctors to carry off on accepting new sufferers for the drug in the interim, however stated all robust doses will likely be obtainable within the U.S. by the tip of this yr.
FDA approval for the usage of semaglutide for weight reduction in overweight adolescents may are available in 2023, Azar stated.
This text was initially revealed on TODAY.com
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