Studies show that a once-a-week injection called semaglutide can help people lose up to 12% of their body weight in about a year and a half.
Semaglutide, which will be sold under the Wegovy brand by Novo Nordisk, affects a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 and increases insulin production. But it also seems to suppress appetite.
The FDA says new treatments are needed for obesity.
“Approximately 70% of American adults are obese or overweight. Overweight or overweight is a serious health problem associated with some of the leading causes of death, including heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and is associated with an increased risk of certain cancers. “the agency said in a statement.
“Loss of 5% to 1
People without diabetes who took the drug lost an average of 12.4% of their initial body weight in 16 months, compared with those who received placebo. Patients with diabetes who tested the drug lost 6.2% more weight than people who received dummy injections.
Few drugs are approved in the United States specifically for weight loss. These include orlistat, sold under the brand name Xenical, which helps reduce the amount of fat the body absorbs; Qsymia, a medicine that combines the appetite suppressant phentermine with the seizure drug topiramate; Contrave, which combines naltrexone addiction with the antidepressant bupropion; and liraglutide or Saxenda, a diabetes drug similar to semaglutide.