The FDA has approved semaglutide for chronic weight management for people suffering from diabetes and obesity. According to a recent press release, people can take semaglutide to help with weight-related conditions.
Semaglutide 2.4 mg, a GLP-1 receptor agonist, has become the first FDA-approved drug to help people manage weight. The drug is also advantageous for treating type-2 diabetes. If you want to take the drug in oral form to treat diabetes, it is typically available by the name “rybelsus”.
How Does Semaglutide Work
Semaglutide can help people manage weight by reducing appetite and increasing the feeling of satiation. Thereby, people suffering from excess weight eat less and significantly reduce calorie intake.
Novo Nordisk is the leading producer of semaglutide with the brand titled “wegovy” in the U.S. Although it has been approved in the States, the European Medicines Agency is reviewing the innovative weight loss drug.
Who Can Take It?
You can use semaglutide injections, along with your diet and workout plan, to control blood sugar levels if you suffer from type-2 diabetes. In addition to that, semaglutide can help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people with type-2 diabetes and other blood vessel-related diseases. However, the drug is not effective for treating type-1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis.
Keep in mind that semaglutide is not a substitute for insulin. That means you can’t use it as insulin or treatment for diabetes. The best way to use semaglutide injection is with a customized low-fat or low-calorie diet and workout plan to lose weight if you have diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.
Put simply, if you have high blood sugar and diabetes, you’re prone to developing life-threatening complications, such as:
- Nerve damage;
- Heart disease;
- Kidney disease, and;
- Eye problems.
Using drugs like semaglutide and making healthy lifestyles changes, including exercise, diet, and quitting alcohol and smoking, can help you manage diabetes.
Benefits of Taking Semaglutide
Promotes Healthy Weight Loss
A 2018 study conducted trials on 1,961 participants with a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or 30 and one weight-related medical issues. Although the participants didn’t have type-2 diabetes at the beginning of the trial, some had elevated sugar levels or were pre-diabetic. All participants received diet and nutrition counseling and had more than 150 minutes of exercise per week.
Participants who received doses of semaglutide to support and promote healthy lifestyle changes lost more than 33.7 pounds in a 68-week trial compared to the other group. Moreover, the same group of participants experienced improvements in factors of cardiovascular risks like waist circumference, BMI, blood sugar, and blood pressure.
Can Be a Lifelong Treatment for Weight Gain or Obesity
It is worth mentioning that weight loss medications are less effective compared to surgical weight loss. Unfortunately, this solution is not appropriate for all patients. The results of current trials, in this regard, suggest that drugs like semaglutide can be an effective and safe option for long-term weight management.
The drug is FDA-approved, an indication that this anti-obesity drug is safe with no unexpected side effects. Compared to other medications, the chances of running into any complications are low when using semaglutide. It is because drugs of the same medicine family have been on the market for a long time, limiting the potential for safety issues.
Is Semaglutide Safe?
In the past, many approved drugs for weight loss or obesity have been withdrawn because of potentially serious side effects, as per an editorial published in New England Medicine Journal. Mainly, previous medications included amphetamines, which led to the development of fenfluramine, valve damage, and addiction.
Semaglutide, on the other hand, is a part of the GLP1 agonists family of medicines. It mimics the hormones that cause people to feel satiated and full and is completely safe to use. Another similar drug called liraglutide received approval for weight loss and type 2 diabetes.
According to a study published in The Lancet, semaglutide is safer for patients in contrast to other medicines. In fact, consuming a 2.4 mg dose of semaglutide can show higher amounts of weight loss activity than many approved anti-obesity medicines.
Another phase 3 clinical trial showed the efficacy and safety of this FDA-approved drug. The clinical study tested the safety of the drug on 1,210 people with obesity by randomly assigning different dosages of semaglutide and a placebo. Over the 68-week trial, more participants taking the higher dosage of semaglutide saw weight loss of at least five percent than those on the placebo. Plus, the doses of semaglutide were well-tolerated as the most common side effects participants experienced were gastrointestinal discomfort with mild or moderate pain.
Will Insurance Cover It?
Semaglutide, in short, appears to be a game-changer in weight management. However, one reason that has potentially blocked drug usage is the concern regarding pricing and coverage.
The coverage of this anti-obesity medication by companies and insurers needs to upgrade. Also, it is important to price the medicine reasonably. These changes are crucial to make semaglutide a game-changer that can improve the lives of many. FDA approval is an essential development for anti-obesity medications in a field with already very few medication options.
Like similar medication, semaglutide will likely be pricey. As a result, your insurer may or may not offer coverage for it.
Although the list price of Semaglutide is not currently available, it is expected to be near the price of the anti-obesity drug Saxenda. According to Novo Nordisk, the current list price for Saxenda is $1,349.02.