Researchers are diving into the potential of new medications following the impactful success of diabetes drug Ozempic and its weight loss counterpart, Wegovy. These medications, operating similarly, are under scrutiny for possibly delivering even more promising outcomes. This scrutiny holds the promise of potentially reducing the steep costs associated with these injections.
Marleen Greenleaf, residing in Fort Washington, Maryland, witnessed a remarkable transformation, shedding over 40 pounds with Wegovy. Her testament to the drug’s efficacy extends beyond weight loss; she now shows no signs of diabetes, embraces an active lifestyle, and explores activities she previously thought impossible.
In Alexandria, Virginia, Lisa Robillard’s lifelong struggle with weight took a turn after participating in a clinical trial with the medication. Shedding 60 pounds, she noticed a significant shift in her relationship with food, experiencing the unfamiliar sensation of being satiated and leaving food on her plate.
Dr. Domenica Rubino, director of the Washington Center for Weight Management and Research in Arlington, contributed to the early research on these medications, expressing overwhelming enthusiasm for the results achieved. The average weight loss among patients reached an impressive 15%, yielding multifaceted health benefits, including improvements in blood sugar, blood pressure, fatty liver disease, and joint pain reduction.
Both Ozempic and Wegovy, products of Novo Nordisk, share a fundamental component—semaglutide. This ingredient specifically targets an area in the brain responsible for regulating appetite and extending the feeling of fullness, contributing significantly to their effectiveness in aiding weight loss.
'What we really need is more tools'
Currently, Rubino and her team are in the midst of testing a fresh set of medications, aiming to assist individuals battling chronic obesity in achieving more substantial weight loss.
“The outcomes are highly promising, surpassing the average weight loss typically seen with semaglutide,” she explained. “We’re observing an average weight reduction of 20% or more, with a significant portion achieving a remarkable 25% loss.”
The existing medications on the market carry side effects such as nausea, vomiting, vision alterations, and potential kidney issues. Severe cases might even lead to intestinal blockages, as indicated by the warning labels on Ozempic and Wegovy.
This highlights the critical significance of ongoing clinical trials.
Rubino’s center actively seeks participants for four distinct trials, exploring combinations of semaglutide with newer gastrointestinal hormones designed to suppress hunger.
According to Rubino, new medications are still a few years away from FDA approval, but their introduction could broaden choices for doctors and patients alike.
“What we truly require are more solutions because our biological responses to drugs differ widely,” she emphasized.
A wider array of options might also mean more accessible pricing. The current monthly cost of over $1,000 for weekly injections of Ozempic and Wegovy often remains uncovered by insurance, rendering them unattainable for many Americans.
“This is fundamentally about health, not merely weight loss or fitting into certain attire,” Rubino stressed. “These new medicines transform lives.”
In early November, the FDA greenlit a novel weight loss drug, Zepbound, from Eli Lilly. It touts unparalleled effectiveness, with individuals in trials shedding an average of 52 pounds. Its availability is expected shortly after Thanksgiving.
Medically directed weight loss program
When it comes to achieving sustainable weight loss and overall well-being, a medically directed weight loss program stands out as a good options. Unlike fad diets or quick-fix solutions, a medically supervised program takes a holistic and evidence-based approach to address individual health needs.
These programs are tailored to the specific requirements of each participant, considering factors like age, medical history, lifestyle, and underlying health conditions. The guidance of trained healthcare professionals ensures that weight loss is achieved safely and with a focus on long-term results.
Medical supervision also provides a comprehensive understanding of the metabolic and physiological aspects of weight management, making it possible to create a customized plan that promotes not only weight loss but also improved health, reduced risks of obesity-related conditions, and sustainable lifestyle changes.
In this way, a medically directed weight loss program offers a well-rounded, scientifically grounded, and effective approach to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.