Oscars presenter Jimmy Kimmel yesterday mentioned about a drug useful for weightloss named Ozempic. Since then people across the globe have been left amused about what the drug is and how does it work? Here's the answer to all your questions.
Semaglutide, also known by the brand name Ozempic, is a molecule used to treat type 2 diabetes that is administered as a once-weekly injection. Unlike insulin, it comes in the form of two different disposable single-use pens in either 0.25mg increments or 1mg increments, making it relatively safe and easy to administer.
How Semaglutide Works
Semaglutide is 95% the same as human GLP-1 and works in a similar way to naturally occurring GLP-1 in the body. It helps regulate blood sugar levels by increasing the release of insulin when blood sugar is elevated, decreasing glucose released from liver stores into the circulation, and suppressing appetite.
The Weight Loss Effect of Semaglutide
One of the side effects of Semaglutide is weight loss. Doctors have increasingly been prescribing it off-label for weight loss in those without diabetes. The Sustain studies, which examined the effectiveness of Semaglutide in managing type 2 diabetes, also looked at the associated weight loss in patients using Semaglutide. Across most of the studies, the average weight loss was about 5kg.
Using Semaglutide for Weight Loss in People Without Diabetes
Currently, trials are underway to examine the effectiveness of using higher doses of weekly Semaglutide as a weight loss drug in those with and without type 2 diabetes. In a recent double-blind trial of 1,961 adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, adults on a high dose of 2.4 mg of weekly Semaglutide (compared with the usual type 2 diabetes dose of 0.5mg or 1mg) lost an average of 14.9% of baseline body weight after 68 weeks of treatment versus only 2.4% for a group on placebo and lifestyle intervention alone.
The US FDA has recently approved high dose Semaglutide 2.4mg weekly as a weight loss drug marketed as Wegovy, and it is expected to be available in the later part of 2021.
Semaglutide also caused greater reductions in waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, HbA1c, fasting plasma glucose, and fasting cholesterol levels.
The Importance of GLP-1
Semaglutide is the synthetic version of a naturally occurring human hormone called Glucagon-like peptide 1 or GLP-1, which has been modified so that it is less likely to be broken down and therefore has a longer duration of action. GLP-1 is a crucial hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels, appetite, and weight in the body.
Is it available in India?
Yes, you can get semaglutide in India. But it won't be easy or cheap. Semaglutide prescriptions can only be made by an endocrinologist, as per the DCGI.
Further, they're only prescribed to treat type-2 Diabetes.
Overall, Semaglutide (Ozempic) is a molecule used to treat type 2 diabetes that can also aid with weight loss, appetite suppression, and lower blood pressure levels. The US FDA has recently approved high dose Semaglutide 2.4mg weekly as a weight loss drug marketed as Wegovy, and it is expected to be available in the later part of 2021. Semaglutide is a synthetic version of the naturally occurring human hormone GLP-1, which helps regulate blood sugar levels, appetite, and weight, and has been shown to be effective in managing type 2 diabetes and promoting weight loss in those with and without diabetes.
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