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Ozempic will soon be available in pill form

Ozempic will soon be available in pill form
Source: nytimes.com

The much-discussed, difficult-to-acquire injectable medications Ozempic and Wegovy, which are known for their ability to induce weight loss, may be available in pill form in the next iteration.


At the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions conference on Sunday, data from two studies were presented. One of the studies found that taking 50 milligrams of semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic and Wegovy, orally every day is about as effective as weekly Wegovy shots for losing weight in overweight or obese people. The semaglutide in Wegovy injections is 2.4 milligrams.


This trial, which was also published in The Lancet on Sunday, followed 667 people for 68 weeks. Over the course of the study, 85% of those who took semaglutide lost at least 5% of their body weight, while only 26% of those who took the placebo did so. By and large, around 15% of their body weight — multiple times that of the fake treatment bunch.


Oral semaglutide for people with Type 2 diabetes was the subject of a separate study that was also presented on Sunday and published in The Lancet. A little over 1,600 people were divided into three groups and given daily doses of 14 milligrams, 25 milligrams, or 50 milligrams. Compared to those who took the lowest dose, those who took the 25- and 50-milligram doses experienced greater weight loss and blood sugar reductions.


Both trials were funded by Novo Nordisk, the company that makes Ozempic and Wegovy.


Dr. Robert Gabbay, the chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association, stated, "I suspect there are a lot of people who are not using these treatments because they require an injection." It would be huge if you could respond, "Well, actually, it doesn't."


There appear to be more side effects associated with oral semaglutide at higher doses. Eighty percent of the overweight or obese participants in the study who took oral semaglutide reported gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. "Altered skin sensation," such as tingling, was reported by nearly 13% of respondents. According to the authors, the majority of study participants were white women, so the findings may not apply to the general population of obese individuals.


Similar side effects were observed in the diabetic population in the second study: 80 percent of those who took the 50-milligram dose experienced side effects, most commonly gastrointestinal issues, which were more common in those who took the higher doses than in those who took the 14-milligram dose. Due to the adverse effects, 13% of people who received the 50-milligram dose stopped taking the medication. Similar adverse effects are seen with injectable semaglutide. In a previous study, 74.2 percent of people who got 2.4 milligrams of injectable semaglutide every week, which is the amount in Wegovy, had problems with their stomachs.


One more preliminary introduced at the meeting and distributed on Friday in the New Britain Diary of Medication took a gander at an alternate oral compound, orforglipron, which has a place in a similar class of medications as semaglutide. Eli Lilly provided funding for the study. In that drug class, Pfizer has also tested its own pill.


Semaglutide taken orally is not new; The substance is already available as a tablet under the brand name Rybelsus. That medication has only been approved for adults with Type 2 diabetes by the Food and Drug Administration. The tablets come in daily doses of up to 14 milligrams, which are comparable to the smaller doses. According to Dr. Andrew Kraftson, a clinical associate professor at Michigan Medicine, the tablets function in a manner similar to that of semaglutide injections, which regulate insulin, lower blood sugar, and slow the stomach's emptying, making people feel fuller for longer periods of time.


Dr. Gabbay stated that Rybelsus is less effective than Ozempic and Wegovy.


Higher-dose semaglutide pills may or may not be available on the market at any time. Dr. Scott Hagan, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Washington who has studied obesity, stated that because swallowing a pill has a lower barrier to entry for some people than injecting a drug, an oral form may enable more people to take these medications. He stated, "It's a welcome addition to the treatment options available to patients who might benefit from weight management."


According to A. Janet Tomiyama, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, who has studied eating disorders and weight stigma and expressed concern about the impact of these drugs on people's body image, the torrent of off-label semaglutide use among people who turn to the medication for cosmetic weight loss may intensify if a high-dose pill becomes available. She mentioned laxatives and diet pills, pointing to the fact that "we know that any time there are medications for weight loss, that is a tool that people can use for a disordered eating reason."


Dr. Hagan stated, "In spite of how well-liked these medications have become, clinicians should focus on whether semaglutide, in any form, can help make a patient healthier rather than just reduce body weight." I'm worried about these medications being comprehensively utilized just to advance weight reduction and how it adds to our general eating regimen culture and our social fixation on slenderness."

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