Teenagers with weight problems lose 15% of physique weight in trial of repurposed diabetes drug

Woman on a kg weight scale
Enlarge / Lady on a kg weight scale

A repurposed Sort 2 diabetes drug helped teenagers with weight problems lose a big quantity of physique weight,  lowered their danger components for heart problems, and improved their weight-related high quality of life over a 68-week medical trial, researchers reported this week within the New England Journal of Medication.

The drug is semaglutide (model identify Wegovy), which was first accepted to deal with Sort 2 diabetes in 2017, however has since additionally confirmed helpful for weight reduction in adults who’re overweight or obese. The drug works by mimicking a hormone referred to as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) that targets areas of the mind that regulate urge for food and meals consumption, the Meals and Drug Administration defined whereas approving its use for weight reduction in adults.

The brand new information means that it could additionally considerably assist teenagers battling weight problems and obese points enhance their well being and outlook as they head into maturity. One in 5 kids and youths within the US has weight problems, which might set kids up for critical well being situations, together with hypertension, excessive ldl cholesterol, Sort 2 diabetes, respiratory issues, and joint issues, in response to the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

In fact, semaglutide isn’t a magical treatment for weight problems, which is a posh, multifactorial, continual illness. The researchers notice that in a seven-week follow-up after the 68-week-long therapy, some teenagers regained a small quantity of weight, suggesting that they might want to remain on the drug to take care of their weight reduction. It is also unclear how lengthy an individual can take the drug whereas nonetheless seeing weight reduction. Nonetheless, the drug could possibly be a helpful new instrument within the combat towards an intractable, progressive situation.


Within the Section 3, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial reported this week, researchers had teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 take a weekly, 2.4-mg injection of semaglutide for 68 weeks.

Of the 201 teenagers enrolled within the trial, 133 teenagers with weight problems and one who was obese have been handled with semaglutide, whereas 67 got a placebo. Each teams, together with their dad and mom and guardians, additionally acquired counseling on wholesome vitamin and train.

The drug appeared usually protected, with some gastrointestinal uncomfortable side effects—nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea—primarily seen within the early phases of the therapy, which tended to minimize because the weeks went on.

After 68 weeks, these handled with semaglutide misplaced a mean of about 15 p.c of their preliminary weight—about 34 kilos. Within the placebo group, teenagers gained about 3 p.c of their preliminary weight—about 5 kilos. The common change in BMI (physique mass index) was -16 p.c within the therapy group, and +0.6 p.c within the placebo group.

Within the therapy group, 73 p.c misplaced not less than 5 p.c of their weight, 62 p.c misplaced not less than 10 p.c, and 37 p.c misplaced not less than 20 p.c. Handled teenagers additionally noticed reductions in clinically vital cardiovascular danger components, together with decrease waist circumference, complete ldl cholesterol, and triglycerides, which weren’t seen within the placebo group. Final, the handled teenagers reported enhancements of their high quality of life scores on bodily consolation.

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