In a new study, researchers found that an anti-obesity drug, semaglutide, showed a strong degree of weight loss.
They say that the drug could be a “game-changer” in the treatment of obesity.
The research was conducted by a team at the University of Liverpool and elsewhere.
Semaglutide is a molecule that works by controlling appetite. This has been shown in numerous studies.
The drug is normally used to control blood sugar in the treatment of diabetes.
In the current study, the team tested 1,961 adults who were overweight or obese. Approximately 75% of participants were female.
Participants were given a weekly injection of semaglutide. They were also advised on how to manage their weight through dieting and exercise.
After 68 weeks of treatment, the team found the participants lost an average of 15.3kg (around 15% of their body weight) with semaglutide compared to just 2.6kg in those who received the placebo injection, alongside diet and exercise advice.
This is the largest effect ever observed with an anti-obesity medication.
The weekly dose was administered via subcutaneous injection – which is unusual, as most anti-obesity drugs are given as a tablet taken by mouth.
But while the degree of weight loss is certainly promising, there are still a lot researchers don’t know about semaglutide.
Future work needs to test whether the drug was effective on its own, or whether it was the combination of the drug, how it was administered, and whether it would produce the same magnitude of weight loss without the lifestyle changes.
One author of the study is John P.H. Wilding, D.M.
The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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