A Father's Dying Wish
I am increasingly using a once a week simple injection to help patients lose weight. A pharmaceutical drug initially used to treat people with type 2 diabetes is helping obese people without diabetes lose weight. Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide compound, under the brand name Ozempic, is designed to act in the body similarly to the hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). Traditionally taken once a week via injection, this GLP-1 hormone receptor agonist works in the body by regulating insulin secretion and suppressing appetite. The research was presented at the Endocrine Society’s 100th annual meeting. It has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal. “This randomized study of weight loss induced with semaglutide in people with obesity but without diabetes has shown the highest weight reductions yet seen for any pharmaceutical intervention,” explained Patrick M. O’Neil, PhD, director of the Weight Management Center and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina. About 65 percent of participants taking semaglutide lost at least 10 percent of their body weight, compared to only 10 percent from the placebo group and 34 percent in the liraglutide group. Details about Ozempic: Like most medications, there are side effects with Ozempic. The most notable are nausea and mild digestion discomfort issues. It’s also crucial to start with a low dose and increase gradually as instructed by a healthcare professional. Some cautionary words: “The number one barrier to using weight loss meds is the cost,” Dr. Eric Sodicoff, author of the Phoenixville Nutrition Guide, told Healthline. “Most of these meds must be paid for out of pocket and Ozempic is an eye-popping $700 per pen.” In Sodicoff’s experience with treating people without diabetes struggling with weight loss, many patients stop taking the medication after a month or two. “They are not considered life-sustaining the way diabetes and blood pressure medications are,” explained Sodicoff. Before turning to prescribing medications, Sodicoff believes in teaching his obese patients without diabetes to focus on lifestyle changes first. “High-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diets can perform amazingly well in most patients,” said Sodicoff. “It’s always the first approach to which medications are then occasionally added.”
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