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Weight loss injections: what are they and how do they work?

Weight loss injections: what are they and how do they work?

The obesity It is a chronic, relapsing and multifactorial disease. The cornerstone of its treatment is lifestyle changes: a healthy diet and regular physical activity.

In addition, today there are treatments that complement the above. Semaglutide is a peptide indicated for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Among its actions are increasing insulin levels in the presence of glucose and reducing appetite. The latter, due to its action on the central nervous system, where it stimulates the satiety center (which tells the brain that “we have already eaten enough”) and inhibits the appetite center (here, it says “don’t look for more food” ). In addition, it delays stomach emptying, which further contributes to the feeling of satiety. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory effects and has been shown to reduce cardiovascular risk.

In Argentina, it is available under the name Ozempic®, for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, in self-injectable pens with doses up to 1 milligram, particularly in the presence of obesity and/or overweight with associated comorbidities, such as hypertension. arterial, osteoarthritis, among others.

In 2023, ANMAT also approved it to treat obesity and overweight in the presence of a disease associated with weight, but it will take some time to become available. This formulation is marketed as Wegovy and comes in a presentation with a higher dose, which reaches up to 2.4 milligrams.

There are differences between the different presentations/brands of semaglutide:

Ozempic® at a dose of 0.5 or 1 mg/week is indicated for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, is injectable and is administered once a week.

Rybelsus® is indicated for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, it is taken orally and is taken daily (not available or approved in Argentina).

Wegovy® is the approved presentation for the treatment of obesity and overweight with associated comorbidities. It is injectable and is applied once a week, at a higher dose than Ozempic (2.4 mg weekly).

Like any drug, semaglutide is not free of adverse effects, mainly gastrointestinal symptoms that are usually mild, decrease over time and, rarely, cause treatment interruption.

Regarding the maintenance of lost weight, like all medications for chronic diseases, semaglutide is effective as long as it is used. This drug is a complement to a healthy diet and physical exercise, which are the bases of the treatment of obesity and overweight.

Other therapeutic options for the treatment of obesity are liraglutide, orlistat, naltrexone + bupropion, phentermine + topiramate. Also coming soon is a promising drug: tirzepatide. Select patients will also benefit from bariatric surgery.

Clinical doctor, Hospital de Clínicas.

Source: Ambito

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