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Weight Loss Drug Helps Half of Teenagers in Examine Sort out Weight problems


Might 19, 2023 — Almost half of teenagers given the burden loss drug semaglutide (Wegovy) managed to lose sufficient weight to drop under the medical threshold for weight problems, a brand new examine reveals. 

By comparability, solely 12.1% of adolescents with weight problems given a placebo within the 68-week trial dropped under the edge. 

Semaglutide belongs to a category of medicine referred to as GLP-1s as a result of they mimic the results of glucagon-like peptide 1, a hormone made within the intestine that helps individuals really feel full.  

The examine, known as STEP TEENS (Semaglutide Therapy Impact in Individuals with Weight problems), additionally reveals that 74% of individuals within the examine shifted down by at the very least one physique mass index, or BMI,  class after receiving a once-weekly injection of the drug in comparison with 19% of these on placebo. 

“In a sensible sense, we see that semaglutide decreased weight to a stage under what’s outlined as medical weight problems in almost 50% of the teenagers in our trial, which is traditionally unprecedented with therapies apart from bariatric surgical procedure,” mentioned Aaron Kelly, MD, co-director of the Middle for Pediatric Weight problems Drugs on the College of Minnesota in Minneapolis, who introduced the most recent knowledge on Thursday on the European Congress on Weight problems in Dublin, Eire. 

There was a few 23-fold greater probability of a teen dropping under the weight problems threshold when utilizing semaglutide, in comparison with placebo, he mentioned. 

This evaluation, printed within the journal Weight problems on Wednesday, follows the publication final fall of the principle outcomes of the examine within the New England Journal of Drugs, which confirmed semaglutide helps adolescents drop some weight.

The drug was accepted by the FDA in January for the therapy of weight problems in these aged 12 and over.  

Grace Malley, PhD, with the Baby & Adolescent Weight problems Service, Kids’s Well being Eire, in Dublin, mentioned the teenagers’ entry to complete well being care is crucial for the correct therapy of weight problems. 

“Therapy requires a long-term, multidisciplinary chronic-care strategy, and often when therapy stops, the organic mechanisms driving the weight problems start once more to drive the buildup of [fatty] tissue,” she mentioned. Which means “long-term therapy together with vitamin remedy, train … behavioral help, and sleep remedy must be accessible to households together with pharmacotherapy and surgical intervention the place required.”

“The outcomes of the STEP TEENS examine characterize a promising growth for the therapy of adolescent weight problems and for related problems associated to liver operate,” Malley mentioned. 

Train a A part of the Plan

On this latest evaluation of the STEP TEENS trial, the authors examined the impact of semaglutide on shifting 134 adolescents from one BMI class to a different, together with dropping under the weight problems threshold into the obese or regular weight class; 66 teenagers got a placebo.

All members additionally obtained dietary counseling and a aim of 60 minutes of moderate- to high-intensity bodily exercise per day.

“After 68 weeks not loads occurred [in placebo participants], nevertheless, 12.1% of placebo members did drop under the weight problems threshold into obese or normal-weight classes,” mentioned Kelly. 

However referring to individuals on semaglutide, “a complete of 45% of sufferers on semaglutide dropped under the medical BMI minimize level for weight problems, such that 19.5% dropped into the obese class and 25.4% decreased their BMI into the traditional weight class,” he mentioned. 

Whereas not “statistically vital,” Kelly identified that “females tended to reply higher to semaglutide, likewise youthful adolescents, and center physique weights tended to reply higher to the drug, and there was an analogous sample with weight problems lessons.”

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