Semaglutide was originally FDA-approved as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. The drug mimics a natural hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). It will be sold under the trade name Wegovy. The dose of this injectable medication must be increased gradually over 16 to 20 weeks to 2.4 mg once weekly to reduce gastrointestinal side effects. I have no idea how much it will cost. From the FDA:
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Wegovy (semaglutide) injection (2.4 mg once weekly) for chronic weight management in adults with obesity or overweight with at least one weight-related condition (such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol), for use in addition to a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity. This under-the-skin injection is the first approved drug for chronic weight management in adults with general obesity or overweight since 2014. The drug is indicated for chronic weight management in patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 27 kg/m2 or greater who have at least one weight-related ailment or in patients with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or greater.
Click for the FDA news release.
The most common side effects of semaglutide include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal (stomach) pain, headache, fatigue, dyspepsia (indigestion), dizziness, abdominal distension, eructation (belching), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in patients with type 2 diabetes, flatulence (gas buildup), gastroenteritis (an intestinal infection) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (a type of digestive disorder).
Steve Parker, M.D.