We are starting to see encouraging results from administration of a new weight loss drug Ozempic (Semaglutide) as an adjunct in the management of weight regain or in LOW BMI patients trying to avoid surgery.
It is an injectable GLP-1 analogue already used in the treatment of type 11 diabetes and is similar to another weight loss drug Saxenda.
GLP-1 is a gut hormone mainly released from the lower ½ of the small bowel in response to undigested food. Its role is to slow down the stomach and gut emptying, reduce appetite and improve the action of insulin in reducing blood sugar.
Injectable Once A Week
Unlike Saxenda it only needs to be injected once a week. The drug comes as a self-injecting pen unit which is very easy to use and almost painless.
In clinical trials on Non Bariatric Surgery patients, it has produced modest weight loss of 8-18 % total weight loss which is around 15-25% EWL at one year, so it doesn’t have the power of bariatric surgery which typically see 30-40 % TWL or 85-90% EWL. See more bariatric surgery results.
The side effects mainly relate to slowing of the gut eg reflux, burping, a feeling of gastric fullness and constipation, but these are usually mild, can be minimised by a slow increase in dose and are completely reversible.
Only After Comprehensive Assessment
Managing Weight Regain
Nevertheless, our patients tell us it is producing a noticeable reduction in appetite and for Bariatric patients they are starting to lose weight again.
Of course, like most weight loss drugs you will probably need to be on this long term as weight regain is usually seen once these drugs are stopped unless lifestyle modifications are in play.
The injections cost about $160/ month, but if you have Type 11 diabetes that is not well controlled on other drug combinations you may be able obtain it on an authority script at a much reduced amount.