The new weight loss medications belong to a class of drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists.

These work by mimicking a hormone called GLP-1 which is released from cells in the intestine. This helps regulate blood sugar levels and can also influence appetite and weight.

As I discussed on Talk TV, in the UK, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have now approved Wegovy (Semaglutide) for the treatment of obesity. This is taken as an injection once a week, and works by reducing hunger and increasing feelings of fullness, which can lead to a decrease in calorie intake. Up to 15% weight loss can be achieved. By helping people eat less and feel satisfied with smaller portions, semaglutide can support weight loss efforts. Semaglutide is generally well-tolerated, but it may have some side effects. Common side effects include nausea, diarrhoea, or constipation. These side effects are usually mild and tend to improve over time as the body adjusts to the medication. It’s important to note that semaglutide for obesity is typically used as part of a comprehensive weight management program that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise. It’s not a standalone solution but rather a tool that can help support lifestyle changes and promote successful weight loss.

Currently, GLP-1 medication for weight loss must be delivered by an injection just under the skin but as outlined at the American Diabetes Association Conference in 2023, advances are being made for these to come in tablet form. Finally, the future is promising. Newer therapies are coming along that combine GLP-1 with other intestinal hormones and may be associated with even greater weight loss than that achieved by semaglutide.

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