Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 Weight Loss Medication UpdatePosted: May 31 in Weight Loss Medication by Dr. Lazarus
Wegovy returning to the market January, 2023
Click here to see if you have insurance coverage for Wegovy (available again ~January, 2023)
There is a lot of interest in developing safe and effective weight loss medications. Right now, we are seeing great results with a class of medications called GLP-1 analogues. GLP-1 stands like “Glucagon like peptide 1.” GLP is a hormone produced by the small intestine as a response to eating a meal. It tells the stomach to slow down and stop pumping, lowers blood sugar, and provides the brain with a feeling of satiety. No wonder these medications are so effective when used for weight loss! Further, this class of medications seems to be very safe for the heart and are generally well-tolerated. The latest versions are broken down very slowly by the body, allowing for once-weekly dosing.
Wegovy (semaglutide 2.4 mg) is our newest FDA-approved weight loss medication. It is a weekly injection, and patients treated with Wegovy 2.4 mg lost an average of 35 pounds in clinical trials. At CNC, we have had many patients lose over 50 pounds, with one patient losing 137 pounds at the time of this newsletter.
There have been some production issues with Wegovy, and it remains unavailable at the moment for new starts; however, the manufacturer anticipates overcoming these issues in the next several months, hopefully before the end of summer. Now is a great time to check with your health insurance company to see if you have coverage for Wegovy, or visit the Wegovy website and use their tool to check your coverage here.
Ozempic (semaglutide 2.0 mg) is FDA-approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It contains the exact same active medication (semaglutide) as Wegovy, but at a lower dose. Ozempic 2.0 mg just became available at pharmacies nation-wide. In comparison, Wegovy contains 2.4 mg of semaglutide. Ozempic 2.0 mg offers great reduction in blood sugar and in body weight compared to Ozempic 1.0 mg. If you are currently on Ozempic for diabetes and are interested in these added benefits, talk to your prescriber about increasing to this new dose.
Mounjaro (tirzepatide 2.5 – 15 mg) was just approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Like Ozempic and Wegovy, Mounjaro is a weekly injectable GLP-1 analogue and also combines a second hormone called Gastric Inhibitory Peptide (GIP) that tricks the body into thinking it is in a fed state. The current approval of Mounjaro is for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Patients on Mounjaro experienced a nice reduction in blood sugars (hemoglobin a1c) and also lost an average of ~18 pounds.
In clinical trials, the active ingredients of Mounjaro are also being studied for weight loss. Early clinical data showed an average of 52 pounds of weight loss with one injection weekly. The manufacturer has submitted for fast-track FDA approval for chronic weight management.
We will provide further information as it becomes available.