While the age-old quest for the elusive Fountain of Youth continues, the modern-day race focuses on discovering effective solutions for rapid weight loss. While prescription weight loss medications have surfaced over the years, many have presented concerning side effects. For instance, Fen-phen, popular in the 80s and 90s, was withdrawn from the market due to heart valve complications. Meanwhile, Orlistat, known by brand names Xenical and Alli, although FDA-approved for over twenty years, sometimes causes unpredictable bowel activities.
The Emergence of Semaglutide
The pharmaceutical landscape, however, is witnessing an innovative treatment that’s garnering attention—Semaglutide. Initially approved by the FDA in December 2017 as Ozempic for type 2 diabetes management, Semaglutide is a once-a-week subcutaneous injection designed to stabilize glucose levels by stimulating insulin. Intriguingly, weight loss emerged as a secondary effect of the drug. This discovery paved the way for its subsequent FDA approval as a weight loss medication under the name, Wegovy.
How Does Semaglutide Work?
The core of Semaglutide’s efficacy in weight management stems from its appetite-suppressing properties and its ability to amplify satiety. By decelerating gastric emptying, it allows food to remain in the stomach for extended durations, between six to seven hours, intensifying the sensation of fullness in the brain. This unique mechanism positions it as a preferred choice for individuals with conditions like prediabetes, diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or those on a weight loss journey. Combined with a balanced diet and consistent physical activity, individuals on Semaglutide may experience up to a 20% reduction in body weight within just four months.
While Semaglutide offers promising results, it’s crucial to underscore that it’s not a miraculous weight loss elixir. Instead, it should complement a holistic weight management strategy encompassing a healthy diet and regular exercise. Before commencing treatment, consultation with a healthcare expert is indispensable to determine its suitability. It’s not recommended for pregnant individuals or those with a history of pancreatitis.
As of August 2023, Semaglutide hasn’t received approval in Hong Kong, and a related medication, Saxenda, serves a similar purpose there.
As the pursuit for effective weight management solutions persists, medications like Semaglutide offer a beacon of hope. However, always prioritize expert guidance before making health-related decisions.