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This New Drug Could Help You Lose 15% of Your Body Weight, FDA says

Participants experienced effective weight loss for more than a year on average (and, it's said to be safe).

A healthy diet and exercise tend to be healthy starts for weight loss, but sometimes you need that extra boost to get you on the right track toward a healthy weight. A medication that's just been approved by the FDA is making headlines for that reason, after research demonstrated that it's safer and more effective than many other weight-loss drugs.

The Associated Press reported Friday that Wegovy, a new weight loss drug, will likely soon hit the market for consumer use. That's after recent company-funded research demonstrated that the injectable drug has been shown to help manage weight loss safely, gaining FDA approval. Wegovy is a higher dose of the diabetes medication semaglutide, which has been shown to increase sugar metabolism.

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The AP reports that study participants who took Wegovy lost an average 15% of body weight, or 34 pounds on average. This is a leg up on competitors, said Dr. Harold Bays, the Obesity Medicine Association's chief science officer, who helped conduct Wegovy studies: "With existing drugs, you're going to get maybe 5% to 10% weight reduction, sometimes not even that," Bays said. Further, participants saw their weight-loss patterns sustained for an average of 14 months before the rate of weight loss plateaued.

One other plus for Wegovy is that it's said to be safer than many drugs that have been developed to target obesity. The AP reports that the most common side effects from Wegovy were gastrointestinal problems, such nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. "Those usually subsided," the AP reports, "but led about 5% of study participants to stop taking it." It's also said that in some cases, a thryoid tumor, depression, and pancreatic inflammation developed. Wegovy "shouldn't be taken by people with a personal or family history of certain thyroid and endocrine tumors," according to the AP.

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Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at <em>Eat This, Not That!</em>, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more
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