Weight Loss Drug Helps Half of Teens in Study Tackle Obesity



Might 19, 2023 — Almost half of teenagers given the load loss drug semaglutide (Wegovy) managed to lose sufficient weight to drop under the scientific threshold for weight problems, a brand new examine reveals. 

By comparability, solely 12.1% of adolescents with weight problems given a placebo within the 68-week trial dropped under the brink. 

Semaglutide belongs to a category of medication generally known as GLP-1s as a result of they mimic the consequences of glucagon-like peptide 1, a hormone made within the intestine that helps folks really feel full.  

The examine, referred to as STEP TEENS (Semaglutide Remedy Impact in Folks with Weight problems), additionally reveals that 74% of individuals within the examine shifted down by at the least one physique mass index, or BMI,  class after receiving a once-weekly injection of the drug in comparison with 19% of these on placebo. 

“In a sensible sense, we see that semaglutide decreased weight to a degree under what’s outlined as scientific weight problems in almost 50% of the kids in our trial, which is traditionally unprecedented with therapies aside from bariatric surgical procedure,” mentioned Aaron Kelly, MD, co-director of the Heart for Pediatric Weight problems Drugs on the College of Minnesota in Minneapolis, who offered the most recent knowledge on Thursday on the European Congress on Weight problems in Dublin, Eire. 

There was a few 23-fold increased likelihood of a teen dropping under the weight problems threshold when utilizing semaglutide, in comparison with placebo, he mentioned. 

This evaluation, revealed within the journal Weight problems on Wednesday, follows the publication final fall of the principle outcomes of the examine within the New England Journal of Drugs, which confirmed semaglutide helps adolescents drop extra pounds.

The drug was authorized by the FDA in January for the therapy of weight problems in these aged 12 and over.  

Grace Malley, PhD, with the Baby & Adolescent Weight problems Service, Youngsters’s Well being Eire, in Dublin, mentioned the kids’ entry to complete well being care is crucial for the correct therapy of weight problems. 

“Remedy requires a long-term, multidisciplinary chronic-care method, and normally when therapy stops, the organic mechanisms driving the weight problems start once more to drive the buildup of [fatty] tissue,” she mentioned. Because of this “long-term therapy together with diet remedy, train … behavioral help, and sleep remedy must be accessible to households together with pharmacotherapy and surgical intervention the place required.”

“The outcomes of the STEP TEENS examine symbolize a promising improvement for the therapy of adolescent weight problems and for related issues associated to liver operate,” Malley mentioned. 

Train a A part of the Plan

On this latest evaluation of the STEP TEENS trial, the authors examined the impact of semaglutide on transferring 134 adolescents from one BMI class to a different, together with dropping under the weight problems threshold into the chubby or regular weight class; 66 teenagers got a placebo.

All contributors additionally acquired dietary counseling and a objective of 60 minutes of moderate- to high-intensity bodily exercise per day.

“After 68 weeks not so much occurred [in placebo participants], nonetheless, 12.1% of placebo contributors did drop under the weight problems threshold into chubby or normal-weight classes,” mentioned Kelly. 

However referring to folks on semaglutide, “a complete of 45% of sufferers on semaglutide dropped under the scientific BMI reduce level for weight problems, such that 19.5% dropped into the chubby class and 25.4% decreased their BMI into the conventional weight class,” he mentioned. 

Whereas not “statistically important,” Kelly identified that “females tended to reply higher to semaglutide, likewise youthful adolescents, and center physique weights tended to reply higher to the drug, and there was the same sample with weight problems courses.”