A new weight loss shot has just been recommended to the United Kingdom by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). NICE recommended the weight loss injection following success during trials that saw a group of participants lose up to 15 percent of their body mass index (BMI).
It sounds like the basis of the treatment is to make users feel fuller, which in turn leads to them eating less.
This weight loss shot helped people lose up to 15 percent of their BMI
Managing your weight can be tough, and it’s something that many of us struggle with, myself included. A new weight loss shot could provide a leg up in the fight against obesity, though. The drug works by mimicking the glucagon-like peptide 1, a hormone the body releases after eating. It’s called semaglutide, and it goes by the brand name Wegovy.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug last year, but regulation boards in the U.K. have yet to fully approve it. Still, it could provide a good option for many struggling to get their weight down.
Despite the lack of full approval, the results we’ve seen so far are promising. A trial held in 2021 featured over 1900 adults with a BMI over 30. The trial broke the adults up into two groups. They gave the weight loss shot to one group.
The researchers gave a placebo to the second group. It was also a double-blind study, which means neither the participants nor the researchers knew which group people were in. The trial took 68 weeks to complete. During that time, the participants received counseling every 4 weeks to help them maintain their new diet and lifestyle changes.
After it was all said and done, more than half of the participants from the treatment group lost 14.9 to 15 percent of their BMI. Those in the placebo group reduced their own BMI by 2.4 percent on average. The difference in the results is startling.
This weight treatment isn’t available for everyone
Worldwide obesity has increased threefold since 1975, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. However, this weight loss shot isn’t meant as a miracle drug. As Medical News Today reports, the drug still required users to exercise and follow a reduced-calorie diet. It’s also not something that will be readily available to everyone.
At the moment, NICE only recommends semaglutide for people with a BMI of more than 35. NICE also recommends prescribing the drug to users with other weight-related health conditions like type-2 diabetes or hypertension.
Of course, there will always be exceptions to the rules. Doctors may prescribe the drug for some people with BMIs below 35 once it’s fully approved in their area. While it helps, the drug is meant to help those who struggle to lose weight on their own.
There are also some other restrictions on the drug. Currently NICE requires a specialist to prescribe the drug. They can also only prescribe it as part of a weight-management program. Furthermore, specialists can only prescribe the weight loss shot for a maximum of two years.
There are also some long-term issues to sort through. For instance, one participant said that her hunger returned to normal after stopping the injections. As such, she’s begun to regain the weight she lost during the trial. Of course, some doctors have also pointed out that you’ll need to maintain the lifestyle changes you put in place if you wish to hold onto the results seen from any kind of weight loss shot or program.