Doctors warn of risks of semaglutide, Brazil’s first obesity drug

The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) authorised in early January the use of semaglutide (by the drug Wegovy) to deal with obesity and chubby when it’s dangerous to well being. Created as a drug focusing on kind 2 diabetes, it will increase the sensation of satiety, facilitates diets and therapeutic efforts. It is given by injection in a dose of 2.4 mg, within the type of a pen, like insulin.

Obesity and chubby have an effect on greater than 50% of Brazilian adults and may result in co-morbidities and all kinds of well being issues. Using the brand new drug helps deal with these circumstances, nevertheless it should be mixed with different therapeutic methods, akin to train, meal plans and emotional management, in response to Dr. Victor Lamônica — though it could actually scale back the affected person’s weight by as much as 17%, the substance isn’t magic like some other medication.

Indications to be used

Before Anvisa’s approval, semaglutide might be prescribed on the expense and threat of docs because it was in the marketplace, however for the unique therapy of diabetes after it was authorised for this use in 2018 (by the drug Ozempic). Even now, the advice to be used isn’t for each affected person who desires to shed pounds, however for individuals whose extra weight – ie. with a physique mass index (BMI) over 27 – or obesity – with a BMI over 30 – has a major influence on well being.

For those that should not chubby, however nonetheless wish to use the drug, docs warn that it could actually even be efficient for weight reduction, however whenever you cease utilizing it, the misplaced kilos will return. This is why medical follow-up is emphasised for any meals or physique intervention for that matter, particularly that of a nutritionist.

Anvisa additionally states that the drug is indicated particularly for sufferers who’ve no less than one persistent illness related to extra weight, akin to hyperglycemia – prediabetes or kind 2 diabetes -, hypertension, dyslipidemia, obstructive sleep apnea, or heart problems. instance.

Cost and uncomfortable side effects

Semaglutide ought to attain pharmacies within the second half of this yr and won’t require a prescription to purchase. The worth has not but been introduced, however calculations based mostly on pricing overseas and gross sales by non-public firms depart this worth at a degree that isn’t very accessible to the common Brazilian: every drug pen prices nearly R $ 1 and there’s no forecast to achieve Unified Health System (SUS).

Side results skilled by some sufferers embody nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation—principally delicate to reasonable gastrointestinal signs that disappear after stopping the drug. Medical follow-up remains to be extremely beneficial as there are well being risks. According to Dr. Lamonic, it isn’t beneficial to prescribe to pregnant ladies and people who find themselves breastfeeding, and it’s indicated to cease utilizing it 2 months earlier than a deliberate being pregnant.

When receiving common anesthesia, there’s additionally a excessive threat that the semaglutide consumer will vomit and ultimately aspirate, inflicting severe lung issues. In this case, further hospital care is beneficial. Other contraindications embody sufferers with hiatal hernia and gastroesophageal reflux.

Source: With info from G1/Fantástico

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