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Throughout the world, obesity has become an epidemic that leads to an array of major health problems to include heart disease and diabetes. In an effort to help people fight obesity, pharmaceutical companies have worked hard to develop more effective but also safer drugs. The latest to receive the stamp of approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an injectable drug called Saxenda.
Saxenda comes from a Danish producer and is intended to help adults living with obesity to lose weight. Prior to receiving FDA approval, this drug went through intense testing in three clinical trials that consisted of roughly 4,800 participants. These individuals were classified as being either overweight or obese and had health problems related directly to obesity.
This past Tuesday, the FDA announced that Saxenda would be available for patients in the United States but as part of this, people were advised that along with the injectable drug, it was imperative to make lifestyle changes to include getting regular exercise and following a low-calorie diet plan.
Developed and created in Denmark by NOVO Nordisk A/S, Saxenda is as the FDA stated designed to be used along with regular exercise and a diet consisting of low calorie foods. In addition, NOVO advised that this drug is supported only for adults who have obesity, which includes a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 30.
For patients who are overweight but have a BMI of 27 or less and at minimum one weight-related health problem such as type two diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, Saxenda cannot be administered without the doctor first being given permission.
In a news release from Dr. James Smith, the FDA’s deputy executive of the metabolism and endocrinology products branch at the Centre for Drug Evaluation and Research, with obesity there is an overall concern for a person’s wellbeing since it compromises a general health.
For individuals who struggle with chronic weight problems and at least one weight-related illness, as well as those who live with obesity, Saxenda is an alternative treatment option. As shown in multiple studies and clinical trials, this injectable drug is efficient but again, only in conjunction with regular exercise and proper diet.
Saxenda is designed to replicate glucagon-like peptide. This hormone is produced in the digestive system and responsible for emitting signals to the brain that tell the stomach when it is full. As a result, someone administered the drug will ultimately eat less food and therefore, lose weight.
Although this newly approved FDA drug is extremely promising and shown to work, there is potential for certain side effects. Some of the more common complaints include nausea, diarrhea or constipation, and low blood pressure. The more severe side effects that someone should be aware of is thoughts of suicide and loss of kidney function.