- Weight loss medications have acquired a bad reputation, but that may be changing.
- Researchers have come up with three breakthrough medications that really work.
- Two medications, semaglutide and tirzepatide, have recently been approved by the FDA, and another, AMG-133, has passed a phase 1 clinical trial and may be available in the near future. All have been shown to cause weight loss.
- These medications are promising, but they can have significant side effects and one must be taken by injection.
- The Plenity weight loss device is another weight loss option that’s a proven, FDA-cleared solution. Plenity is taken orally and has fewer side effects.
Obesity is a problem of epidemic proportions in the U.S. In 2022, almost 42% of adults qualify as obese, and many have long histories of searching for a safe and effective medication to help them lose weight. Over the past 18 months, three promising weight-loss medications have emerged that may make that possible for many people.
Weight Loss Medications That Work
A safe and effective medication that works to help people lose weight can save lives and billions of dollars in healthcare costs. However, weight-loss medications have earned their shady reputations as snake oil at best and health-hazardous scams at worst.
That may be changing. The three medications below have scientific backing as effective ways to manage weight. Two have been approved by the FDA, and the third is in the process of gaining approval.
Here are the solutions that may safely and effectively help people meet their weight loss goals.
1. Semaglutide (Brand Name Wegovy)
Many life-altering inventions came about by accident. We have penicillin, X-ray, and microwave ovens due to fortunate accidents that led to scientific breakthroughs. The same applies to semaglutide, a diabetes medication that caused significant weight loss in patients who took it.
Doctors made their observations about semaglutide’s weight-reducing side effect during the 2010s. They are now marketing the drug as a dedicated weight-loss treatment. The FDA has approved semaglutide injections for weight loss under the name Wegovy.
How Does Semaglutide/Wegovy Work?
The drug mimics the action of hormones that regulate insulin release. It also slows the rate at which the stomach empties. By keeping the stomach full longer, Wegovy promotes better digestion and staves off hunger. Semaglutide also acts on receptors in the brain, reducing the sensation of hunger.
Used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, semaglutide is hard on the stomach. People taking it orally must follow strict guidelines to control its side effects. Semaglutide injections solve that problem. Doctors can give patients larger doses as weekly injections, improving the weight-loss effects of the drug.
The FDA approved Wegovy in June 2021 for the long-term treatment of obesity.
How Effective Is Semaglutide/Wegovy?
Even lower doses of semaglutide of 2.4 milligrams per week produced significant weight loss in patients. Researchers have determined that after 68 weeks of treatment, more than half of study participants had lost more than 15 percent of their body weight.
Almost 70 percent of participants lost more than 10 percent of their body weight, and 86 percent lost at least 5 percent. Those who took a placebo didn’t fare so well.
What Are the Side Effects of Semaglutide?
Common side effects of semaglutide include:
The common side effects are often tolerable and may subside over time. However, semaglutide may also cause thyroid tumors, so doctors don’t recommend the drug to patients predisposed to thyroid problems.
2. Tirzepatide (Brand Name Mounjaro)
Tirzepatide is another diabetes medicine that may double as a weight loss drug. If you have type 2 diabetes, tirzepatide may be a good choice for you.
Like semaglutide, tirzepatide mimics the action of hormones in the body. One of these hormones tells the pancreas to release insulin while telling the liver to make less glucose. The result is lower blood sugar, slower digestion, and less hunger.
Another hormone tells the brain that the stomach is full.
The FDA approved Mounjaro in May 2022 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. For this purpose, it may be more effective than semaglutide. It may be superior to semaglutide as a weight-loss drug, as well, but for now, it has only been approved for people with type 2 diabetes.
How Effective Is Tirzepatide for Weight Loss?
Researchers found that Mounjaro helped study participants lose 15 pounds more than a placebo. When they combined tirzepatide with insulin, participants lost an average of 23 pounds more than those who took a placebo.
What Are the Side Effects of Tirzepatide?
Tirzepatide causes a series of common gastrointestinal side effects. Obesity patients who receive the drug may experience:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
With higher doses, side effects are more likely to appear and become more severe. Like semaglutide, tirzepatide can cause thyroid tumors in rats; therefore, doctors don’t recommend Mounjaro to people predisposed to thyroid problems.
Those who have type 1 diabetes should also avoid Mounjaro.
Amgen’s AMG-133 is a promising obesity drug that shoots for the same targets as tirzepatide and semaglutide. It exerts its effects differently, however.
AMG-133 is a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide receptor (GIPR) inhibitor, meaning it protects against obesity by blocking the GIPR receptor.
The FDA has not yet approved this drug, but phase 1 trials prove that AMG-133 can be an effective obesity drug. It may be better than the other options because it offers a long-term solution to weight loss. The therapy is long-acting and requires fewer administrations than tirzepatide or semaglutide.
How Effective Is AMG-133?
Preliminary data suggests AMG-133 helps patients lose 15 percent of their body weight in three months. However, it’s important to note that phase 1 trials use relatively small numbers of test subjects, so further trials are needed to test the drug on larger numbers of people.
We do know that higher doses of the drug work better, but even low doses have triggered a 7 percent body weight loss in test patients.
What Are the Side Effects of AMG-133?
According to Amgen’s preliminary data, AMG-133’s side effects include nausea and vomiting. The side effects are not severe and tend to resolve within two days.
Another Option: Plenity Weight Loss Device
Another great FDA-cleared option for weight loss that works is the Plenity weight loss device. Plenity is a gel cap made of natural substances that absorb water and expand, filling the stomach and creating a sensation of lasting fullness. The body does not absorb Plenity and eliminates it through regular bowel movements.
Plenity is easy to use; simply take three capsules 20 minutes before lunch and dinner every day with plenty of water.
Plenity has few side effects, and they are easily manageable. The only major downside is that people with gastrointestinal problems, such as ulcers, surgeries, or gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), can’t use it.
The Plenity weight loss device is an especially good option for people who don’t want to deal with the side effects of weight-loss medications or don’t want to undergo weekly injections or surgery.
eDrugstore Can Help
These breakthroughs in weight management are exciting, but they’re not for everyone. If you’re looking for a safe, proven-effective way to lose weight without potentially serious side effects, Plenity may be the right choice for you.
We carry the Plenity weight loss device and offer a free consultation with a doctor licensed to practice in your state to determine whether Plenity is a good solution for you. With eDrugstore, you can order with confidence, and virtual health visits and shipping are always free.
James spent the better part of the last decade studying and writing about the physiology of sleep and its correlations with dreams. He studied various drugs, natural substances, and hallucinogens that can impact the intensity and frequency of dreams.
For two years, he busted dietary supplement scams, analyzing various performance-enhancing compounds, nootropics, etc.