Just in time for those New Year’s weight loss resolutions, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new weight loss drug. However, Saxenda (liraglutide) requires an injection and is recommended for specific categories of individuals, reported CBS News.
Designed for obese adults or overweight individuals with a health condition such as hypertension, Saxenda is made by Novo Nordisk. The FDA emphasized that patients who use the weight loss drug should diet and exercise for optimal results.
“Obesity is a public health concern and threatens the overall well-being of patients,” said the FDA acting deputy director of the division of metabolism and endocrinology products, Dr. James Smith.
How Does Saxenda Work?
In the drug category containing glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists, Saxenda stimulates insulin production and triggers the release of glucagon (a hormone produced by the body) from the pancreas. In addition, the drug curbs the appetite.
In clinical trials, 62 percent lost five percent or more of their body weight after one year. However, the FDA recommends that physicians evaluate patients after 16 weeks on Saxenda. If they have not lost four percent of their body weight, they should end the treatment.
Saxenda is not without side effects. Those include nausea, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, and low blood sugar. And, although appetite reduction is considered one of the benefits of Saxenda, the loss of appetite is listed among the side effects.
What Are Options For Those Who Don’t Qualify For Prescription Medication?
For those who want to jump-start weight loss and aren’t in the category for whom the prescription medication is designed, new studies have shown that short-term rapid weight loss diets can be effective. As the Inquisitr reported, Dr. Mark Hyman, known as the physician for former President Bill Clinton, recently appeared on the Dr. Oz Show to discuss his new Fat Flush Weight Loss program.
The three-day Fat Flush diet is designed to help dieters lose as much as five pounds. It’s a low-carb diet that also incorporates healthy fats such as almonds.
Dr. Hyman advocates a Paleo-style diet, persuading both Clintons to eat animal protein on a low-carb diet rather than follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, he told the New York Times.
“It’s hard being a vegan to eat enough good, quality protein and not have too much starch. I know a lot of fat vegans.”
However, the former President initially credited a vegan diet for helping him heal from his heart attack and lose weight, as he discusses below.
How Does Saxenda Compare To Other FDA-Approved Medications?
After years of few prescription options for weight loss, the FDA has now approved four drugs since 2012, reported WebMD. The three previously approved medications are Belviq, Contrave, and Qsymia. All require prescriptions from your physician, who can evaluate your condition and discuss any specific health concerns before recommending a diet and exercise plan to accompany the drug.
Belviq also reduces the appetite. The FDA recommends halting treatment if patients have not lost five percent of their weight after 12 weeks.
Contrave helps the mood and combines two drugs, bupropion (which treats depression and seasonal affective disorder) and naltrexone (designed for various treatments such as alcohol). The FDA suggests ending the prescription if you have not lost five percent of your weight within 12 weeks.
Qsymia also curbs the appetite. The FDA suggests that if patients have not lost three percent of their weight after 12 weeks, physicians increase the dosage.
Should You Consider Weight Loss Supplements?
Weight loss supplements and over-the-counter diet drugs continue to be popular, with a new survey showing that one in four Americans has used diet supplements, reported WXYZ ABC News.
However, more than 90 percent reported that the supplements did not work. Moreover, half of those survey complained of side effects ranging from feeling jittery to having digestive ailments. And because some side effects can be dangerous to those with certain health conditions, such as hypertension, experts emphasize the importance of discussing any types of supplements or OTC drugs with your own health care provider.
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