An oral version of effective weight loss drugs is on the horizon, as before, they were given in weekly injections.
What is the Complete Story?
In the past few years, effective weight loss drugs have soared in popularity. According to the two clinical trials at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions, drug companies are successful in making the development of a weight loss drug in pill form.
They found that an oral version of popular weight loss drugs, such as Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro, Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic, and Wegovy, can produce significant weight loss results, but all are given weekly injections.
Why is the Pill Form of Weight Loss Drugs More Effective than Their Injection Form?
Intake of a weight loss drug in the form of a pill may be a more palatable option for most of the people.
The ADA’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Robert Gabbay, made a statement that the best thing about tablets is that everyone is used to taking a tablet, even if it is just a vitamin.
According to Novo Nordisk, an active ingredient is present in Ozempic and Wegovy, which is helpful for those who are overweight and do not have Type 2 Diabetes. During the third clinical trial phase, participants lose around 15% of their body weight after 68 weeks.
The results were published in The Lancet. You can check it out there. However, the weight loss seen in the people who intake weight loss drugs in a pill form was completely different than people who take weekly injections for weight loss.
Dr. Robert Gabbay said it is really a game changer in the world of medicine. The reason behind many people prefer a pill or tablet instead of an injectable is they are afraid of needles.
Dr. Mico Gueverra said that an oral version of weight loss drugs would give you more options. It would really depend on your and the clinician’s goals and kind of meet what you would like and what would be the best for you.
Side Effects of Oral Weight Loss Drugs
A specialist in obesity medicine, Dr. Shauna Levy, agreed that a pill form of weight loss drug would likely provide people with more choices, but it would also have side effects that could be more severe than seen with injections.
She said patients taking Rybelsus weight loss drugs experience more side effects than the injection, particularly nausea. However, a pill taken daily in the morning on an empty stomach requires a lot.
Dr. Mico Gueverra claimed that the side effects of oral drugs are similar to the injection, and nausea is the most common one. She claimed around 80% of people taking oral medicine reported gastrointestinal problems.
According to the second clinical trial phase, patients taking the orforlipron drug lost an average of 9.4% to 14.7% of their body weight after 36 weeks.
Drug companies are racing to be the first to market with a pill form of the newest class of weight loss drugs. But the oral drug won’t likely be on the market this year.
Novo Nordisk said the company filed for Food and Drug Administration approval sometime in 2023. Nordisk said a lower version of Rybelsus drug is already approved for Type 2 Diabetes.
However, it was higher for the dose tested in the clinical trial for weight loss, similar to Ozempic, which is a lower dose of semaglutide approved for Diabetes. On the other hand, Wegovy is a higher-dose drug approved for weight loss.