Diabetes drug to help conquer obesity

Published: Mar. 26, 2023 at 8:15 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - From social media to celebrities, medications like Ozempic and Mounjaro intended for those with Type 2 Diabetes are in the spotlight for aiding extreme weight loss.

While the drug is helping people achieve their weight goals, one Auburn Pharmacy professor believes it could eliminate obesity.

Forty percent of adults and 22 percent of children in Alabama battle with the illness, making Alabama one of the top five states with the most obese people in the nation.

But Auburn Pharmacy Professor Jeanna Sewell believes that one medication currently flying off pharmacy shelves could help people fight obesity.

“Obesity and being overweight have implications, and not to downplay the need to treat those things because oftentimes being overweight leads to diabetes and leads to high blood pressure, so being able to resolve those things is very important, “said Sewell.

Sewell is confident the treatment works and points to several studies that prove as much.

One such recent trial involving 2,500 people showed promising results.

“It showed about a 20 percent weight loss on a highest dose over the 72 weeks, which is 18 months, so we have the evidence that it works for weight loss,” said Sewell.

Obesity could lead to other health complications, like heart disease, diabetes, or even cancer. Sewell says that this drug can also help prevent people from becoming diabetic.

Sewell says that if someone did choose to use medications like Ozempic or Mounjaro to address obesity, it would be treated like a chronic condition meaning they would have to take the medication for the rest of their lives to keep the weight off.

While this drug shortage persists, Sewell says it’s now up to the drug manufacturers and distributors to create more of these medications while consumer demands remain high.

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