Wegovy (semaglutide): a new weight loss drug for chronic weight management

J Investig Med. 2022 Jan;70(1):5-13. doi: 10.1136/jim-2021-001952. Epub 2021 Oct 27.

Abstract

Obesity is a growing epidemic within the USA. Because weight gain is associated with an increased risk of developing life-threatening comorbidities, such as hypertension or type 2 diabetes, there is great interest in developing non-invasive pharmacotherapeutics to help combat obesity. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists are a class of antidiabetic medications that have shown promise in encouraging glycemic control and promoting weight loss in patients with or without type 2 diabetes. This literature review summarizes and discusses the weight loss results from the SUSTAIN (Semaglutide Unabated Sustainability in Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes), PIONEER (Peptide Innovation for Early Diabetes Treatment), and STEP (Semaglutide Treatment Effect in People with Obesity) clinical trial programs. The SUSTAIN and PIONEER clinical trials studied the use of 1.0 mg, once-weekly, subcutaneous and oral semaglutide (a new GLP-1 homolog), respectively, on participants with type 2 diabetes. The STEP trial examined the effects of 2.4 mg, once-weekly, subcutaneous semaglutide on patients with obesity. Trial data and other pertinent articles were obtained via database search through the US National Library of Medicine Clinical Trials and the National Center for Biotechnology Information. All three clinical trials demonstrated that semaglutide (injected or oral) has superior efficacy compared with placebo and other antidiabetic medications in weight reduction, which led to Food and Drug Administration approval of Wegovy (semaglutide) for weight loss.

Keywords: diabetes mellitus; glucagon-like peptide 1; obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Obesity Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor
  • Glucagon-Like Peptides / therapeutic use*
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Weight Loss / drug effects*

Substances

  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • semaglutide
  • Glucagon-Like Peptides
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1