Ozempic and Wegovy show positive effects on blood sugar levels and weight loss in type 2 diabetes study

Ozempic and Wegovy show positive effects on blood sugar levels and weight loss in type 2 diabetes study

Long-Term Effects of Injectable Semaglutide and Tirzepatide on Type 2 Diabetes

Wegovy is a semaglutide drug prescribed for weight loss and blood sugar level management. UCG/Getty Images

The battle against type 2 diabetes just got a boost, with new research highlighting the long-term efficacy of injectable semaglutide drugs, such as Ozempic and Wegovy, in improving blood sugar control and aiding in weight loss. In addition, there have been promising findings regarding tirzepatide (Mounjaro) as a potential treatment for type 2 diabetes. With obesity rates rising in correlation with type 2 diabetes, these discoveries offer hope for finding new and effective approaches to managing the disease.

Injectable Semaglutide Demonstrates Long-Term Effectiveness

Recent data presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) revealed the impressive long-term benefits of injectable semaglutide (sold as Ozempic and Wegovy) for managing type 2 diabetes. By just administering a single weekly shot, semaglutide significantly improves glucose control and aids in weight loss.

Avraham Karasik, a lead study author and professor at the Institute of Research and Innovation at Maccabi Health Services in Israel, explains, “Semaglutide is given once weekly and grants patients with type 2 diabetes improved glucose control and weight loss. Patients enjoy both weight-dependent decrease in blood glucose, in addition to the benefits of decreased weight and direct cardiovascular advantages.”

Supported by Novo Nordisk, the manufacturers of Ozempic, this research represents a significant step forward in demonstrating the effectiveness of these drugs. However, it is worth noting that the findings have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Stability in Long-Term Results

Karasik points out that study participants with lower adherence tend to experience a rise in glucose levels over time, as observed in the study. However, there was an intriguing observation – there was no corresponding increase in weight. Weight levels remained relatively stable throughout the follow-up period.

This indicates that semaglutide has proven to be effective in long-term weight management and blood sugar control, particularly for individuals with high adherence. Even those with lower adherence still experienced some benefits. The study encompassed a large number of patients, over 23,000, over an extended period of time. Such robust data provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of these drugs in real-world scenarios.

The Growing Arsenal of Treatments for Weight Loss

While type 2 diabetes is not the only form of diabetes, it is by far the most prevalent. With approximately 1 in 10 Americans affected by the disease, of which 90% to 95% have type 2 diabetes, the need for effective treatments is pressing. The rise in type 2 diabetes cases can be attributed, in large part, to the strong correlation between obesity and the disease.

Michael Kane, a professor at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, notes, “We call this the ‘diabesity’ epidemic because obesity is fueling new cases of type 2 diabetes. Years ago, we used to think of it just happening in older adults, and now we’re seeing it in kids.”

Acknowledging the concerning trend of rising obesity rates and subsequent type 2 diabetes diagnoses, research and development of new drugs have been accelerated. Alongside the positive data surrounding semaglutide, there is also encouraging news about tirzepatide, sold as Mounjaro. Another presentation at the EASD’s annual meeting showcased tirzepatide’s superiority to semaglutide in controlling blood sugar levels and aiding in weight loss.

It is important to emphasize that these findings have not yet undergone peer review.

Managing Type 2 Diabetes

Although managing type 2 diabetes remains a challenge, advancements in treatment offer renewed hope. Kane emphasizes the need for patients and their doctors to develop a comprehensive management plan once a diagnosis is made. This includes educating patients about lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and reduced caloric intake, to improve overall health.

With the wide range of available medications, living with type 2 diabetes has become more manageable than ever before. Kane explains, “There are so many newer medications available to not only lower blood sugar but also do important things like protect the kidneys and protect the heart. There’s a lot of good therapies out there to give people hope because, as we know, poorly controlled diabetes is associated with a number of long-term complications.”

The landscape for type 2 diabetes treatments has come a long way in the past two decades. As obesity rates continue to rise, it is crucial to prioritize effective management and explore the multitude of available medications to ensure optimal health outcomes for those living with the condition.