Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA) in development for type 2 diabetes. Semaglutide is also in phase III clinical trials for weight loss, and the results of these trials were recently presented at the 2019 American Diabetes Association (ADA) Scientific Sessions. This blog includes five key findings that highlight how semaglutide can help people lose weight.

1. Lost More Weight With Semaglutide Than Placebo

In one of the studies, more patients taking semaglutide lost 5% or more of their body weight compared with those taking placebo: 24% vs 16%. In another study, more patients taking semaglutide lost 10% or more of their body weight compared with those taking placebo: 22% vs 7%.

2. Semaglutide Improved Multiple Risk Factors for Heart Disease and Diabetes

In one study, semaglutide improved many risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, including blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting plasma glucose (FPG), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), C-reactive protein (CRP), among other findings. No new safety concerns were reported.

3. People Taking Semaglutide Reached Their Weight Loss Goals Quicker

People taking semaglutide reached their weight loss goals sooner; this finding was also reported in other presentations at the ADA meeting.

4. Semaglutide Helped People Maintain Their Weight Loss

Weight loss often regresses over time, but patients taking semaglutide maintained their weight loss better than those taking a placebo between 6 and 36 months.

5. Patients Liked Taking Semaglutide

Patients reported that they liked taking semaglutide for its ability to help them lose weight, feel fullness after eating smaller portions of food, reduce cravings, prevent overeating during stressful situations, and more.

Is Semaglutide Worth It?

Since more weight was lost with semaglutide than with placebo, and because patients taking semaglutide had improvements in many risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, people with type 2 diabetes who are overweight or obese should discuss the benefits of taking semaglutide as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for their disease.