FDA approves Wegovy weight-loss shot for heart disease patients – including those who are not obese

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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Obese and overweight adults could now get a Wegovy prescription to reduce their risk of a heart attack or stroke.

The FDA approved the treatment for this use in non-diabetic adults today after large-scale studies showed the drug slashed their risk of the complications by up to 28 percent.

The agency added that Wegovy — which uses semaglutide — should be used alongside a low-calorie diet and increased levels of physical activity.

Shares in the drug’s owner Novo Nordisk surged to $566billion yesterday, making it the 12th most valuable company in the world, after it revealed a new medication that could prompt weight loss twice as fast as Ozempic.

The FDA approved the medication for this use in non-diabetic patients today, following clinical trials which showed it cut the risk by up to 28 percent

Wegovy — which uses the drug semaglutide — was already approved for use in overweight or obese patients for weight loss.

Its sister medication Ozempic, which uses lower doses of the same drug, is currently only approved for patients with type 2 diabetes.

Many doctors are prescribing both of the drugs ‘off label’, however, to patients who are seeking to just lose a few pounds.

Dr John Sharretts, at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said: ‘Wegovy is now the first weight loss medication to also be approved to help prevent life-threatening cardiovascular events in adults with cardiovascular disease and either obesity or overweight.

‘This patient population has a higher risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack and stroke. Providing a treatment option that is proven to lower this cardiovascular risk is a major advance for public health.’

The Danish drugmaker published the full data in November from a large clinical trial that showed the obesity drug reduced the risk of non-fatal heart attack by 28 percent, non-fatal stroke by 7 percent and heart-related death by 15 percent, compared with a placebo, in patients with pre-existing heart conditions.

In the 17,604-patient trial with a mean duration of 33 months, the difference in heart protective benefits began to appear almost immediately after starting treatment in those who received Wegovy compared with the placebo group, researchers said, suggesting the positive impact was due to more than weight loss.

Overweight and obese people are at higher risk for heart attacks and strokes because they are more likely to have high cholesterol or high blood sugar and thir heart muscle is under increased strain supplying the body with oxygen and vital nutrients. 


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