After promising clinical trials, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug called Saxenda for chronic weight management that will be available by prescription to overweight and obese adults.
Intended to accompany a diet and exercise plan, Saxenda is a once-daily injection of an imitation of the hormone GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide) that tells the brain when the stomach is full.
The treatment is not without risks, amongst which include pancreatitis, gall bladder disease, hypoglycemia and changes in mood and behavior.
Side effects include upset stomach, fatigue, dizziness and abdominal pain, according to a company press release.
Saxenda joins Contrave, a similar drug that won FDA approval in early September of this year.
Like Saxenda, Contrave must be used accompanied by a diet and exercise program, although treatment contains two medicines called naltrexone HCl and bupropion HCl that work together to suppress hunger.
Also like Saxenda, the medication is not for everyone, and those interested should speak with their doctor about whether medication is the appropriate way to address their weight problems.
Contrave is currently under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for approval in Europe.