Innovations in Weight Loss Medications
In today’s fast-paced world, weight management has emerged as a significant concern for many individuals, including many of us in Singapore. Despite advancements in various medical fields, obesity rates continue to rise. However, developments in weight loss medications give patients effective and safe solutions for losing weight. Join Dr. Terence Tan, Medical Director from Halley Medical Aesthetics and Halley Body Slimming Clinic, as he brings us along to explore the medical advancements in weight management for a healthier lifestyle. Watch the video by Dr. Terence Tan below to find out more or read on for excerpts from his educational video.
Understanding the Challenge
In Dr. Terence Tan’s video, he shared that obesity remains a pressing global issue, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) reporting that approximately 39% of adults worldwide are overweight. Various factors contribute to this, including lifestyle changes and limited choices for treating excess weight. Furthermore, negative perceptions about using weight loss medications in Singapore for obesity management have posed a significant barrier to finding effective treatments.
GLP-1 Analog Medications
Recent medical innovations have introduced a group of medications known as glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analogues, which mimic natural body hormones, to help patients with weight loss. Scientifically engineered to have prolonged effects in the body, GLP-1 analogues induce a feeling of fullness in the patients to reduce calorie intake. Notably, medications such as Semaglutide and Liraglutide, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) for weight loss, have shown significant efficacy with minimal side effects.
One exceptional medication within the GLP-1 analogue category is Semaglutide. Marketed under different names like Wegovy for weight loss, Semaglutide is injected once a week just beneath the skin’s fat layer.
Studies have demonstrated that research participants achieve on average a 16% reduction in body weight after a 64-week period of Semaglutide treatment. Additionally, Semaglutide has proven to reduce the risk and severity of chronic conditions like heart attacks and strokes in obese patients.
Combining Different Weight Loss Medications for Enhanced Effectiveness
Innovations in weight management medications have also brought forth the concept of combining low doses of two effective weight loss medications into a single pill. This synergistic approach increases the overall effectiveness and safety of the medications while minimising the potential side effects associated with higher doses. Examples of US FDA-approved combination pills include Contrave, which combines Bupropion and Naltrexone, and Qsymia, which blends Phentermine and Topiramate.
Future Developments of Weight Loss Medications
We continue to witness ongoing research and development of weight loss medications. One medication, Trizepatide, targets both GLP-1 receptors and another receptor called gastric inhibitory polypeptide/glucose‐dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). Trizepatide is currently approved for diabetes, but it has demonstrated effectiveness in promoting weight loss as well.
A Shift in Weight Management Paradigm
These changes in weight loss medications are reshaping the weight management landscape. Previous studies have shown that lifestyle changes alone result in approximately 5% weight loss, while weight loss from medications is 10% and bariatric surgery in the 20% to 30% range.
However, with medical advancements, the medical community would be able to bring weight loss achieved through medications closer to results previously only achievable via surgery. These developments provide individuals with an array of safe and effective choices for achieving their weight loss goals.
Embracing a Healthier Future
With continued progress in the weight loss medications, we are hoping for a reduction in obesity rates and improved overall health for everyone. Remember, taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle is a journey, and medical innovations provide invaluable support along the way.
* The use of this treatment/product is dependent on the clinical assessment and judgement of a medical professional. Please consult a medical doctor for an informed discussion on the use of this treatment/product.