The landscape for chronic weight management has been significantly transformed due to the influx of blockbuster anti-obesity drugs. These drugs have not only changed weight management practices but have also paved the way for new research in gastrointestinal (GI) and liver diseases. However, there are growing concerns about potential GI side effects associated with these medications.
Key points from the article:
- Novo Nordisk’s Semaglutide for NAFLD: Healio highlighted a trial funded by Novo Nordisk that is investigating semaglutide’s potential for treating fibrosis in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
- Concerns about GLP-1 Agonists: There have been safety concerns regarding patients prescribed glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, which are used for diabetes and weight loss management. These drugs, including semaglutide, tirzepatide, exenatide, liraglutide, albiglutide, dulaglutide, and lixisenatide, have been linked to GI events like abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
- Treat and Reduce Obesity Act: The AGA has praised the reintroduction of this act, which aims to expand Medicare coverage for obesity screening and treatment.
- Lawsuit against Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly: A lawsuit alleges that these companies downplayed the severity of GI events caused by their drugs, Ozempic and Mounjaro.
- Safety of Weight-loss Drugs: Recent media reports and legal actions have raised questions about the safety of popular weight-loss drugs, especially concerning risks like gastroparesis and gastroenteritis.
- Semaglutide and NASH: While semaglutide did not significantly improve fibrosis in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and compensated cirrhosis, there were notable improvements in cardiometabolic parameters and markers of liver fat and injury.