Medication-Assisted Weight Loss Pills for Obesity: New Guidelines from the AGA

November 28, 2022 by Steve Suntala

The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) recently analyzed pharmaceutical therapies for obesity and created new guidelines on how to treat the condition.

While lifestyle changes are key to managing obesity, they have limited efficacy for many individuals struggling with their weight. Therefore, pharmaceutical interventions such as Semaglutide weight-loss shots and other weight-loss pills have been developed and approved for long-term management of the condition.

According to the Trust for America’s Health’s (TFAH) 19th annual report on the nation’s obesity crisis, 41.9% of adults in the United States are struggling with obesity in 2022. Overall, 19 states have obesity rates over 35%, up from 16 states in 2021.

In an interview with Medical News Today, Dr. Mir Ali, bariatric surgeon and medical director of Memorial Care Surgical Weight Loss Center at Orange Coast Medical Center stated, “The new guidelines were greatly needed as the previous ones were based on older and outdated data; new research has shown that lowering the criteria for surgery will have a huge, beneficial impact on a larger group of patients.” Although not directly involved in the study, Dr. Ali agreed the new guidelines are for the best.

New Guidelines for Medication-Assisted Weight Loss

AGA researchers analyzed various studies investigating nine Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved anti-obesity medications to treat adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 27 kg/m2 and above. If an individuals BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obesity range.

After analyzing the results, the researchers found that these four drugs approved for long-term use have moderate or large weight loss effects with few negative side effects:

  • Semaglutide
  • Liraglutide
  • Phentermine-topiramate extended-release (ER)
  • Naltrexone-bupropion (ER)

Along with lifestyle interventions, each of the drugs was linked to a total body weight loss of between 3% and 10.8%, with some studies reporting 15% total body weight loss, although the researchers noted this outcome was comparably rarer.

They also noted that these four FDA-approved medications should not be taken by pregnant women, the drugs may increase the risk of hypoglycemia in those with type 2 diabetes, and that further precautions should be taken when treating those individuals who are also taking medications to lower blood pressure, as well as those with eating disorders.

Semaglutide for Weight Loss at New Pathways

Semaglutide is a revolutionary weight loss drug that changes the game for those struggling to lose weight through the traditional routes of diet and exercise. Through a series of regular injections, Semaglutide increases the body’s production of insulin, inhibits glucagon, and decreases appetite. With a 70% success rate and around 10lbs per month lost for individuals who use the weight-loss shots regularly, Semaglutide is making a name for itself in the medical industry.

At New Pathways Clinic in Cleveland, OH, our team of experts are ready to help you begin your weight-loss journey. Contact us anytime by filling out our easy form or read more about Semaglutide and our other mental health services here.

Read the AGA’s full guidelines on Pharmacological interventions for adults with obesity here.

At New Pathways Clinic our heartfelt mission is to establish a holistic mental wellness campus that touches the lives of individuals in the greater Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati regions. We are dedicated to combining state-of-the-art mental health treatments, like Ketamine therapy infusions and Spravato nasal spray, with the expertise of compassionate mental health professionals to treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, migraines, and bipolar disorder.

Our unwavering commitment drives us to continuously evolve and adapt as the scientific landscape of ketamine research expands and diversifies, leading to innovative mental health treatments. We are determined to pave the way for a healthier future for Cleveland, central Ohio, and southern Ohio.

New Pathways Clinic also offers Semaglutide & Tirzepatide weight-loss shots, ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, and  ketamine/Spravato support groups for patients.

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