For some reason, America’s lust for the Ozempic is only growing.The drug’s active ingredient, semaglutide, is marketed as an obesity drug under the brand name Wegovy and has been so popular that its manufacturer, Novohi Nordisk, recently Limited shipping to USA and Ads paused to prevent shortages. That expectation has lured would-be patients and sparked a pharmaceutical race to develop more potent drugs.
Part of the interest is due to Ozempic’s teenage potential. In December, the FDA approved Wegobee for the treatment of: obese teensaffect 22 percent Number of young people aged 12-19 in the United States. The drug’s ability to promote weight loss in adolescents is explained as follows:amazingIn January, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) announced in new childhood obesity treatment guidelines: Recommended Doctors are considering adding weight-loss drugs such as semaglutide to treat some patients, he said.
However, many doctors and obesity experts Employing semaglutide as an adult treatmentTaking it at such a young age and at such a precarious stage in life poses serious risks, especially since the long-term physical and mental health effects of this drug are still unknown. Some are concerned that it may cause However, some believe that: no Using this drug in adolescents is more dangerous because obesity makes teens more susceptible to infection. serious health condition and premature death. Prescribing semaglutide for teens isn’t as widespread as it is for adults, partly because of doctors’ fears. At this time, there is still great uncertainty as to whether these drugs will find widespread use in adolescent treatments.
Semaglutide isn’t just for teens.maybe even more more effective than adults. Significantly funded by Novo Nordisk, study was announced in New England Journal of Medicine“The rate of weight loss in adolescents was better than that observed in adult trials,” said Aaron S. Kelly, co-director of the Center for Pediatric Obesity Medicine at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine.Another case funded by Novo Nordisk study Researchers led by Kelly announced last week that the drug, combined with counseling and exercise, nearly halved the number of obese teens after 68 weeks of treatment. For adolescents and adults alike, weekly injections won’t “magically melt away body fat,” Kelly said. Instead, it works by inducing satiety and quenching hunger.
Teenagers’ experience of obesity is different and, in some ways, more intense than that of older adults. Tamara Hannon, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Indiana University School of Medicine, said puberty is a time of a lot of growth and development, so the body uses “every mechanism” to fight back attempts to lose weight. . Also, teens may have less control over what they eat and how much activity they do than adults. This is because these are largely constrained by family and school, but also by social pressure to conform to how their peers eat. “Making good choices means doing something different than most other kids,” says Hannon. “Everywhere there are things that are diametrically opposed to losing weight.”
Since obesity is a chronic disease, early onset can have disastrous consequences. Often at a young age he can develop diseases such as type 2 diabetes and fatty liver. obese children are 5 times more likely More than others experience it as an adult. Fatima Stanford, an obesity physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, says that as obese teens become obese adults, they “can develop a very progressive disease.” rice field. The new reason for AAP, she said, is that weight-loss drugs will allow doctors to intervene before the effects of obesity snowball. Childhood Obesity Guidelines We advocate their use as part of early aggressive treatment, along with long-term face-to-face health and lifestyle therapy. Early use of semaglutide and other drugs can change the trajectory of a teenager’s entire life.
But semaglutide can also throw teens off course. Because treatment is considered a lifelong endeavor, stopping treatment usually leads to rapid weight loss. Adolescents who start on medication will be on treatment for decades. “There’s no way to know if these drugs, taken so early in life for so long, could cause unanticipated side effects,” said David Ludwig, an endocrinologist at Boston Children’s Hospital. rice field. Adults face many of the same unknowns, but the risks for teens can be more severe. Because their bodies and brains are constantly changing. Of particular concern are the drug’s potential effects on the physiological changes typical of puberty. “We need to keep an eye on girls’ pubertal development and menstrual history,” says Hannon. In addition, this drug can cause unpleasant side effects, such as gastrointestinal upset, and may have other effects such as: significant muscle loss and rewiring of the brain’s reward circuits. Scientists are just beginning to understand these effects.At the moment, just two Large studies of semaglutide have been conducted in adolescents, but none have required long-term follow-up.
The impact of semaglutide treatment on mental health, an important aspect of obesity treatment, is further poorly understood. Teens are “more likely to take drugs intermittently than adults,” said Kathleen Miller, a juvenile medicine specialist at Minnesota Children’s Hospital. And not taking several doses in a row can pose psychological as well as physical risks. Another concern is that the overall effect of semaglutide intake (decreased appetite resulting in less food being eaten) is essentially the same as dieting. When teenagers follow a very restrictive diet, whether or not they use weight-loss drugs, “it can negatively affect their mental health and promote eating disorders.” We know,” Hannon said. Because their brains are so plastic during adolescence, “there’s a risk that that pattern becomes ingrained during puberty,” Miller says.
There are so many unknowns that obese teens should avoid semaglutide? Many pediatricians are reluctant to prescribe the drug, at least for now. “The idea of using anti-obesity pharmacotherapy was difficult even for adults a few years ago,” says Angela Fitch, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and president of the Obesity Medical Association. Acceptance of its role in pediatric medicine has lagged even further. But the biggest risk, she told me, is not drugging teenagers. Teenagers develop unhealthy ideas about their bodies without the help of weight loss. Explaining to teens that obesity is not their fault, and correcting underlying biological problems with drugs and other treatments, can help foster a “better body image about yourself.” she says it helps.
None of the experts I spoke with explicitly said that semaglutide should never be used to treat puberty. Even those who were wary of the drug may find it medically appropriate for teenagers who are really struggling with their weight and who have had little success losing weight by other means. I admit that This debate could intensify as more convenient drugs, or drugs with fewer side effects, are approved for teens.This week, both Novo Nordisk and Pfizer announced that tablet versions of these drugs are available. Succeeded in early trials.
Despite the lack of all answers about how the drug will affect teens in the long term, Fitch said, “The uptake of semaglutide and other anti-obesity drugs in pediatric clinical care is slow. It will progress gradually,” he predicted. Ultimately, they may come to be seen as just one of several weight-loss tools to help kids lead healthier lives. Treating adolescent obesity shouldn’t be an “either/or”, says Ludwig, “it’s all about it.” By combining, for example, semaglutide with a low-carbohydrate diet, he Synergistic effects on adolescent weight loss.
For the time being, semaglutide is unlikely to become as popular among teens as it is for adults. Despite all the hype surrounding Ozempic, professionals and their patients face difficult choices based on a variety of risk assessments. It’s what happens when teenagers get drug treatment and what happens when they don’t. Either way, teenagers benefit the most and lose the most.