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FDA Approves Drug for Treatment of Obesity

The FDA has approved a new drug from the company Novo Nordisk, which is injected to treat obesity in men or women who have health problems related to their weight, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.

The new drug will be marketed under the name Saxenda to obese and overweight adults. The drug in Saxenda is called liraglutide, is an injection of about 3 mg which incites the pancreas of the patient to crease more insulin when necessary, usually after a meal.

Liraglutide is an injection treatment for diabetes originally developed by Novo Nordisk for use against diabetes. The difference between the treatment for obesity and for diabetes is the dosage, usually around 1.5 for patients with diabetes.

The drug has the effect of reducing hyperglycemia caused by meals because it only starts the production of insulin when blood glucose levels are higher than normal. It decreases appetite and maintains body weight, and lowers triglyceride levels.

The drug also shows little sign of causing hypoglycemia because of the way it works with the pancreas to create enough for the excess of sugar. The drug also has the potential to stop the destruction of beta cells in the pancreas, and actually may stimulate regeneration.

There is a risk of thyroid cancer that was seen in rats tested with the drug, even if it was given to them in much greater doses. Another concern may be Pancreatitis, although not definite, doctors at UCLA finding larger than average pancreases which were donated and were on similar drugs to Liraglutide.

This is the first weight loss drug to be approved by the FDA, making it just the first step into the future of health and medicine.

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