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New Obesity Drugs: Wegovy vs Monjauro

Health benefit or risk?

Andrea Pereira

In recent years, obesity has become a global pandemic. In Brazil, we went from 12% of people with obesity in 2003 to 27% today and a prospect of 40% in 2035. We are second in the world in the number of bariatric surgeries, second only to the United States.

Although there has been a clinical treatment for obesity for some years, nothing compares to the appearance of GLP1 analog substances, substances that regulate glucose metabolism and lead to significant weight loss and visceral fat reduction. These medications have revolutionized the treatment of obesity.

Wegovy, from Novo Nordisk, has been approved by ANVISA for obesity, and Monjauro, from Lilly, has been approved for diabetes. Both are injectable and used once a week. They are expected to be launched in the second half of 2024.

Wegovy, composed of semaglutide, is one of these analogs whose studies demonstrate excellent results for weight loss. Monjauro, composed of tirzepatide, is a mixture of GLP1 analogue and GIP, although it has been approved for diabetes in Brazil, there are several studies to treat obesity safely.

These medications will undoubtedly be critical clinical strategies in our country in the second half of the year to control this complex disease that is obesity. Obesity is a chronic disease. Therefore, it cannot be cured but controlled, and thus, requires long-term treatment.

For those who are afraid of prolonged use of these substances, in April 2024, research by the European Union regulatory body demonstrated that there is no relationship between suicide and the use of semaglutide. Furthermore, a 2023 review, with around 47,000 patients, showed no association of this substance with any cancer.

Furthermore, studies have demonstrated reduced deaths and cardiovascular risk associated with GLP1 analogs. New studies, still without scientific consensus, link its use to a decrease in dementia as well.

Just like hypertension and diabetes, we continue to have a promising future for controlling obesity with these promising new medications. The only global problem is the cost of restricting these medications to a small portion of the population. We can only hope that they become increasingly accessible to all people with obesity, allowing for an improved quality of life and fewer complications.

According to science, these medications are safe in the short and long term with medical evaluation and follow-up and precise and individualized indications.

Long live science and research!


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