Type 2 Diabetes Drug Semaglutide May Help Control Blood Sugar Better Than Similar Medications, Review Suggests

Limitations of the Study and a Note About the Side Effects of Semaglutide

Research so far “suggests that the percentage of patients experiencing gastrointestinal effects was higher in patients treated with semaglutide compared with other antidiabetic medications, including other GLP-1 agonists,” Andreadis says. “These events, albeit mild and generally well-tolerated in most cases, can potentially lead to discontinuation of treatment with subcutaneous semaglutide in some patients.”

Side effects were more likely to occur when people first began taking the drug or when the dose was increased, and they generally diminish over time, he adds.

The study was unable to predict the impact of semaglutide on the incidence of pancreatitis and diabetic retinopathy, both of which are linked to severe type 2 diabetes. More studies will be needed to understand the drug’s impact on those long-term complications of type 2 diabetes.

The potential of semaglutide to contribute to weight loss among people with type 2 diabetes — as well as overweight or obese people at risk for developing the disease — will be closely watched in future studies.

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