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Weight Loss Is a Much-Wanted Side Effect of New Drugs for Type 2 Diabetes

Two new medications for treating Type 2 diabetes could provide the added benefit of weight loss, according to Robert Aden, MD, a diabetologist board certified in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism.

“There are two families of drugs that are making news,” Aden said. “The first one is SGLT2 inhibitors, which block the absorption of sugar in the kidneys. This allows the body to pass sugar through the urine, and the patient loses weight. The second one is the GLP-1 agonists. This medication increases insulin production when blood sugar is high. This medication turns off the production of sugar in the liver and makes patients feel full, which in turn limits their calorie intake and helps them lose weight.”

Both of these medications help manage blood sugar and assist in weight loss, often also increasing the patient’s chance of getting off insulin, which also causes weight gain, he said.

At least one of these new drugs is likely to be approved in the near future by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) exclusively to be used as a weight-loss drug.

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