(HealthDay)—Ozempic (semaglutide) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a weekly injection to treat type 2 diabetes in adults.
More than 28 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body can no longer produce the sugar-regulating hormone insulin, or the body can't use insulin properly.
People with type 2 diabetes are two to four times more likely than the average person to develop heart disease, said Novo Nordisk, the maker of the drug.
In clinical trials involving more than 8,000 adults with type 2 diabetes, Ozempic was shown to help users lower A1c, a test that measures the amount of glucose in a person's blood. The drug, when combined with proper diet and exercise, also was shown to help users lose weight, Novo said in a company news release.
The drug's most common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and constipation. Less common but more serious adverse reactions could include thyroid tumors, pancreatitis, changes in vision, kidney failure and serious allergic reactions, the Plainsboro, N.J.-based company said.
As a condition of approval, the FDA is requiring Novo to study the drug's safety and effectiveness in people under 18.
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Novo Nordisk has more about this approval.