Confused about weight management drugs? We can help
If you’re confused about the names, drug types and range of weight management medication then you’re not alone. Read this to make yourself a weight medication pro
Drug names v marketing brands
All weight management medications have two names - the name of the drug and the name that the manufacturer uses to market the product.
For example, the most famous weight medication is currently Wegovy, which is actually the marketing name for Semaglutide.
Semaglutide - aka Wegovy
Semaglutide is a GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) receptor agonist proven to give weight loss of c. 15% over 60-70 weeks, which retails under three different names:
- Wegovy: a once-weekly injection licensed for weight management
- Ozempic: a once-weekly injection licensed for type 2 diabetes
- Rybelsus: a daily pill licensed for type 2 diabetes
Liraglutide - 1st gen weight loss
Liraglutide is an earlier generation of GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) proven to give weight loss of about 10% over the course of a year.
It is administered through a daily injection and retails under the brand name of Saxenda.
Tirzepatide - 50% more effective than Semaglutide
Tirzepatide is a dual combination of two compounds (GLP-1 and a second called GIP, or glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide. It is this combination which makes it 50% more effective than Semaglutide - the clinical trials show weight loss of 22.5% over 60-70 weeks.
Tirzepatide is administered in the form of a daily injection and retails under the name of Mounjaro. We expect this to be launched in the UK in the coming months.
Orlistat is in a class of medications called “lipase inhibitors” and is taken as a pill taken three times a day, during a meal or up to an hour after.
Orlistat retails under the brand name of Xenical.
How do they work?
Simply, with the exception of Orlistat, all of the weight management medications listed above work by mimicking our natural gut hormones: they make us feel full, so we eat less, and lose weight.
You can read more about how GLP-1 medication works here
Orlistat is the odd-one-out in this list as it works by preventing some of the fat in foods eaten from being absorbed in the intestine.
If you have any questions relating to your weight management journey, feel free to book an appointment with one of our experts.
Published: 21 August 2023