This year, the global weight loss industry is valued at over US$16 billion. And one of the most popular weight loss drugs is metformin. Reports indicate that around 5% of the American population is currently using the drug, and it’s the most prescribed medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. But is it really the best choice for weight loss?
In a market analysis by Grand View Research, it was found that in 2019, the global weight loss drug market will be valued at over US$16 billion and is predicted to rise to over US$24 billion by 2025.
The report states that, since its launch in 2002, Metformin has become a “blockbuster drug” with annual revenue of over US$5 billion. The product is currently used to treat type 2 diabetes and other conditions linked to metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and obesity. The most popular treatment for type 2 diabetes is Metformin. With an estimated 5% of the American population currently taking the drug and it being the most prescribed medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, it is clear that metformin is a popular choice among consumers looking to lose weight.
What Is Metformin (and What Are Its Benefits)?
Metformin (N,N-Dimethylimidodicarbonimidamide) is an oral antidiabetic agent that reduces blood sugar (glucose) levels through inhibition of the enzyme complex 1 (hexokinase) in the liver. In other words, it improves insulin sensitivity.
In healthy individuals, insulin performs a critical function in the body. It allows glucose to enter the cells so that they can be used as energy. But in some people with type 2 diabetes, the cells don’t respond well to insulin. This leads to high blood sugar (glucose) levels and poor health. The good news is that Metformin helps to improve insulin sensitivity and the function of beta cells so that individuals with type 2 diabetes can enjoy healthier lives. It can also be used to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
So, what are the benefits of metformin?
Here are some of the most popular benefits of Metformin:
- It has been shown to increase the body’s ability to utilize insulin. This makes it a valuable drug in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
- Many people with type 2 diabetes experience serious complications as a result of the condition. These complications include heart disease, stroke, and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). As death from these complications is still common, alternative options are needed. One option is metformin, which has been shown to reduce the risk of these complications. Studies have also shown that it can help to improve the quality of life for people with the condition.
- Metformin has been shown to reduce fasting blood sugar levels by up to 12%. This means that it can help to improve the quality of life for individuals with type 2 diabetes.
- In clinical trials, it was found that people who took Metformin lost more weight than those who took a placebo. This was true even when both groups had the same level of exercise and diet therapy. So, while it doesn’t specifically mention weight loss in its prescribing information, the data suggest that it can help with weight loss.
Is It the Best Choice for Weight Loss?
The short answer is no, it’s not. Metformin can be effective for some people, but it doesn’t work for everyone. If you’re looking for the best choice for weight loss, then consider taking a look at the newest weight loss drug in the market. It’s called bupropion and it’s manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals.
Bupropion is unique in that it is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (NNRI). This means that it can increase the amount of norepinephrine in the brain. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that’s usually associated with attention, cognition, and mood. So, what does this mean for people who take it? It could mean that it will make them feel happier and more motivated to work out, thus increasing the chance of them losing weight. Currently, bupropion is approved by the FDA for the treatment of major depressive disorder and smoking cessation. But given its effect on norepinephrine levels, it could potentially be used to treat other disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and ADHD.
Should You Avoid It If You’re Pregnant?
Although there’s no evidence that Metformin is harmful to a developing fetus, there is some evidence that it can harm the newborn. Since beta cells in the pancreas are needed for proper delivery of nutrients to the fetus, any damage to them could result in low birth weight and possibly other complications. So, if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, then it’s best to avoid taking Metformin. There are alternatives that don’t seem to carry the same risks. For example, one option is the drug Linagliptin, which is a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor. This particular medication was shown to improve glycemic control and reduce weight in patients with type 2 diabetes. And in a phase 3 study, it was also shown to increase fetal lung maturation in pregnant women with pre-eclampsia.
Should You Start On Low Dose Or Monitor Liver Function Tests?
Metformin has been known to cause lactic acidosis, which is a potentially life-threatening complication. It’s generally accepted that the risk of lactic acidosis increases with the dose of Metformin. So, if you’re planning to start taking Metformin, then it’s best to start on a low dose and monitor liver function tests (LFTs). There are some conflicting reports as to whether or not taking Metformin for longer than two weeks changes the way the drug metabolizes in the body. However, the evidence suggests that longer durations may increase the risk of lactic acidosis. So, if you notice that your LFTs are beginning to rise, then it’s best to discontinue use of the drug and consider other treatment options.
While Metformin is a popular choice for people looking to lose weight, it’s not the best choice for everyone. If you’re not sure whether or not it’s the right drug for you, then ask your doctor or pharmacist about alternative treatments that might be safer and more effective. And if you’re interested in trying out new weight loss medications, then consider looking into the newest drug in the market. It’s called bupropion and it’s manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals.