The original story was published on the Everyday Health network’s site, Diabetes Daily.
On the 10th of October, pharmaceutical manufacturer Novo Nordisk announced that it was stopping a large trial to test semaglutide’s effects ( Ozempic) on kidney disease caused by diabetes one year before schedule. The prosecution proved that the drug’s effectiveness was so high, according to reports, an independent panel of experts concluded that the drug should not keep the trial going.
While it could be a few several months before the trial is finished and results are announced, it is evident that we now have an answer for one of the biggest remaining concerns regarding the benefits of Ozempic for those suffering from diabetics. Health experts like those from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) have already acknowledged Ozempic as one of the most effective drugs that can be used to control glycemic levels as well as weight loss and cardiovascular protection. However, its impact on kidney health remains a mystery. The odds are now that the drug will be an option of choice for people suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD) as well.
Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease
Damage to the kidneys (nephropathy) is among the most frequently occurring long-term effects of both Type 1 diabetes and type 2. It can occur in up to forty percent of those suffering from diabetes.
Based on the National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney and Digestive Diseases, Chronically excessive blood sugar levels can interfere with the kidney’s capacity to filter blood. This causes an accumulation of fluids and waste within the body.
In its early stages, kidney disease typically does not show any symptoms. The doctor will check for kidney damage by analyzing urine for the presence of the protein called albumin. Treatment may slow the progress of CKD; however, when the damage isn’t treated, the disease could turn fatal or incapacitating. If the kidneys fail, patients may eventually require dialysis or kidney transplants for a chance to live. Chronic kidney disease may increase the risk of negative health consequences, including metabolic bone disease and heart disease.
Semaglutide and Kidney Health
The current preferred treatment to manage high blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of kidney diseases is the group of medications called the SGLT2 inhibitors. These medicines, such as empagliflozin (Jardiance) and canagliflozin (Invokana), can lower blood sugar levels by stopping the reabsorption of glucose by the kidneys.
In contrast, semaglutide, as well as different GLP-1 receptor antagonists, are currently only recommended as an alternative option for those who suffer from kidney disease caused by diabetes. Based on the ADA’s guidelines, GLP-1 receptor antagonists are suggested for people who suffer from CKD, who are not able to take the effects of an SGLT2 inhibitor, or who need additional medications to achieve blood sugar targets.
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There was evidence to suggest that semaglutide has benefits for the health of kidneys. The SUSTAIN-6 study in 2016, for instance, discovered that people with type 2 diabetes who took semaglutide were 36 percent less likely to suffer from chance of developing or worsening kidney disease. However, these studies are “limited,” according to the ADA, due to the fact that the trial was not intended to select and assess participants suffering from CKD.
The FLOW study was designed to establish the truth that semaglutide (Ozempic) has an impact on kidney function. The massive study enrolled over 3,500 people from seven continents and 28 countries. All of them were older adults who had type 2 diabetes. They also had signs of nephropathy and a “high or very high risk of CKD progression.”
The trial was scheduled to conclude in the latter part of 2024. However, it is expected to come to an early conclusion. According to the press announcement by Novo Nordisk, the decision to end this trial came “based on a recommendation from the independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC).” The DMC committees are established to conduct independent interim analyses for clinical studies in order to ensure the health of the participants. If interim results show that the intervention being tested has no doubt caused harm or harm, the DMC could suggest that the trial stopped in the early stages. (To avoid conflicts of interest, Novo Nordisk employees are not aware of the trial’s results.)
It may take some time until all the details are known. However, the results suggest Ozempic has a significant protective impact on the health of kidneys. To be eligible for early discontinuation, the drug had to prove it fulfilled certain or all of the study’s main endpoints, which included significant reductions in the possibility of kidney failure, kidney transplantation, dialysis, or death from cardiorenal disorders.
Bloomberg stated that the share prices of the major dialysis companies dropped sharply shortly after news of Ozempic’s kidney benefits came out.
It’s another win for semaglutide, which has been extensively praised as a game-changer and a “miracle drug. The drug for type 2 diabetes is not just a drug that provides the ability to control blood sugar levels for a long time, as well as weight reduction. However, it has also been praised for its remarkable capability to reduce ” food noise” and reduce addictive behavior. Although semaglutide can be associated with it is also associated with numerous side consequences. The demand for the drug is so high that it has resulted in continuous shortages and have led some patients to look for potentially risky Ozempic alternative.
The Treatment of Diabetic Kidney Disease
Treatment for kidney disease caused by diabetes is with medication and lifestyle changes, as recommended by the ADA. Controlling glucose is of vital importance in halting the progress of CKD. Patients are typically encouraged to increase their efforts to manage and monitor the blood sugar levels of their patients.