Study: Ozempic Could Aid Kidney Disease Treatment

Study reveals Ozempic could be a potential treatment for kidney disease.


Study: Ozempic Potentially Beneficial for Kidney Disease

By Alberta Herman

May 25, 2024


Semaglutide, the active compound found in popular drugs Ozempic and Wegovy, has shown remarkable results in reducing the risk of kidney complications, heart issues, and death among patients with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease. These findings were released on Friday after a major clinical trial conducted by Novo Nordisk. The promising results could revolutionize medical treatment for those suffering from chronic kidney disease, an ailment that affects more than one in seven adults across America yet remains incurable. 
Dr. Katherine Tuttle, a professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine and the author of the study, expressed her enthusiasm about these groundbreaking findings, saying, "Those of us who really care about kidney patients spent our whole careers wanting something better...and this is as good as it gets." The research was presented at a European Renal Association meeting held in Stockholm on Friday and simultaneously published in The New England Journal of Medicine. 
The clinical trial funded by Danish multinational pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk yielded such positive outcomes that it was halted prematurely due to its success. Dr. Martin Holst Lange, executive vice president of development at Novo Nordisk, announced plans to request that the Food Drug Administration (FDA) update Ozempic's label to indicate its potential use for slowing down the progression or mitigating complications associated with chronic kidney disease amongst individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. 
Diabetes ranks high among causes leading to chronic kidney disease, which occurs when kidneys fail to function optimally over time. As this condition progresses into advanced stages, the kidneys become so severely damaged that they can't effectively filter blood anymore. This impairment leads to the accumulation of fluid and waste products within the blood circulation, causing exacerbation conditions like high blood pressure while also increasing the risk of heart disease or stroke incidents, according to Dr. Subramaniam Pennathur, Chief Nephrology Division, Michigan Medicine. 
It’s important here to note how semaglutide works within the human body. It’s a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, which means it mimics the function of the GLP-1 hormone, which regulates blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin production in the pancreas when blood glucose levels rise after meals. This class of drugs also reduces the amount glucose produced in the in the liver and slows down gastric emptying, hence making people feel full for longer periods of time. 
This trial brings new hope to millions suffering from chronic kidney disease and type 2 diabetes—two closely interlinked conditions with grave health implications. With this newfound potential use of semaglutide, patients are afforded an opportunity to better manage these conditions, thereby improving their quality of life significantly while reducing the mortality rates associated with them. 
In conclusion, these findings have opened up exciting new avenues in treatment protocols for some of the of the sickest patients battling chronic kidney disease and type 2 diabetes. The successful clinical trials show promise that semaglutide could be instrumental in transforming the lives millions of people worldwide who are currently grappling with these debilitating diseases.


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