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Doctors discover surprise benefits of weight loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy

New weight-loss drugs on the market have brought surprising benefits to other areas of medicine, according to a new study.

The drugs could benefit patients undergoing hip replacement surgery, without increasing the risk of complications, according to preliminary data released Monday at a major meeting of orthopedic surgeons.

In a study examining the use of Ozempic – the brand name of Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide prescribed for difficult-to-control diabetes – the drug was associated with a 44% lower risk of developing an infection in the newly implanted joint, after consideration of other risk factors. matter, the researchers said.

Semaglutide is sold under the name Wegovy for weight loss.

Those taking Ozempic were also 32% less likely to need to be readmitted to hospital, with no increased risk of post-operative complications.

For the study, doctors at a large New York City hospital looked at data from 9,465 diabetic patients who had total hip replacements, including 1,653 who took Ozempic.

The injectable drug Ozempic

(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Many patients also suffered from obesity, said study leader Dr. Matthew Magruder of Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.

A second study confirms that semaglutide is safe for patients undergoing hip replacement surgery. Researchers analyzed postoperative complication rates in 1,232 obese total hip replacement patients, half of whom were prescribed Wegovy. The two groups were very similar in terms of age, weight and risk factors.

Using Wegovy did not increase the risks of postoperative problems such as infection or dislocation of the hip implant, the need for reoperation, lung or heart complications, or death, the researchers found .

It is not known from either study how long patients had been taking Ozempic or Wegovy before surgery.

Neither study had commercial funding.

And neither proves that semaglutide or other drugs in a class known as GLP-1 agonists are safe or protective in these patients.

“At present, we do not have enough evidence to definitively recommend starting GLP-1 agonists like semaglutide before total hip replacement,” Magruder said.

“We need high-quality, prospective, randomized controlled trials to definitively make this recommendation. »

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