Santiago Tofé*, Joana Nicolau, Apolonia Gil4 and Iñaki Argüelles
We aimed to evaluate effectiveness and safety of weekly subcutaneous (sc) semaglutide for weight reduction, along with diet and lifestyle modifications in severely obese adolescent patients attending an Obesity Unit.
In a prospective observational study, 21 severely obese adolescent patients (18 females, mean age 14.95 years, mean baseline body mass index 33.01 kg/m2) were followed for 8.0 months (median) after initiation of sc semaglutide in two different private institutions. Starting dose and dose titration were decided according to best clinical judgement and based upon effectiveness and gastrointestinal tolerance.
At final office visit patients averaged a weight loss of 8.32 ± 7.65 kg (8.68 ± 7.76% baseline body weight). Starting dose was 0.23 mg and final dose was 0.68 mg. Two patients prematurely discontinued treatment and one patient was lost from follow-up. Nausea and abdominal pain at the beginning of treatment were reported by 10 (47.61%) and 5 (23.81%) patients, respectively. One patient had a vomiting episode and another complained from diarrhoea. No other safety issues were noted.
Out-of-label weekly administration of (sc) semaglutide with a sui-generis titration scheme resulted in a clinically significant and safe weight loss in obese adolescents. Initial nausea and abdominal pain were frequently reported. Magnitudes of weight loss and safety profile were similar to those of adult population, yet with lower doses. Weekly administration of (sc) semaglutide is a promising adjunct therapy to standardised model of care of children and adolescents with obesity that deserves further evaluation to confirm safety and efficacy.