Obesity is a disease of the brain that is under genetic and environmental control. It contributes to excess mortality from cancer heart disease and diabetes.
Restricting calories works but is hard to do long term.
Gelesis100 (Plenity), just approved by the Food and Drug Administration in April, is expected to hit the shelves later this year. It represents a new tool in the weight loss arena. Although Plenity, which is contained in a capsule, is actually listed as a weight loss device, rather than a medication. Each capsule has one ingredient which is a stomach expander called hydrogel.
When taken with a full glass of water, the expanded stomach signals the brain that you are full. It is taken before meals. The gel particles are broken down by intestinal enzymes and harmlessly excreted.
In the Nov. 13th 2018 edition of Obesity, 60% of patients lost 5% and 25% lost 10% or more.
Plenity is not a blockbuster device but it is approved for overweight patients with a BMI of 25 or more. All the other meds are approved for a BMI of 27 or more who have at least 1 risk factor for heart disease.
The side effect profile should be low because it is not absorbed. I am always concerned about costs because other weight loss meds are often not covered and begin at 100 dollars a month or more.
Frankly a teaspoon of flavorless Metamucil added to food 3 times daily reduces weight by 8 pounds in 8 weeks and is an inexpensive alternative. Plus it reduces A1C (average sugar over 3 months) and LDL or bad cholesterol. Expect plenity to be released later this year or early 2020.