FDA Okays Semaglutide Higher Dose, 2 mg/Week, for Type 2 Diabetes

Mitchel L. Zoler, PhD

Disclosures

March 29, 2022

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a higher 2-mg dose of the GLP-1 agonist semaglutide (Ozempic, Novo Nordisk) for adults with type 2 diabetes, giving a higher-dose alternative to the previous maximum 1-mg dose of semaglutide, administered by subcutaneous injection once weekly.

Semaglutide is currently available as 0.5-mg and 1-mg doses.

Results from the pivotal SUSTAIN FORTE study of the 2-mg dose (which, like lower-dose semaglutide for type 2 diabetes, comes in a single-use pen injector) showed that when compared head-to-head with a 1-mg/week dose in a 40-week study with 961 randomized patients, the 2-mg regimen led to a significant average incremental reduction in A1c levels of 0.23 percentage points. The 2-mg dose also produced a significant incremental increase in weight loss, with patients losing 0.93 kg more on the higher dose.

The 2-mg dose gives patients with type 2 diabetes and clinicians an "additional option" when a bigger "shift" in blood glucose is needed, said Juan Pablo Frias, MD, National Research Institute, Los Angeles, California, who was lead investigator for SUSTAIN FORTE, in a written statement.

As well as reducing glucose levels, semaglutide has been shown to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events in adults with type 2 diabetes and known cardiovascular disease.

Semaglutide was approved as a 2.4-mg injectable dose, as Wegovy, in 2021 for weight loss in patients with overweight or obesity.

SUSTAIN FORTE and other trials of semaglutide were sponsored by Novo Nordisk. SURPASS-2 and other trials of tirzepatide were sponsored by Lilly. Frias was lead investigator for both SUSTAIN FORTE and SURPASS-2, as well as an investigator for other trials sponsored by Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and other companies.

Mitchel L. Zoler is a reporter for Medscape and MDedge based in the Philadelphia area. @mitchelzoler

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