April 20, 2024
Metabolism Drugs

Revving Up Metabolism: Exploring the Science Behind Metabolic Drugs

Introduction
Metabolism refers to all the physical and chemical processes within living organisms that are needed to maintain life. These include processes like digestion, absorption, assimilation, biosynthesis, catabolism and excretion. Drugs that help treat abnormalities or disorders relating to metabolism are known as metabolism drugs.

Drugs for Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic condition where the body is unable to properly process sugar (glucose), leading to high blood sugar levels. There are various types of drugs used to treat diabetes:

– Insulin: For people with type 1 diabetes, insulin injections or pumps are needed to regulate blood sugar levels as the body does not produce any insulin on its own. Various types of insulin formulations are available for different treatment needs.

– Oral anti-diabetic drugs: For people with type 2 diabetes, oral drugs like metformin, sulfonylureas, meglitinides etc. are prescribed. They work by various mechanisms like increasing insulin production, improving insulin sensitivity or decreasing glucose absorption from the gut.

– GLP-1 receptor agonists: Drugs like exenatide and liraglutide mimic the effects of the hormone GLP-1 which boosts insulin secretion and reduces glucose production. They are often used along with other oral medications.

– SGLT2 inhibitors: A newer class of diabetes drugs like empagliflozin and dapagliflozin work by blocking reabsorption of glucose in the kidneys, causing its excretion in urine along with lowering of blood pressure.

The Metabolism Drugs and combinations are chosen based on each person’s treatment needs, medical history and lifestyle factors. Strict diet and exercise continue to remain important adjuncts for diabetes management.

Drugs for Obesity
Obesity poses serious health risks like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers etc. and drugs can aid weight loss efforts along with lifestyle changes. Here are some commonly used anti-obesity drugs:

– Orlistat: Sold as Alli or Xenical, it blocks fat absorption in the gut, causing 30% of consumed fat to be excreted undigested. Primary side effect is oily stools.

– Phentermine: One half of the combination drug phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia). It suppresses appetite as a sympathomimetic amine. May cause elevation in heart rate and blood pressure.

– Liraglutide: A GLP-1 receptor agonist like Victoza which works by delaying gastric emptying and suppressing appetite. Associated with nausea in initial phase.

– Naltrexone-bupropion: Sold as Contrave, it consists of an opioid antagonist and a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor that modifies reward pathways in the brain related to eating behavior.

However, weight loss achieved through drugs alone tends to be modest and short-term if not accompanied by lifestyle modification. Drugs are generally prescribed only for those who are obese with associated co-morbidities or have failed to lose weight through dietary and behavioral means.

Drugs for Bone Health
Bones play a vital role in structure, movement and protecting internal organs. Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by low bone mineral density (BMD) and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to increased risk of fracture. The following drugs are predominantly used for osteoporosis:

– Bisphosphonates: Examples are alendronate, risedronate, ibandronate etc. They inhibit bone resorption by osteoclasts and are first line therapy. Risk of osteonecrosis of jaw if overused.

– Denosumab: A monoclonal antibody inhibiting RANK ligand, thus decreasing osteoclast number and function. Given by subcutaneous injection every 6 months.

– Teriparatide: A recombinant form of parathyroid hormone that builds new bone. Self-administered daily via pen. Associated with slight increased risk of osteosarcoma.

– Raloxifene: A selective estrogen receptor modulator affecting bone and breast tissue. Lowers fracture risk without affecting the uterus like hormone replacement therapy. Hot flashes common.

Timely diagnosis and ongoing treatment under medical guidance along with diet, exercise and fall prevention are key to bone health management. Drugs provide important adjunct therapy in controlling bone loss and fracture risk.

The field of metabolism drugs is growing continuously. Newer targeted mechanisms are being explored especially for obesity and diabetes as the associated risk factors have significantly increased worldwide. While drugs offer pharmacological aid, adopting lasting lifestyle changes cannot be underscored enough for achieving optimal health outcomes related to metabolism and beyond.

*Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it