Pharmacy insights

Plenity a new weight loss pill

I must admit, the topic of this post is rather inaccurate. Plenity is a capsule (not a pill) that can be used to aid weight loss in adults who are obese or overweight in combination with diet and exercise (US licensing).

Plenity is not a new product. Previously known as Attiva (and Gelesis 100), Plenty was subject to clinical trial back in 2010. Recently, the FDA approved Plenity to help with weight management as detailed in the first paragraph.

Plenity mechanism of action

In a nutshell, Plenity capsule contains cellulose (plant material) and citric acid which together form a hydrogen ‘matrix’ when released in the stomach. Plenity (3 capsules) is taken with food and water before lunch and dinner. Created matrix swells by absorbing the water and mixing with the food. As results individuals experience the effect of fullness which in turn helps to eat less food. The content of Plenity is not absorbed and passes through the digestive tract.

 

Plenity effectiveness

The main clinical study supporting the use of Plenity involved 436 obese or overweight patients who took either Plenity or a placebo pill (a dummy pill) over 24 weeks period alongside diet and exercise. Individuals who took Plenity during this clinical trial lost on average 6% of their body weight as compared to individuals who took a placebo pill who lost 4% of their body weight. This on average corresponds to about 10kg of weight loss. Furthermore, 1 in 4 adults treated with Plenity achieved ≥10% weight loss of around 13.6kg (Plenity, ND).

Plenity possible side effects

The most common side effects reported with Plenity during a clinical trial were:

  • fullness,
  • bloating,
  • flatulence,
  • and/or abdominal pain

Plenity UK?

In the US, Plenity is not available to the public yet, an Early Experience Program is expected to be launched later this year.

In the US, Plenity is classified as a device rather than a drug. Since Plenity does not contain any active drugs, one expects faster licensing approval in Europe and the UK. The price for Plenity is not known yet, hopefully, Plenity will be much more affordable for patients (and NHS) as compared to some other drugs currently available on the market such as Saxenda.

Plenity is not ‘a magic bullet’. Although clinical trials involving Plenty showed positive results of weight reduction, one needs to remember that diet and exercise was part of the clinical trial.

Healthy lifestyle and exercise are the most important factors in weight loss and should always be considered as the first choice of weight loss.

References:

Plenity (ND). Efficacy. Available at: https://www.myplenity.com/healthcare-professionals#efficacy Accessed on 28/05/2019

 

I am a community pharmacist working in UK. I blog about drugs, health and pharmacy.

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