Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common complication of diabetes, affecting around 1 in 3 diabetic adults. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can cause kidney disease, leading to serious health problems. 

However, a groundbreaking clinical trial conducted by Novo Nordisk has yielded promising results. The trial suggests that semaglutide, marketed as Ozempic, could potentially reduce the risk of kidney disease-related events in individuals with Type 2 diabetes and CKD. 

In this article, you will learn how Ozempic could be a game-changer in slowing down the progression of CKD. We’ll explore the science behind the drug, the results of the clinical trial, and what this means for people living with diabetes and CKD.

Key Takeaways

  • A clinical trial conducted by Novo Nordisk demonstrated promising results for CKD patients. The trial revealed that semaglutide, marketed under the name Ozempic, reduced the risk of kidney disease-related events in individuals with Type 2 diabetes and CKD by 24% compared to a placebo. Ozempic can play a significant role in slowing down the progression of CKD in this patient population.
  • Ozempic enhances kidney function by stabilizing blood sugar levels. This reduces the strain on the kidneys, prevents further damage to kidney structures, aids in weight loss, reduces inflammation, and lowers blood pressure, thereby lessening the kidneys’ workload.
  • During the FLOW trial, Ozempic was generally safe and well-tolerated. The side effects observed were mainly gastrointestinal issues that tend to decrease over time and were in line with those seen in previous studies of the drug.
  • It’s important to note that while the results of the FLOW trial are promising, Ozempic is not a cure for kidney disease or diabetes. Patients must continue managing their health according to their healthcare provider’s advice.
  • The positive outcomes of the FLOW trial may not dramatically reduce the need for dialysis across the broader CKD patient population due to the trial participants’ specificity and the treatment’s uncertain long-term efficacy.
  • Following the promising results of the FLOW trial, Novo Nordisk expects to file for regulatory approvals in the US and EU in 2024 for a label expansion to include the treatment’s effectiveness in slowing down the progression of CKD in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

How Does Diabetes Lead to Kidney Disease

Diabetes can lead to kidney disease, known as diabetic nephropathy, by damaging the small blood vessels in the kidneys. When someone has diabetes, their body’s high blood sugar levels can harm these vessels, making it hard for the kidneys to clean the blood properly. Over time, this damage prevents the kidneys from doing their job well, leading to a build-up of waste products in the body. If it gets really bad, it can cause the kidneys to fail, which is a serious health issue. Keeping diabetes under control and managing blood pressure can help slow down or prevent this kind of kidney damage.

The symptoms of diabetic nephropathy may not appear in the early stages. However, as the condition progresses to later stages, symptoms can include:

  • High blood pressure becomes more difficult to control.
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, hands, or eyes.
  • Urine that appears foamy.
  • Confusion or difficulty thinking.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Itching.
  • Tiredness and weakness.

How Does Ozempic Slow The Progression Of Chronic Kidney Disease?

Person injecting Ozempic into stomach

Ozempic, containing the active ingredient semaglutide, enhances kidney function primarily by stabilizing blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes, reducing the strain on the kidneys. Elevated blood sugar levels can damage the tiny blood vessels and nephrons in the kidneys, impairing their ability to filter waste effectively. 

By improving blood glucose control, Ozempic helps prevent further damage to these vital structures, thus preventing the progression of kidney disease. Additionally, the drug has been shown to aid in weight loss and reduce inflammation, improving kidney health by reducing blood pressure and thereby lessening the kidneys’ workload.

What Does the Research Say?

The FLOW trial, initiated by Novo Nordisk, was a study conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of Ozempic (semaglutide) in slowing down the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in patients with Type 2 diabetes (T2D). The trial was double-blind and placebo-controlled, comparing injectable semaglutide (1.0 mg) with placebo as an adjunct therapy to standard CKD care. 

The study involved 3,533 participants with T2D and moderate to severe kidney disease across 28 countries. The trial started in 2019 and was set to conclude in October 2023 but concluded a year ahead of schedule due to the demonstrated effectiveness of the drug.

The FLOW trial showed that participants who were treated with Ozempic experienced a 24% reduction in the risk of progression of kidney disease compared to those who received a placebo. Additionally, the study indicated a decrease in mortality from the kidney—and cardiovascular-related complications among the semaglutide group. However, the precise figures regarding these outcomes are still pending detailed publication.

Recommendation

Buy Canadian Insulin provides access to Ozempic, a groundbreaking treatment for Type 2 diabetes that also offers benefits in slowing the progression of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). With its proven ability to improve glycemic control and reduce cardiovascular complications, Ozempic can play a crucial role in managing CKD’s advancement. Take control of your health and safeguard your kidneys by choosing Ozempic. Buy from buycanadianinsulin.com and save on your prescription today.

Are There Any Risks or Side Effects?

Like all medications, Ozempic comes with possible side effects. During the trial, Ozempic was generally safe and well-tolerated, with side effects in line with those observed in previous drug studies. Common side effects associated with GLP-1 receptor agonists like Ozempic include gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite. These side effects are often mild to moderate in intensity and tend to decrease over time as the body adjusts to the medication.

Could Ozempic And Other Diabetes Drugs Reduce The Need for Dialysis?

A hand holding Ozempic injection pen

Despite the promising results of the FLOW trial, healthcare providers and dialysis specialists, including those from major dialysis providers like DaVita, caution against assuming that these findings could dramatically reduce the need for dialysis across the broader CKD patient population. They highlight several reasons for their caution:

Specificity of Trial Participants: The FLOW trial participants were a specific subset of the CKD population, primarily those with type 2 diabetes and moderate to severe CKD. The outcomes may not be generalizable to all CKD patients, especially those with different underlying causes of kidney failure.

Long-term Efficacy and Safety: While the FLOW trial provides crucial data on the short to medium-term benefits of Ozempic for CKD progression, the long-term effects, particularly concerning the delay or prevention of dialysis, remain uncertain.

Narrow Subset of CKD Patients: Dr. Jeff Giullian, the chief medical officer for DaVita, noted that the trial’s inclusion criteria might limit its findings to a small portion of the CKD population. Less than 10% of all CKD patients meet these criteria, suggesting that the trial’s results may only apply to some patients.

Related Articles:

Buy Canadian Insulin offers information and resources to help maintain good health. Learn more about Ozempic by reading some of our articles:

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the FLOW trial conducted by Novo Nordisk has demonstrated that Ozempic (semaglutide) could potentially reduce the risk of kidney disease-related events in individuals with Type 2 diabetes and CKD. The study’s results are promising, indicating that Ozempic could be a game-changer in slowing down the progression of CKD. 

However, it is important to note that Ozempic is not a cure for kidney disease or diabetes. People living with these conditions should continue to manage their health and follow their doctor’s advice. If you have concerns about your kidney function or diabetes management, speak with your healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for you.

FAQs On Ozempic And Chronic Kidney Disease

Was Ozempic safe to use in the FLOW trial?

Yes, semaglutide 1.0 mg was found to have a safe and well-tolerated profile in line with previous semaglutide trials.

When does Novo Nordisk expect to file for regulatory approvals for a label expansion for Ozempic?

Novo Nordisk expects to file for regulatory approvals in the US and EU in 2024.

What are the criteria for Ozempic’s efficacy in reducing kidney-related conditions?

Ozempic is needed to reduce the absolute risk of kidney-related conditions by at least 3.5% compared to placebo, or a relative risk reduction of around 16.5%.

Sources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/diabetes-kidney-disease.html

Novo Nordisk. (2024, March 5). Novo Nordisk A/S: Semaglutide 1.0 mg demonstrates 24% reduction in the risk of kidney disease-related events in people with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease in the FLOW trial [Press release]. Retrieved from https://www.novonordisk.com/content/nncorp/global/en/news-and-media/news-and-ir-materials/news-details.html

Chen, S. (2024, March 8). Ozempic Slows Kidney Disease, Cuts Cardiorenal Death Risk in Type 2 Diabetes, FLOW Study Finds. diaTribe. https://diatribe.org/ozempic-slows-kidney-disease-cuts-cardiorenal-death-risk-type-2-diabetes-flow-study-finds