News / 

Nasal Spray Hormone Drug Could Help Curb Overeating

Save Story

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Researchers are racing to investigate a nasal spray and other forms of a hormone medication that may help dieters eat less because they aren't as hungry.

The drug contains a formulation of PYY, a hormone that's produced by the gut and travels to the brain to shut down neurons that regulate appetite.

It's potentially ''very promising as a therapeutic agent,'' says researcher Stephen Bloom of the Imperial College of Medicine in London.

His studies indicate that the drug works in both lean and obese people, who seem to have lower levels of PYY. That may explain why heavy people feel hungry and overeat. Those who take the medication ''enjoy their meal, but they stop eating sooner,'' he says. ''It reduces appetite by 30% for 24 hours.''

So far the drug has had no negative side effects, Bloom says. He discussed his work Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale at the annual meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity.

He has studied an injected version of PYY and is now looking at the spray form. A patch is another option, but pills won't work because they're digested.

The PYY nasal spray must still go through a couple of years of rigorous testing, says Steven Quay of Nastech Pharmaceutical Company, the drug's maker.

Samuel Klein, president of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity, says the research ''looks very impressive.''

To see more of, or to subscribe, go to

© Copyright 2003 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

Most recent News stories


Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast