Injected Diabetes Med Can Also Bring Big Weight Loss, Study Finds

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Late-stage trial shows tirzepatide triggers more weight loss than semaglutide; however, results have not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a journal

By Physician’s Briefing Staff HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, April 27, 2023 (HealthDay News) — As more Americans attempt to get their hands on the prescription medication Wegovy (semaglutide) while they try to shed significant amounts of weight, an even more powerful obesity drug is poised to enter the fray.

On Thursday, drug maker Eli Lilly & Co. announced that its type 2 diabetes drug Mounjaro (tirzepatide) helped people with diabetes who were overweight or obese lose nearly 16 percent of their body weight, or more than 34 pounds, over 17 months. These data have not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal.

This late-stage study of the drug adds to earlier evidence published last summer in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed people with overweight or obesity without diabetes lost up to 22 percent of their body weight during that period with weekly injections of tirzepatide. For a typical patient on the highest dose, that meant shedding more than 50 pounds. Results from both studies will now be part of the company’s application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for fast-track approval of the drug for weight loss.

Tirzepatide works by stimulating the body to produce insulin after eating, thereby lowering blood sugar while helping people feel full longer by slowing food’s movement from the stomach, CNN reported. Side effects have included nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

These successes could make the drug a stiff competitor of semaglutide, sold as Ozempic for patients with diabetes and Wegovy for those seeking weight loss who have at least one weight-related health issue, CNN reported. That drug is made by Novo Nordisk. When approved by the FDA last summer, trials showed semaglutide led to a 12.4 percent average weight loss in people with obesity and overweight who did not have diabetes.

Eli Lilly now plans to pit tirzepatide against semaglutide in a study of 700 participants around the United States and Canada.

CNN Article

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