Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, despite promising results, regulators like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) need to approve the weekly injection for weight loss before it can be widely used.
Recently, the use of diabetic drugs for weight loss has gained popularity. A potentially revolutionary drug is coming to the United Kingdom and the United States.
However, to date, it has only been approved for type 2 diabetes.
Tirzepatide: ‘The King of Weight Loss Drugs’
The drug, sold by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly under the brand name Mounjaro, was originally intended for the treatment of diabetes.
According to a recent trial published in June 2022, participants lost 20% of their body weight, or an average of more than 24 kilograms, using once-weekly injections of the drug.
In the current study, 938 adult participants with type 2 diabetes and obesity lost an average of 15 kilograms from a starting weight of about 100 kilograms while taking tirzepatide.
These findings are significant because the placebo participants lost only three kilograms, or 3% of their body weight, in the same time frame.
In comparison, those who simply maintained a healthy lifestyle and lost 3.3% of their body weight over 72 weeks fared worse.
In addition, the study showed that 86% of those who used the drug lost at least 5% of their body weight.
The famous drug was rightfully called the “King Kong of slimming drugs.”
The latest findings will be discussed at the American Diabetes Association’s 83rd Scientific Sessions and published in a peer-reviewed journal.
According to a press release, Tirzepatide is also being submitted to the FDA for approval as a weight loss drug. Eli Lilly expects to renew the treatment in late 2023.
How does tirzepatide work?
Tirzepatide and other new drugs target the digestive and physiological mechanisms that underlie obesity, reducing hunger and cravings, rather than relying solely on diet, exercise and willpower to lose weight.
Tirzepatid affects the hunger-regulating hormone GLP-1 and another insulin-related hormone. The mechanism of action is similar to semaglutide, a comparable drug approved by the FDA in 2021.
Although the available data comparing the two were limited to diabetic patients and did not use the highest dose of semaglutide, some evidence suggests that it may be more effective. Both drugs have well-known side effects, most of which are minor.
The study also reports that about one in five patients experienced nausea or diarrhoea, and about one in ten experienced vomiting or constipation.
In addition, patients should continue taking tirezapatide, such as semaglutide, to maintain weight loss results.
The cost of obesity
According to the National Health Service (NHS), 64% of Britons are overweight. The health department expects more people to gain weight in the future.
Between 2014 and 2015, the NHS spent around £6.1 billion on treating weight-related conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and various cancers.
The cost of obesity is high not only in the waistline, but also in health. About 42% of the population in the United States struggles with obesity.
- Tirzepatide once a week for the treatment of obesity – (https:pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35658024/)