YOUR HEALTH: Can diabetes drug help people lose weight?

Published: May. 19, 2023 at 4:39 AM CDT
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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - After weeks of holiday celebrating, many of us made a resolution to eat better in the new year. Not always easy, right? And for people with obesity, lifestyle changes might not be enough. Now, a recently approved diabetes medication is showing promise - in another way - by helping people without diabetes take off a significant amount of weight.

It’s been called a national epidemic - 42 percent of American adults are obese. By 2030, experts predict the numbers will swell to 50 percent.

Yale School of Medicine endocrinologist, Dr. Ania Jastreboff, MD, Ph.D., and colleagues are studying the impact of the diabetes medication tirzepatide, sold under the brand name Mounjaro.

In a trial called Surmount-1, researchers studied the once-weekly injectable in 2,500 adults without diabetes and found significant weight loss at 72 weeks.

Dr. Jastreboff explains, “The individuals who received the highest dose of the medication - 15 milligrams of tirzepeptide - 40 percent of them lost greater than, or equal to 25 percent of their total body weight.”

Think of it this way - that means a person who weighed 200 lbs. slimmed down to 150 lbs.

“These types of results we have not seen with any other phase three trial in individuals with obesity with any other agent. So, definitely very significant,” Dr. Jastreboff adds.

The FDA has granted tirzepatide fast-track designation to be reviewed for the treatment of obesity. This means they will review it sooner than usual for use in chronic weight management.

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