Tirzepatide, a type-2 diabetes drug commercially known in the USA as Mounjaro, causes significant weight loss in the patient. A 15 mg daily dose leads to a 20% of total body weight loss – a scale that’s only possible through surgery.
Losing weight while treating type-2 diabetes is almost every overweight diabetic patient’s dream. It seems like it’s not a dream anymore if you are on Tirzepatide.
FDA approved the drug Tirzepatide in May 2022. It’s the first-in-class drug that works on both Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) hormones. These hormones play a vital role in blood sugar level control. According to the FDA press release, it’s the first dual-targeted treatment in blood sugar control.
Weight loss diabetes drug like Tirzepatide mimics the GLP-1 and GIP hormones to make people feel full after eating. Thus, the intake of Tirzepatide will suppress hunger, leading to weight loss.
An international research team experimented with both Tirzepatide and placebo medicine on 2,539 participants. They found the highest prescribed dosage (15 mg per day) of Tirzepatide led to a weight loss of 20% of the body weight in 72% of the participants.
The average weight of the participants was around 105 kg, and 95% of them were deemed obese. Among the participants, the majority of them were non-diabetic white females. The average BMI of the participants was above 30.
A group of the participants received three different daily dosages (5, 10, and 15 mg) of Tirzepatide, while the rest received a placebo injection. After 72 weeks, people who received 5 mg lost 16.1 kg, 10 mg receiver lost 22.2 kg, and those who received 15 mg lost 23.6 kg.
People with placebo injections lost an average of 2.4 kg.
Earlier this year, UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approved a similar drug named semaglutide to treat obesity. Unlike Tirzepatide, the drug only mimics the GLP-1 to suppress hunger.
Initially, obese and diabetic patients found these drugs as gamechanger. However, there are a few catches. Tom Sanders, nutrition and dietetics professor emeritus at King’s College London, found these drugs only work on patients with calory diets.
In fact, the Tirzepatide study was conducted under lifestyle interventions that include meals of 500 calorie deficit per day, 150-minutes of physical activities, and lifestyle counseling sessions.
Moreover, he said the drugs come with side effects like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Long time use of the medicines can impact pancreatic actions. Besides, the impact on weight loss only stays effective as long as someone continues the drug.
According to Naved Sattar, University of Glasgow’s professor of metabolic medicine, “The emergence of these new drugs does not mean people should ditch lifestyles as it is far better to prevent obesity in the first place than treat it at a late stage when a lot of damage has already been done,”
Semaglutide is less effective in reducing weight than Tirzepatide as it works on only one hormone. No matter which one a patient uses, the drugs are more effective if prescribed with supervised weight loss coaching than support alone.