A weekly dose of a drug recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat type 2 diabetes can also help adults who do not have the disease to lose weight. reveals a study published in the scientific journal New England Journal of Medicine.
The drug Tirzepatide, sold under the trademark Mounjaro, was tested in people without diabetes using three doses: 5, 10 and 15 milligrams. The results showed that participants who were obese or overweight and who took the five milligram dose lost an average of 16 kg. Those who took the dose of ten milligrams lost an average of 22 kg, and those who took the dose of 15 milligrams lost an average of 23.6 kg.
“Nearly 40% of subjects lost a quarter of their body weight,” said the study’s co-author Ania Jastreboff in statements quoted by CNN.
“The data was pretty impressive,” Robert Gabbay, medical director of the American Diabetes Association, also told CNN. “The weight loss they achieved in this study was even greater than what had been seen in previous studies of people with diabetes,” said the expert, who was not involved in the study.
“The weight loss in the middle class of the persons in this new study was 49 pounds [aproximadamente 22,2kg] “49 pounds is a lot,” he added. “It’s the weight loss area that we usually think is only possible through surgery.”
During the 72-week clinical trial, people without diabetes lost an average of 15 to 20.9 percent of their original body weight. Previous tests on people with diabetes who used the same drug showed that people lost an average of 15 percent of their original body weight.
“This is not an unusual observation,” Gabbay explained. “The consequences of weight loss medication are less effective in people with diabetes, and we do not know exactly why.”
In this new study, weekly injections of Tirzepatide were performed in more than 2,500 people without diabetes and with a body mass index (BMI) above 30 or above 27 and with at least one weight-related health condition, such as high blood pressure. high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease.
At the start of the study, participants had a mean weight of 104.8 kg and a mean BMI of 38. They injected themselves with Tirzepatide or placebo once a week using “a small pen-like device with a small needle, he clarified gabbay. “The tingling of this needle is less painful than, for example, people tingling their fingers to measure blood sugar.”
Study participants received counseling sessions to maintain a healthy diet as well as at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Although this helped, according to the experts, it does not explain the extent of the weight loss observed in the study.
“The kind of weight loss we see when people exercise and change their calorie intake is in the range of 5% to 7%,” Gabbay explained. “This study showed a markedly greater weight loss, far beyond what we would imagine with lifestyle changes.”
The most common side effects were nausea, diarrhea and constipation. Between 2.6 and 7.1 percent of participants discontinued treatment due to side effects.
“Obesity should be treated like any other chronic disease with effective and safe approaches that address (causes of) underlying disease, and these findings underscore that Tirzepatide can do just that,” Jastreboff added. “These findings are an important step in the potential expansion of effective therapeutic options for people with obesity.”