Diabetes drug leads to significant weight loss in people with obesity: study

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Diabetes drug leads to significant weight loss in people with obesity: study

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According to a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a once-weekly diabetes drug leads to dramatic weight loss in people with obesity. The study authors said participants in the 72-week study lost up to 20% of their body weight.

“The results suggest that tirzepatide could be a potential therapeutic option for individuals living with obesity, with participants losing between 16% and 22.5% of their baseline weight,” the study authors said.

The drug tirzepatide is a novel drug recently approved by the Food & Drug Administration to help manage type 2 diabetes through a once-weekly injection. The drug acts on two hormones that help control blood sugar and send satiety signals to the brain, explain the authors in the study. The researchers decided to investigate the effect of the diabetes drug on obesity and presented the results of the Phase 3 study at a symposium at the 82nd Scientific Meetings of the American Diabetes Association® (ADA) in New Orleans, LA.

Overweight person measuring their abdomen.
(Source: iStock)

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The 72-week, double-blind, randomized, controlled, phase 3 study enrolled over 2,500 participants who were considered obese and non-diabetic.

The research team divided the participants into four groups. Three of the groups received tirzepatide 5 mg, 10 mg or 15 mg by self-administration once a week for 72 weeks, while the fourth group received a self-administered placebo injection. All four groups received counseling sessions on lifestyle choices and low-calorie meals. They also performed at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

The researchers found that 89% of the participants taking the 5 mg dose of the drug and 96% of the participants taking the 10 mg and 15 mg weekly doses of the drug achieved at least a 5% reduction in body weight, compared to 28% of participants in the placebo group.

A drug used to treat cholesterol has been found in laboratory studies to reduce coronavirus infection by 70%, and researchers are now calling for additional clinical trials in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

A drug used to treat cholesterol has been found in laboratory studies to reduce coronavirus infection by 70%, and researchers are now calling for additional clinical trials in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
(iStock)

According to the report, participants taking the 5 mg dose of tirzepatide lost an average of 35 pounds, and the 10 mg group achieved an average loss of 49 pounds. The participants who took the 15 mg injection experienced an average weight loss of 52 pounds over the course of the 72-week study. Those in the placebo group achieved an average weight loss of 5 pounds, according to the study.

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“Obesity should be treated like any other chronic disease — with effective and safe approaches that target the underlying disease mechanisms, and these results underscore that Tirzepatide may be doing just that,” researcher Ania Jastreboff, MD, PhD, conducts an extraordinary Professor at Yale University School of Medicine and Director of Weight Management and Obesity Prevention at the Yale Stress Center to a media outlet.

Man doing bench press in gym

Man doing bench press in gym
(iStock)

“These results are an important step forward in potentially expanding effective therapeutic options for people living with obesity. Remarkably, about 9 out of 10 people with obesity lost weight while taking tirzepatide,” said Jastreboff, who is also co-director of the Yale Center for Weight Management in Connecticut, according to the media report.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of obesity in the United States was nearly 42% from 2017 to March 2020. The CDC stated that obesity-related diseases include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.

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