This Weight Loss Drug Could Be a Game-Changer

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A recent study found that a weekly dose of a new medication that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat type 2 diabetes could help adults without diabetes shed weight.

Drug shows impressive results

Tirzepatide, which is being sold under the brand name Mounjaro, was studied in research participants without diabetes in three varied dosages, namely 5, 10, and 15 milligrams. Participants who took the 5-milligram dose and lost about 35 pounds (16 kilograms). Those who took the 10-milligram dose lost around 49 pounds (22 kilograms), and those on the 15-milligram dose lost an average of about 52 pounds (23.6 kilograms). 

Dr. Ania Jasteboff, the co-director of the Yale Center for Weight Management, said, “Almost 40% of individuals lost a quarter of their body weight.” Dr. Robert Gabbay, the chief medical officer of the American Diabetes Association, said the results of the study were quite impressive. He added, “The weight loss that they got in this study was even greater than what had been seen in the previous studies of people with diabetes. The middle range of weight loss for people in this new study was 49 pounds — 49 pounds is a lot. It’s the range of weight loss that we typically think only possible through surgery.”

Doses were self-injected

For the study, weekly injections of the drug were tested by researchers in over 2,500 people without diabetes. All research participants had a BMI over 30 or a BMI over 27 and at least one health condition caused due to their excess weight. Adults in the study were required to self-inject themselves with either a placebo or tirzepatide at least once every week. People in the study maintained a healthy diet and ate in a calorie deficit. They also got at least about 150 minutes of exercise each week. 

All in all, those who participated in the research lost an average of between 15% and 20.9% of their body weight during the course of the randomized clinical trial. The research has been published in The New England Journal of Medicine. In comparison, participants who received a placebo lost between 2.4% and 3.1% of their body weight. 

Side effects

Some of the most widely reported side effects were diarrhea, nausea, and constipation. Due to adverse reactions, between 2.6% and 7.1% of the research participants had to discontinue their treatment.

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