The Weight is over
A new weight loss drug has been approved by eli-lilly that promises to be the most effective medication yet. How is Zepbound, the weekly injectable drug that’s expected to be available shortly after Thanksgiving, different from other weight loss medications?
Zepbound, from drugmaker Eli belongs to a new class of medications, called GLP-1 agonists, that have skyrocketed in popularity in the U.S. in recent years. Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Wegovy and Lilly’s Mounjaro are the same type of drugs.
Ozempic and Mounjaro are prescribed to help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels.
Wegovy and Zepbound are for people who don’t already have diabetes but whose excess weight puts them at risk of health complications.
In clinical trials, Zepbound helped people lose, on average, 52 pounds, nearly rivaling the weight loss results achieved with bariatric surgery, according to Dr. Christopher McGowan, a gastroenterologist who runs a weight loss clinic in Cary, North Carolina.
Ozempic and Wegovy contain semaglutide, an ingredient that can suppress appetite by mimicking a hormone that signals to the brain when a person is full.
What makes tirzepatide even more helpful is it also imitates a second hormone, called GIP, which — along with reducing appetite — may also improve how the body breaks down sugar and fat, helping to amplify the weight loss effects.
In a phase 3 clinical trial a 15-milligram dose of tirzepatide, the highest dose, led to an average weight loss of 22.5% body weight, or about 52 pounds. The participants in the study had obesity or were overweight with at least one weight-related condition.
At lower doses, patients also lost weight: At a 10 mg dosage, the average weight loss was about 21.4%, or about 48 pounds; at 5 mg, patients achieved an average weight loss of around 16%, or about 35 pounds.
In similar trials, semaglutide was shown to reduce body weight by around 15% or about 34 pounds, after 68 weeks.
How well does Zepbound work?
The active ingredient in Zepbound is tirzepatide, which mimics a hormone that helps reduce food cravings. The diabetes medication Mounjaro also contains tirzepatide.
Who is eligible to take Zepbound?
The Food and Drug Administration approved Zepbound for use by adults with a body mass index, or BMI, of at least 30 or a BMI of 27 or more if a patient also has another weight-related condition, such as high blood
pressure, heart disease or obstructive sleep apnea.
The agency said the drug should be used along with a reduced calorie diet and exercise.
Any Side Effects?
According to the FDA’s drug label, side effects include:
• Stomach pain