Jul 12, 2022

New Type 2 Diabetes Medication Shows Promise For Weight Loss

In May 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of Lilly's mounjaro (tirzepatide) injection to improve blood sugar management in type 2 diabetics. 

A new drug intended to help lower blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes had an unexpected result that surprised everyone from patients and doctors to the FDA.  The patients lost weight as an added benefit. It was just in May  2022, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of Lilly's mounjaro (tirzepatide) injection to improve blood sugar management in type 2 diabetics. Clinical trials showed that this once-a-week injectable helped reduce participants' blood glucose levels by up to 2.4%. In addition, using moujaro led to weight loss in participants, and astounding 12-25 pounds. So the big question would be, if it worked in patients with diabetes, could it work in those who don’t, perhaps opening the floodgates for the tens of millions of Americans who are obese.  The answer is a…. yes. A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that participants who took mounjaro during the 72-week study lost an average of 21% of their body weight at the highest dose  WHICH IS 15 mg. Remember that obesity carries a large number of risks from heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and certain cancers, to type 2 diabetes, so a weight loss drug would have multiple benefits. 

The trial for weight loss enrolled 2,539 adults who were: obese or, overweight (27 or higher) with health complications other than diabetes

(the average BMI of the group was 38.0, with around 95% of participants having a BMI of 30 or higher) Selected randomly, participants were either given a weekly placebo or given weekly injections of tirzepatide in 5 mg, 10 mg, or 15mg doses. At the highest dose of tirzepatide (15 mg), participants lost an average of 52 pounds; those who took the 10 mg dose around 49 pounds, and about 35 pounds with the 5 mg dose. How do these numbers stack up to those who took the placebo? The study reports that those who took the weekly placebo lost an average of 3% of their body weight.  All in all, an astonishing result. So can you get it right now for weight loss? Currently, mounjaro is only approved in the United States as a treatment option for those with type 2 diabetes.  While many experts compare tirzepatide's remarkable results to bariatric surgery, only time will tell if it will become an official competitor in the lineup of FDA-approved weight loss medications. At CareCard, our mission is to help make your prescription payments more affordable, saving members up to 85% on prescription drugs and medications. Learn how CareCard can help make your medication payments more manageable.

Clinical trials showed that this once-a-week injectable helped reduce participants' blood glucose levels by up to 2.4%. In addition, using moujaro led to weight loss in participants, between 12-25 pounds. 

However, this medication is gaining more recognition as a possible key component in significant loss of weight in overweight or obese people without type 2 diabetes. A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that participants who took tirzepatide during the 72-week study lost an average of 21% of their body weight at the highest dose (15 mg). 

Overweight vs. obese 

People with a body weight higher than what is healthy for their height are often considered overweight or obese. Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to determine if someone is one or the other. 

  • Overweight- when BMI is between 25.0 to less than 30.0

  • Obesity- when BMI is 30.0 or higher

Those considered overweight or obese are at a higher risk of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, certain cancers, and type 2 diabetes

What the tirzepatide for weight loss study found

The trial for weight loss enrolled 2,539 adults who were:

(the average BMI of the group was 38.0, with around 95% of participants having a BMI of 30 or higher)

Selected randomly, participants were either given a weekly placebo or given weekly injections of tirzepatide in 5 mg, 10 mg, or 15mg doses. 

At the highest dose of tirzepatide (15 mg), participants lost an average of 52 pounds; those who took the 10 mg dose around 49 pounds, and about 35 pounds with the 5 mg dose. 

How do these numbers stack up to those who took the placebo? The study reports that those who took the weekly placebo lost an average of 3% of their body weight. 

What to know about tirzepatide

During clinical studies, most side effects included mild to moderate gastrointestinal problems like nausea, indigestion, stomach pain, diarrhea, and constipation. 

However, the drug can have severe side effects, like:

  • gallbladder issues

  • changes in vision

  • low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

  • kidney failure

  • serious stomach problems

  • allergic reaction

Tirezepatide may also cause thyroid tumors and inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).

The future of tirzepatide and weight loss

Currently, tirzepatide is only approved in the United States as a treatment option for those with type 2 diabetes. 

While many experts compare tirzepatide's remarkable results to bariatric surgery, only time will tell if it will become an official competitor in the lineup of FDA-approved weight loss medications

At CareCard, our mission is to help make your prescription payments more affordable, saving members up to 85% on prescription drugs and medications. Learn how CareCard can help make your medication payments more manageable.

Search for a prescription discounts now!

Advanced saving tips, delivered to your inbox

Don't miss out on bonus savings!