A newly approved medication for diabetes has shown promise with its ability to help people lose weight on top of treating the medical condition.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved Mounjaro (tirzepatide) for the treatment of adults suffering type 2 diabetes. The drug got the approval after showing its efficiency in improving blood sugar in clinical studies.
“Given the challenges many patients experience in achieving their target blood sugar goals, today’s approval of Mounjaro is an important advance in the treatment of type 2 diabetes,” Patrick Archdeacon, M.D., the associate director of the Division of Diabetes, Lipid Disorders, and Obesity in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement last month.
Interestingly, Mounjaro displayed potential in helping overweight people shed extra pounds in a new study. The medication was given to study participants in three dosages, and each showed promising effects on weight loss.
For obese participants who took a 5-milligram preparation of tirzepatide, they lost an average of 35 pounds or 16 kilos. Those given the 10-milligram dose lost an average of 49 pounds or 22 kilos, while the participants who got the 15-milligram dose lost an average of 52 pounds or 23.6 kilos.
Throughout the 72-week double-blinded, randomized clinical trial, people with diabetes lost an average of 15% to 20.9% of their starting body weight. On the contrary, the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that participants who got a placebo only lost between 2.4% and 3.1% of their body weight.
Dr. Ania Jastreboff, a co-author of the study and co-director of the Yale Center for Weight Management, said in a media briefing that “almost 40%” of the participants lost “a quarter of their body weight” due to the trial.
American Diabetes Association chief medical officer Dr. Robert Gabbay, who was not part of the study, told CNN that the findings were “quite impressive.”
“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,” Gabbay added.
However, the FDA noted that Mounjaro could cause several side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, abdominal pain, decreased appetite and upper abdominal discomfort.
The drug was also found to cause thyroid C-cell tumors in rats. But it was not clear if the medication could also cause similar tumors in humans.