Study Shows Tirzepatide Lowers Weight Across All Groups With Obesity

Weight loss with tirzepatide was fairly consistent across different body mass index (BMI) ranges, ages, and number of obesity-related comorbidities in patients with overweight/obesity without type 2 diabetes. These were the findings about tirzepatide — the dual glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist for obesity which was presented at ObesityWeek.

In May, tirzepatide (brand name is Mounjaro), a once-weekly subcutaneous injection, was approved by the FDA for blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes. In June 2022, at the American Diabetes Association annual meeting, researchers reported "unprecedented" weight loss with tirzepatide in patients without type 2 diabetes, in the phase 3 SURMOUNT-1 clinical trial.

Just last month (October 6), the FDA granted fast track status to tirzepatide to be used as a weight loss drug. Session Chair Patrick M. O'Neil, PhD commented that the results from the Surmount trial show that “regardless of BMI, regardless of age, regardless of number of obesity-related health complications, there was a clear dose-related weight loss that was pretty consistent across groups.” He also added that “the absolute levels of weight loss are higher than we've seen thus far with [anti-obesity] medications and that tirzepatide is a notch up from Semaglutide.”

The SURMOUNT-1 trial compared the efficacy and safety of tirzepatide 5, 10, and 15 mg subcutaneous once-weekly to placebo, as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. The study included 2539 adults without type 2 diabetes who had obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) or overweight (BMI ≥ 27 kg/m2) with at least one obesity-related complication (hypertension, dyslipidemia, obstructive sleep apnea, or cardiovascular disease).

At 72 weeks, patients taking 5, 10, and 15 mg/week tirzepatide lost 21.5%, 20.8%, and 22% of their initial body weight, respectively. Tirzepatide significantly lowered total body mass versus placebo regardless of age and it consistently lowered fat mass, lean mass, fat-mass-to-lean-mass ratio, and visceral fat mass.

90% of patient lost more than 5% body fat. Overall, 73% to 90% of patients receiving the 5 to 15 mg doses of tirzepatide had a 10% body weight reduction, and something that researchers didn’t expect to see was that 50% to 78% of the patients receiving the drug lost 15% or more of their body weight.  

Regardless of the number of comorbidities (hypertension, dyslipidemia, obstructive sleep apnea, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, anxiety/depression, polycystic ovary syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liverdisease, and asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.), all doses of tirzepatide resulted in a greater reduction in body weight compared with placebo. Tirzepatide at all doses resulted in significantly greater improvements in patient-reported outcomes compared with placebo.

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Benefits of Tirzepatide for Weight Loss

Based on clinical trials, patients using Tirzepatide may experience:

  • Substantial A1C reductions
  • Increased weight loss
  • Improvements in cardiometabolic measures
  • Improved triglycerides levels
  • Reduced appetite
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Improved insulin sensitivity

Conclusion

Tirzepatide had an overall safety and tolerability profile, similar to other therapies approved for the treatment of obesity. Activating the GIP(glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) receptors has a huge impact on decreasing food intake and increasing energy expenditure. This in combination with a GLP-1 receptor activator has even more significant effect on glucose optimization and body weight reduction.

Obesity should be treated like any other chronic disease—with effective and safe approaches that target underlying disease mechanisms. The various studies show that tirzepatide is accomplishing this. These results are an important step forward in expanding effective therapeutic options for people with obesity. On average 9 out of 10 individuals with obesity lost weight while taking Tirzepatide.

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