(CNN) — Even a single weekly dose of a drug recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat type 2 diabetes can help adults without diabetes lose weight, a new study has found.
Tiragepatide, which is sold under the brand name Monjaro, was studied in people without diabetes at three doses: 5, 10 and 15 mg. Participants who were obese or overweight and took the 5 mg dose lost an average of 16 kg, those taking the 10 mg dose lost an average of 22 kg and those taking the 15 mg dose lost an average of 23.6 kg lost weight
“About 40% of people lost a quarter of their body weight,” Dr. Ania Jastreboff, co-director of the Yale Center for Weight Management, said at the media briefing.
“The data were very impressive,” said Dr. Robert Gabbe, chief medical officer of the American Diabetes Association, who spoke to CNN from the ADA’s 82nd Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, where the study results were presented.
“The amount of weight they lost in this study was even greater than that seen in previous studies of people with diabetes,” said Gabbe, who was not involved in the study.
“The average weight loss of people in this new study was 49 pounds, which is very high,” he said. “This is the range of weight loss that we typically consider only possible through surgery.”
Overall, people without diabetes lost an average of 15% to 20.9% of their initial body weight during the 72-week double-blind randomized clinical trial published Saturday in The New England Journal of Medicine. Participants who received a placebo lost between 2.4% and 3.1% of their body weight on average.
Gabbe said that by comparison, studies in people with diabetes found they lost an average of 15% of their initial body weight.
“This is not an unusual observation,” he said. “The effects of the above weight-loss drugs are less effective in people with diabetes, and honestly, we don’t know exactly why.”
However, tirazeptide’s effects in people with diabetes remain “profound,” Gabbe said, “providing much more than the other tools we have.”
Diabetes drug was administered in a self-injectable dose
For the new study, weekly injections of tirazeptide were tested in more than 2,500 people without diabetes who had a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 or who had a BMI greater than 27 and at least one diabetes-related health condition. There was a problem. , or conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease. A measurement of a person’s height-to-weight ratio, a BMI of 25 or higher is considered overweight as an adult.
At the start of the study, the participants had an average weight of 105 kg and an average BMI of 38.
The adults in the study injected themselves once a week with either tirgepatide or a placebo, using “a small pen-like device with a tiny needle,” Gabbe said. “The prick with that needle is less painful than, for example, people who prick their fingers to test blood sugar.”
Those in the study also received counseling sessions to help them stick to a healthy diet with a daily deficit of 500 calories, as well as at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. While this certainly helped, it doesn’t explain the magnitude of the weight loss seen in the study, Gabbe said.
“The type of weight loss that occurs when people exercise and alter their caloric intake is on the order of 5% to 7%,” he said. “This study showed a greater depth of weight loss than what we would imagine with lifestyle changes.”
The most common side effects reported were nausea, diarrhea, and constipation. Between 2.6% and 7.1% of participants discontinued treatment due to adverse events.
Monjaro contains a boxed warning about thyroid tumors and should not be used by people who have a family history of certain thyroid conditions.
“Obesity should be treated like any other chronic disease, with safe and effective approaches that target the underlying[causes]of the disease … and these results underscore that,” said Jastreboff of the Center for Yale Weight. do that tirzapetide can do that.” Management in a press release from the American Diabetes Association.
“These results are an important step in the potential expansion of effective therapeutic options for people with obesity.”