In recent months, there has been a swelling interest in using diabetes drugs to treat weight loss.
Drugs with brand names such as Ozempic and Wegovy have become so popular with Hollywood celebrities and TikTokers; it’s led to a nationwide shortage for diabetics.
But the anti-obesity drug craze is about to be rocked by another major development. The diabetes drug Mounjaro could be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for weight loss later this year, according to manufacturer Eli Lilly. The company just completed a late-stage study of the drug for weight loss and found the participants lost more than 50 pounds in nearly 17 months.
“We have not seen this degree of weight reduction,” Dr. Nadia Ahmad, Lilly’s medical director of obesity clinical development, told CBS News.
Analysts predict that Mounjaro, tirzepatide generically, could become one of the biggest-selling drugs ever. Evaluate Pharma estimates as much as $50 billion in sales by 2028. To put this in perspective, Novo Nordisk, which makes Ozempic and Wegovy, reported combined sales of about $2.4 billion in 2022.
How does Mounjaro work?
Mounjaro was approved by the FDA last year to treat Type 2 diabetes. Patients take it via injection once per week. The drug works by activating two hormones naturally produced in the body that help to reduce appetite and increase feelings of fullness. It also curbs craving signals chemically sent from the gut to the brain.
“Psychologically, you don’t want to eat,” said Matthew Barlow, a health technology executive, told CBS News. “Now I can eat two bites of a dessert and be satisfied.”
Though trials have shown the drugs to be safe, side effects include nausea and constipation.
Mounjaro isn’t cheap. A monthly dose can run as much as $1,400. But if the FDA approves it for weight loss, people prescribed the medication for obesity could more easily be covered by insurance.
There is exciting news for anyone struggling with weight loss, as a new drug could make all the difference. Recently, an experimental weight-loss drug – which affects chemicals in the brain to suppress appetite – was shown to be safe and effective in human clinical trials.
This drug works by altering levels of two chemicals in the brain which influence hunger and satiety. The hormone leptin is responsible for feeling full, while ghrelin is responsible for stimulating hunger. By changing the level of these hormones, the drug acts as a hunger suppressant, naturally making people feel full even when they have not eaten.
The drug was tested on 63 volunteers who had a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 (obese). The participants were given either the drug or a placebo for 56 days and the results showed that 47% of those taking the drug had lost more than 5% of their body weight, which is significant for those who are severely overweight.
In addition to its efficacy, the best part of the drug is that it is free of side effects. The participants in the trial reported no serious side effects and no gastrointestinal issues.
The drug works psychologically, as gaining control over hunger is often the biggest challenge for anyone trying to lose weight. With this drug, the cravings to eat are greatly diminished, so managing your diet will become much easier.
In conclusion, this new drug could be a game-changer for those hoping to shed some pounds as it greatly reduces hunger and cravings, while its potential side effects are minimal. It could provide a safe and effective way to achieve a healthy weight, without having to deal with the psychological struggle of controlling your appetite.