Published on November 9, 2023, 12:36 am
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new weight-loss drug, Zepbound, developed by Eli Lilly. Zepbound is a version of the popular diabetes treatment Mounjaro, which has been found to help dieters lose significant amounts of weight in testing.
Zepbound, also known as tirzepatide, has shown promising results in clinical trials, with participants losing as much as 40 to 60 pounds. It is a weekly injectable drug that targets individuals who are considered obese or overweight with related health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
To achieve the best results with Zepbound, the FDA recommends pairing the drug with a reduced-calorie diet and regular exercise. This approach maximizes the effectiveness of the medication.
The mechanisms of action for Zepbound are similar to those of other weight-loss drugs on the market. It mimics hormones that regulate appetite and fullness after eating. Specifically, it imitates glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP).
The FDA’s approval for Zepbound was based on two large studies involving over 2,500 participants who received different strengths of the drug and nearly 1,000 people who received placebo injections over a period of 16 months. The results showed that participants without diabetes who received the highest dose lost about 18 percent of their weight compared to placebo.
In another study combining intensive diet and exercise with Zepbound, individuals were able to lose up to a quarter of their body weight or approximately 60 pounds.
Compared to Wegovy, another FDA-approved weight-loss medication introduced in 2021 by Novo Nordisk, Zepbound appears to have greater efficacy in promoting weight loss. Wegovy helped people lose about 15 percent of their body weight or around 34 pounds according to study results.
However, despite the approval of Zepbound, there are concerns about affordability and accessibility for patients. The drug’s list price is expected to be around $1,000 per month, which may make it difficult for many individuals to access without insurance coverage. Additionally, some health plans exclude coverage for obesity care.
Experts in the field of obesity treatment and medicine have praised the FDA’s approval of Zepbound but express concern about barriers to access. They note that patients should inquire with their insurance providers about coverage options to make the medication more affordable.
Potential side effects of Zepbound include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and other gastrointestinal issues. Approximately 10 percent of participants in a recent trial experienced these side effects and dropped out of the study. Experts suggest close monitoring and consultation with healthcare professionals if any concerns arise.
Overall, the approval of Zepbound offers new hope for individuals struggling with weight loss. With its promising results in clinical trials, it has been touted as one of the most effective weight-loss drugs ever approved for obesity treatment. As accessibility and availability improve, it may become a valuable tool in helping people achieve their weight loss goals.
Please note that this article does not constitute medical advice. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any weight-loss medication or treatment plan.