Published on November 9, 2023, 12:34 am
A diabetes drug called Mounjaro has been given authorization by the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to help obese and overweight adults lose weight. This is good news for patients with weight-related health issues such as prediabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart problems, as they will now have access to this drug privately.
However, it still needs further approval from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in order to be made available on the NHS. Health Secretary Steve Barclay acknowledges the potential of Mounjaro to benefit thousands of people struggling with obesity and weight-related illnesses when used alongside a proper diet and physical activity routine. Tackling obesity not only improves individual health but also contributes to reducing waiting lists and saving the NHS billions of pounds.
The active ingredient in Mounjaro, called tirzepatide, works by making patients feel full and reducing hunger pangs and food cravings. Clinical trials conducted on the drug showed promising results. One trial demonstrated that patients who received the highest dosage lost a remarkable 22.5% of their body weight over a period of 72 weeks. Additionally, another trial focused specifically on patients with Type-2 diabetes revealed a weight loss of 15.7% during the same time frame.
It’s important to note that patients treated with Mounjaro experienced significant weight loss compared to those who took a placebo. As with any medication, there are potential side effects associated with Mounjaro, including nausea, diarrhea, vomiting (which usually subsides over time), constipation, and low blood sugar in diabetic patients (which is a very common occurrence).
The MHRA has emphasized that contraceptive pill efficacy might be affected in obese or overweight female patients using this drug. The agency will closely monitor the safety and effectiveness of Mounjaro going forward.
In September this year, another weight-loss jab called Wegovy was launched in the UK to combat obesity. This drug was approved for NHS use by NICE and is currently available to patients through specialist services. The introduction of Mounjaro provides an additional option for individuals seeking support in their weight loss journey.
Overall, the authorization of Mounjaro represents a significant advancement in the treatment of obesity and weight-related health problems. With further approvals and careful monitoring, this drug has the potential to make a positive impact on the lives of many individuals struggling with excessive weight.