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Mounjaro Helped Dieters Shed a Quarter of Their Body Weights: Study Finds

Obesity has become a worldwide challenge, leading to severe health conditions like heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and certain cancers. In the United States, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reveals that more than 40% of adults and almost 20% of children are considered obese. To combat this epidemic, various weight loss medications, such as Mounjaro and Ozempic, are prescribed alongside strict diets and exercise regimens, especially for individuals struggling with diabetes or obesity.

Recent studies conducted by a pharmaceutical company, Elly Lilly, the manufacturer of the drug (Mounjaro), have shed light on the effectiveness of these medications. One recent study highlights the success of a drug used in diabetes treatment, Mounjaro, in helping dieters shed a significant portion of their body weight —a quarter of total body weight. It’s a remarkable achievement and can change the whole scenario when it comes to treating obesity. In this blog, we’ll discuss the details of this study and learn how Mounjaro works. In addition to this, we’ll examine the results and see what experts have to say about this study. Let’s get started!

Study Design and Methodology

The diabetes medication Mounjaro has shown promising results in a recent study, where individuals with obesity or who are overweight managed to lose at least 25% of their body weight, which equates to an average of 60 pounds. This significant weight loss was achieved when the medication was combined with a rigorous diet and exercise regimen. 

In comparison, according to a study published in the journal Nature Medicine, another group that followed a similar diet and exercise routine but received placebo injections saw initial weight loss but later experienced some weight regain. Dr. Thomas Wadden, an obesity researcher and psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania who led the study, explained, “The study suggests that losing weight before starting the medication can lead to even greater weight loss afterward.” 

The findings, which were also shared at a medical conference on Sunday, highlight that Mounjaro, a drug developed by Eli Lilly as mentioned above, could be one of the most effective treatments for obesity ever seen, according to experts in the field. Dr. Caroline Apovian, an obesity specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, commented on the study’s findings, stating, “No matter how you look at it, it’s a significant portion of your total body weight.” (Dr. Apovian was not directly involved in the research). 

How Does Mounjaro Work?

The medication tirzepatide, marketed as Mounjaro, received approval in the United States in May 2022 for treating diabetes. It has also been used “off-label” to address obesity, contributing to the high demand for diabetes and weight-loss medications like Ozempic and Wegovy from Novo Nordisk. 

Tirzepatide (also an active ingredient of Mounjaro) works by targeting two hormones that activate after eating to regulate appetite and the sense of fullness, facilitating communication between the gut and the brain. In contrast, semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic and Wegovy, targets only one of these hormones. These drugs come with some important safety information that should be followed strictly.

Study Participants and Weight Loss Outcomes

In this new study, we’re talking about, funded by Eli Lilly, around 800 individuals who were either obese or overweight with a related health issue but not diabetic participated. Initially, the average weight of the participants was around 241 pounds (109.5 kilograms), and their average body mass index (BMI)—a key indicator of obesity—stood at approximately 38.

After an initial three-month period of intensive diet and exercise, over 200 participants dropped out of the trial for various reasons, including insufficient weight loss. The remaining 600 or so participants were then divided into two groups: one receiving weekly injections of the drug tirzepatide and the other receiving a placebo for a duration of approximately 16 months. Out of these, nearly 500 individuals completed the study successfully. Now, it’s time for the most awaited part of this blog —the results. Let’s see them without further waiting!

High Success Rates with Mounjaro

During the initial phase of diet and exercise, both groups experienced a weight loss of approximately 7%, which is roughly 17 pounds (8 kilograms). However, those who were given the medication continued to lose an additional 18.4% of their starting body weight, averaging about 44 pounds (20 kilograms) more. In contrast, participants who received placebo injections saw a slight weight gain, about 2.5% of their initial weight or 6 pounds (2.7 kilograms).

Overall, in the trial, an impressive 88% of participants who took tirzepatide experienced a weight loss of 5% or more of their body weight, in stark contrast to nearly 17% of those who received a placebo. Even more remarkable, almost 29% of tirzepatide users shed at least a quarter of their body weight, while just over 1% of placebo recipients achieved this feat. These results not only surpass those of semaglutide but are also comparable to the outcomes of bariatric surgery. Dr. Caroline Apovian likened the effects of tirzepatide to performing a “medical gastric bypass.”

Side Effects and Safety Profile

We can not overlook the fact that any medication, even highly effective ones, can have some side effects. In the case of Mounajro, possible side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, and constipation were reported more frequently in individuals taking the medication compared to those on a placebo. These side effects were generally mild to moderate and often occurred as the Mounjaro dosing increased. Notably, over 10% of participants taking the medication chose to discontinue the study due to these side effects, compared to around 2% of those taking the placebo.

Future Prospects: What’s Next for Mounjaro

Eli Lilly is set to release another study soon, which they claim also demonstrates significant weight loss results similar to those seen in previous research. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has fast-tracked the review process for Mounjaro as a potential obesity treatment. The drug may be marketed under a new brand name specifically for weight loss if approved. A decision from the FDA is anticipated before the year ends.

Takeaway

The recent study on Mounjaro’s effectiveness in aiding significant weight loss marks a breakthrough in obesity treatment. With results showing that participants could shed a quarter of their body weight, this medication could revolutionize the approach to tackling obesity. This condition affects a substantial portion of the population and leads to various health complications.

As we await further studies and FDA approval for its use in obesity treatment, it’s crucial for people to consult their healthcare professionals before considering Mounjaro or any weight loss medication. The journey to a healthier weight involves a combination of medication, diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes tailored to each individual’s needs. The future looks promising for Mounjaro, with the potential to offer a new lease on life for those struggling with obesity. As research continues, we can anticipate more innovative solutions to this global health challenge. 


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