Watch out Ozempic, we have a new drug on the block. The FDA has fast-tracked an approval for Zepbound, also known as tirzepatide, another injection drug for chronic weight loss management.
After 12 weeks of lifestyle changes, as well as using the injection, patients have found that they have lost an additional 21% while using Eli Lily's new drug. In fact, tirzepatide has been trending on Google as a potential weight loss drug throughout 2023. Healthnews conducted research that found that "tirzepatide," is the third searched topic under the diabetes topic umbrella.
"Obesity and overweight are serious conditions that can be associated with some of the leading causes of deaths such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes," said John Sharretts, M.D., director of the Division of Diabetes, Lipid Disorders, and Obesity in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
With 70% of Americans living with obesity, health experts believe these injections can be the future of treatment. Losing just 5% to 10% of body weight can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
What is Zepbound?
Zepbound activates hormone receptors in the intestine and reduces appetite and food intake. Administered with an injection, once a week, at 5mg, 10mg, or 15mg, Zepbound should be taken along with exercise and a nutritious diet.
In a clinical trial with diabetes patients, Zepbound users saw a reduction of at least 5% weight reduction after 72 weeks of treatment. In two other trials with patients without diabetes, participants saw a reduction of 18% body weight.
The injection does come with side effects: nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal discomfort, fever, burping, hair loss, and gastroesophageal reflux disease are the list of possible concerns. In rats, Zepbound caused thyroid C-cell tumors; however, there aren't any studies that have looked at the effect on humans.
This approval comes after a woman in Australia is believed to have died after taking the weight loss drugs Ozempic and Saxenda. A recent study found that 16 million Americans who take weight loss drugs have a higher risk of bowel obstruction, stomach paralysis, and inflammation of the pancreas.
Zepbound has not been examined on patients who have a history of these complications. The FDA says that Zepbound should not be used in combination with Mounjaro or a GLP-1 receptor agonist.
For now, the new weight loss drug is predicted to be the biggest seller in weight loss injections. Only time will tell.