Eli Lily’s new weight loss drug Tirzepatide has shown better results than Wegovy in a new study.
Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly has announced the release of their new weight loss drug, Tirzepatide.
In a recent clinical trial, the drug showed promising results, with patients losing an average of 16% of their body weight.
The double-blind trial followed 938 diabetes patients over 72 weeks. Those who received Tirzepatide lost 30 pounds on average. Those who took a slighter higher dose lost 34 pounds.
This compares slightly better than Wegovy, where patients lost an average of 15% of their body weight. It’s definitely close and the two drugs are set to battle it out in a head-to-head study in 2025.
Tirzepatide sets a “new bar for weight loss and people with diabetes,” Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks said told CNBC.
Tirzepatide works even better on those who want to lose weight but don’t yet have diabetes. In a separate 2022 trial by the drug maker, obese patients without insulin issues lost nearly 23% of their body weight.
That means way to think about this new weight loss drug Tirzepatide is as a preventative measure against serious health complications from obesity.
How does Eli Lily’s new weight loss drug Tirzepatide work?
Tirzepatide works by targeting a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which helps regulate blood sugar levels and appetite.
The drug is administered once a week, via injection, and is designed to be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise program.
Tirzepatide’s more famous competitor Wegovy (already available) is administered the same way. It also works by controlling the hormones that make you feel hungry.
The downside to weight loss drugs like Tirzepatide and Wegovy
There is a catch, of course.
Some patients who went off the drug reported putting the weight back on. But that only makes sense, and it could be a good thing.
Tirzepatide turns off your appetite, but not permanently, and you might not want to live without the joys of your favorite foods forever.
Rapid weight loss itself can also cause issues.
You may have heard of “Wegovy face,” where patients complain about facial sagging after use of the drug.
This isn’t likely caused directly by Wegovy, but rather an unfortunate reality of rapid weight loss, particularly for older people who have been stretching out their facial anatomy for years.
If you tend to store a lot of body fat in your cheeks and are over 35, it might make sense to consider a less aggressive approach to weight loss.
Eli Lilly plans to seek FDA approval for Tirzepatide later this year. The drug is already available for diabetes but could come on the general weight-loss market to compete with Wegovy by 2024.