New drug for Type 2 diabetes could help patients with weight loss
A new drug for treating Type 2 diabetes is on the market this week. Tirzepatide is a once-a-week injection patients can take at home, and researchers are now looking into its applications for weight loss.
That trial was called "Surmount-1," and part of it was run at Yale Medicine.
Doctors say the once-a-week self-injection activates the same receptor as hormones that help keep blood sugar under control after we eat.
Dr. Ania Jastreboff is lead author of the paper published this week in New England Journal of Medicine. She says the group that got the largest dose of Tirzepatide lost 52 pounds on average over 72 weeks.
"All three doses of Tirzepatide demonstrated substantial, clinically meaningful and sustained body weight reduction,” she said.
Researchers say the drug may activate receptors in the brain that help control how much we eat.
"They feel full earlier, so they have this sense of satiety. So, they may not go back for seconds, or they may just eat less overall,” said Jastreboff.
Jastreboff says medical weight loss solutions have to come along with changes to diet and exercise.
"We don't have a medication or, whether it's a pill or a shot, that helps people eat more healthfully or move more,” she said.
Jastreboff says obesity isn't a choice, it's a chronic and increasingly treatable disease.
"We should treat obesity as we treat any other chronic disease: With effective and safe approaches which target underlying disease mechanisms,” she said.
Tirzepatide is not currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of obesity or chronic weight control.