Diabetes Drug Mounjaro Could Be Game-Changer For Patients

Results of Eli Lilly and Company's second global phase 3 clinical trial named SURMOUNT-2 reveals that the drug tirzepatide, which goes by the brand name Mounjaro, could significantly improve the lives of those living with Type 2 diabetes. The research involved over 930 patients jointly diagnosed with obesity or overweight, as well as Type 2 diabetes.

"Obesity is a difficult-to-manage disease, and it's even more difficult for people living with Type 2 diabetes," said Dr. Jeff Emmick, senior vice president of product development at Eli Lilly in a public news release. While other drugs currently exist on the market to address obesity and overweight in patients with Type 2 diabetes, alternate research shows that Mounjaro may offer greater weight reduction outcomes than its existing counterpart, semaglutide, reports CBS News

In the recent trial, patients took either 10 or 15 milligrams of tirzepatide or a placebo. Those who took 10 milligrams of the drug saw an average weight reduction of nearly 30 pounds. Greater weight reduction was seen amongst patients who took the 15-milligram dose, with an average of 34.4 pounds lost. An average weight reduction of 7 pounds was observed in the placebo group.

Drug safety and side effects

Furthermore, nearly 82% of participants in the 10-milligram intervention group experienced at least a 5% reduction in body weight. This number climbed to 86.4% among those who took 15 milligrams of tirzepatide. Only 30.5% of individuals in the placebo group experienced a 5% or more body weight reduction. Across the board, the drug also produced a drop in patient hemoglobin A1C levels, as outlined in the press release.

Among the side effects reported, the majority were mild to moderate cases of adverse gastrointestinal events. Yet the researchers noted more serious side effects are possible including the development of thyroid cancer, severe allergic reactions, pancreas inflammation, kidney failure, and gallbladder issues, amongst others. However, the safety profile across all clinical trial phases has proved consistent, which led the drug manufacturer to seek FDA approval on May 13, 2022.

Intended to be used as a supplement to diet and exercise, the once-weekly injection works by regulating a patient's appetite, as well as how fat is used within the body. The drug is not designed for those with Type 1 diabetes nor for people under the age of 18.