New Diabetes Drug Shows Promise for Weight Loss in Obese Individuals

A new drug called tirzepatide, which is currently used to treat Type 2 diabetes, has shown promising results in aiding weight loss in obese and overweight individuals with diabetes.[0] Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of the drug, reported that in a late-stage trial involving over 900 participants, tirzepatide helped people lose up to 16% of their starting weight over roughly 17 months, an average of 34 pounds. More than 80% of people taking tirzepatide lost at least 5% of their body weight compared to about 30% of those taking a placebo. In a previous phase 3 study conducted this year, Lilly demonstrated that individuals who were overweight or obese, but did not have diabetes, experienced a reduction in up to 22.5% of their body weight while being administered tirzepatide.

Tirzepatide is part of a family of medications called GLP-1 agonists, which mimic a hormone released when we eat food.[1] In addition to boosting insulin production, they curtail liver's sugar production, suppress hunger, and decelerate the digestive system.[2] Two other GLP-1 agonists, Ozempic and Wegovy, from Novo Nordisk, are also in high demand in the US because of their weight loss effects.[1]

The trial evaluated 938 adult participants with obesity and type 2 diabetes, who received a weekly injection of tirzepatide or a placebo for 72 weeks, with two doses of tirzepatide studied: a 10-milligram dose and a 15 mg dose.[1] All participants in the tirzepatide treatment arms started the study at a dose of tirzepatide 2.5 mg once-weekly and then increased the dose in a stepwise approach at four-week intervals to their final randomized maintenance dose of 10 mg or 15 mg.[3] The results showed that those taking the highest dose achieved weight reductions of 15.7% on average of their body weight, losing up to 34.4 lbs (15.6 kg); while those taking 10 mg dose lost up to 13.4%, or 29.8 lbs (13.5 kg).[4]

The drug, tirzepatide, is being submitted for FDA approval as a weight loss medication, and Eli Lilly expects an update to the process in late 2023, according to a press release.[5]

0. “People with diabetes lost up to 34 pounds taking Eli Lilly drug, company says” KPRC Click2Houston, 28 Apr. 2023,

1. “People with diabetes lost up to 34 pounds taking Eli Lilly drug, company says” NBC News, 27 Apr. 2023,

2. “Weight loss drugs: Semaglutide, tirzepatide, liraglutide compared” Insider, 28 Apr. 2023,

3. “Lilly's tirzepatide achieved up to 15.7% weight loss in adults with obesity or overweight and type 2 diabetes in …” PR Newswire, 27 Apr. 2023,–301809033.html

4. “Trial Results Position Mounjaro for Weight Loss Drug Approval” diaTribe Foundation, 28 Apr. 2023,

5. “Eli Lilly releases more data for new obesity drug, moving toward fast-track approval” MPR News, 27 Apr. 2023,

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