Another drug designed to help the obese and diabetics lose weight has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro, a Type 2 diabetes drug, was approved for those with a body-mass index of over 30 and will be sold under the name Zepbound. The New York Times reported that Mounjaro, which was approved for diabetes in May 2022, has been a popular drug for weight loss and will follow other popular drugs to the market like Ozempic (for diabetes) and Wegovy (for obesity).
Dr. Scott Hagan, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Washington, told the paper that the drug is most likely the most effective treatment to fight obesity other than surgery. Patients lose weight because the drug contains semaglutide, which slows the digestion in the stomach, thus, making patients feel fuller, longer.
Zepbound was shown in clinical trials to yield more than 20 percent average weight loss when taken in higher doses over a 72-week period, CNN reported.
These drugs activate both the glucagon and GLP-1 receptors, semaglutide, a GLP-1/glucagon dual receptor agonist, may both inhibit appetite and improve energy expenditure—leading to weight loss.
TRENDPOST: Again, rather than recommending that people eat well and get in shape, the bottom line is that taking these high profit drugs that cost more than a thousand dollars a month to swallow, come with significant risks. Healthline.com reports that Ozempic and Wegovy have a host of side effects that include:
● Abdominal pain
● Low blood sugar
● Gallbladder disease or gallstones
● Worsening of diabetes-related retina disease (diabetic retinopathy)
● Allergic reaction
And as for Zepbound, Drugs.com notes the health risks: side effects and high risks:
“The most common Zepbound side effects include abdominal pain, burping, constipation, diarrhea, dyspepsia, fatigue, gastroesophageal reflux disease, hair loss, hypersensitivity reactions, injection site reactions, nausea, and vomiting which affects 5% or more patients.
Stop using this medicine and get emergency medical help if you have: signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; feeling light-headed; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat; or pancreatitis with symptoms of severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting.
Call your doctor at once if you have: severe stomach problems; eye side effects or vision changes, including blurry vision or blurred vision; signs of a thyroid tumor symptoms may include swelling or a lump in your neck, trouble swallowing, a hoarse voice, or if you feel short of breath; gallbladder problem with symptoms including chalky-colored stools, stomach pain after eating, nausea, heartburn, bloating, and severe upper stomach pain that may spread to your back; low blood sugar symptoms may include headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, confusion, irritability, dizziness, fast heart rate, or feeling jittery; or kidney problems with little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath.
This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Call your doctor immediately if you have thyroid tumor symptoms, such as a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath.
In studies with rats, tirzepatide and medicines that work in the same way caused thyroid tumors, including thyroid cancer. It is not known whether Zepbound will cause thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in people.
You should not use this medicine if you or your family have a history of a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or if you have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain tests to check your body’s response to this medicine.
Before using this medicine
You should not use Zepbound if you: are allergic to the tirzepatide or any ingredients contained in this medicine; see ingredients at the bottom of this page.
have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (a type of thyroid cancer); or
multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (tumors in your glands).
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
a severe stomach problem such as problems with digesting food or slowed emptying of your stomach (gastroparesis); or
diabetic retinopathy (a diabetes complication that affects the eyes).”
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively on the rise of these weight loss drugs that are considered a quick fix for obesity. Drug companies see a near-unlimited earnings bonanza because obesity is so prevalent around the world. Individuals who take the drug also need to continue or regain the weight. (See “FDA UPDATES WARNING LABEL FOR OZEMPIC DUE TO LIFE-THREATENING INTESTINAL BLOCKAGE RISK” 3 Oct 2023, “DRUG COMPANIES BEHIND MIRACLE WEIGHT-LOSS DRUGS HIT WITH LAWSUITS OVER STOMACH PARALYSIS” 8 Aug 2023, “OPERATION WARP SPEED: OBESITY ADDITION” 27 Jun 2023, “JENNY CRAIG TO CLOSE ITS DOORS, CAN’T COMPETE WITH NEW WEIGHT-LOSS DRUGS” 9 May 2023, and “WEIGHT-LOSS SURGERY FOR CHILDREN IN U.S. JUMPS…WHO CARES ABOUT DIET?” 25 Apr 2023.)
The popularity of these weight-loss drugs have led to windfall profits at these drug companies, including Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, which has said it is having a hard time keeping up with demand.
The Guardian wrote that semaglutide’s effects on obesity have “made it into a rare medicine that has gained household recognition, with people ranging from billionaire Elon Musk to former prime minister Boris Johnson among those who have said they have taken the drug.”
Eli Lilly hopes the drug will become available by the end of the year and cost patients about $1,060 a month. There is hope inside the company that the FDA approval will increase pressure on commercial health insurance companies to cover the drug.
The company, when considering about 70 percent of Americans are either obese or overweight, has become the largest pharmaceutical by market capitalization at $560 billion.
It is worth noting that the FDA announced in October that it would update the warning label on Ozempic due to the risk of intestinal blockage while on the drug.
The agency said the drug, a GLP-1 agonist medication, could cause ileus, a bowel obstruction that could be life-threatening. The drug’s previous label warned that the side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.
The decision by the FDA to add the risk of ileus to the label was initiated after a lawsuit filed in Louisiana by a woman who said she was “severely injured” after using Mounjaro and Ozempic.