A previous study showed that the drug tirzepatide lowers blood sugar and supports weight loss better than other drugs for type 2 diabetes (T2D).
In a new study at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, scientists examined the time taken to reach blood glucose targets and found that tirzepatide helps patients achieve their blood sugar control and weight-loss goals faster than existing diabetes drugs.
The study found that adults treated with various doses of injectable tirzepatide (5, 10, and 15 mg) reached blood glucose targets about four weeks sooner than those taking injectable semaglutide (1 mg), and between 4 and 12 weeks sooner than those taking once-daily insulin (degludec; iDeg), along with diet and exercise and oral glucose-lowering medications.
T2D is a chronic and progressive condition in which the body does not make or use insulin normally, leading to high levels of glucose in the blood.
Tirzepatide is a single molecule that belongs to a new class of diabetes drugs that mimics two hormones, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), involved in blood sugar control and appetite suppression.
It was approved for the treatment of T2D by the US Food and Drug Administration in May 2022.
In this latest analysis comparing the time to reach HbA1c targets from the start of the study, the researchers found that patients taking tirzepatide reached HbA1c targets of less than 7% and 6.5% or less considerably faster than both semaglutide and iDeg.
The average time to achieve an HbA1c level of less than 7% was around 8 weeks for all tirzepatide doses compared to 12 weeks for both semaglutide and iDeg; and to reach 6.5% or less was 12 weeks versus about 16 weeks and 24 weeks, respectively.
Further analyses found that participants treated with tirzepatide also reached weight-loss goals significantly faster than semaglutide.
The average time to reach 5% or more weight loss was around 12 weeks on the two higher doses of tirzepatide (10 and 15 mg) compared to 24 weeks for semaglutide.
The team says even a modest weight loss of 5% of initial body weight is associated with clinically significant improvements in weight-related health issues for many individuals.
For people with type 2 diabetes to be able to achieve these improvements in health in around half the time is pretty incredible.
If you care about blood sugar, please read studies about how to control diabetes apart from blood sugar levels, and people with diabetes can eat bread without their blood sugar rising.
For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about the link between COVID-19 and diabetes, and results showing scientists find ways to treat diabetes without drugs.
The study was conducted by Dr. Adie Viljoen et al and presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting.
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