Type 2 diabetes 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.
More than 30 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, but despite the availability of many medications to treat diabetes, only around half of US adults with type 2 diabetes achieve target hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c; a measure of blood sugar control) of less than 7%.
In a study from the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, scientists found that the latest type 2 diabetes drug tirzepatide helps patients achieve their blood sugar control and weight-loss goals faster than existing diabetes drugs.
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 type 2 diabetes by the US Food and Drug Administration in May 2022.
Previous research has shown that drug tirzepatide lowers blood sugar and supports weight loss better than other drugs for type 2 diabetes.
In the current study, researchers found that people 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 a once-daily insulin (degludec; iDeg), along with diet and exercise and oral glucose-lowering medications.
The team says tirzepatide is unique because it mimics two natural insulin-releasing and appetite-suppressing hormones in one injection.
The speed in glucose lowering and weight loss is beyond anything else available right now and it may put adults with type 2 diabetes in a better position for preventing long-term complications.
But it is important to remember that these medications should be used in addition to diet and exercise.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies about a cure for type 2 diabetes, and why insulin is more expensive for people with diabetes.
For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about bone drug that could lower risk of type 2 diabetes, and results showing eating more eggs linked to higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
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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