The Allure of Tirzepatide

As previously mentioned, the latest new anti-obesity wonder drug, tirzepatide, is raising hopes everywhere on behalf of morbidly obese individuals (except those with type 1 diabetes) who may benefit from it. Some say it looks like a real game-changer.

So far, it has received the okay from the Food and Drug Administration to treat type 2 diabetes, but not yet for weight loss, which remains an “off-label” use. The application for weight-loss approval has allegedly been “fast-tracked.” One aspect that remains to be determined is the matter of “maintenance dose versus treatment dose.” Reportedly, this substance provides a “significant and persistent decrease in body composition.” Journalist Miguel Brown says,

[I]t seems to stimulate weight control by imitating the actions of endogenous enzymes known as incretins. This endocrine system regulates biochemical aspects relating to digestive as well as lowering glucose levels upon eating.

Testing was performed on more than 2,500 individuals who were given various dosages. Those who received what is agreed to be the maximum safe and effective dose lost 22.5 % of their total body mass. Other dosage protocols led to the subjects losing on average 21.4% (medium dose) and 16% (low dose). Tirzepatide is touted as the first experimental treatment that in its Phase 3 of testing was able to yield more than a 20% reduction in weight.

Those patients were obese, but not suffering from diabetes. From an article published mere days ago, we learn that in a subsequent trial, whose subjects all had diabetes,

Patients who took Eli Lilly’s weight loss drug tirzepatide lost up to 34 pounds, or 16% of their body weight, the company said in clinical trial results.

This report added that the control group of patients, who received only placebo injections, nevertheless lost an average of seven pounds, which would be interesting fodder for an additional study. However, approaching the matter from a different statistical angle,

About 86% of patients in the trial who took tirzepatide lost at least 5% of their body weight, compared with about 30% in the placebo group.

At any rate, the numbers are almost as good as those attributed to gastric bypass surgery, and possibly better than the results obtained with the popular pharmaceutical rival, semaglutide. The head of the National Center for Weight and Wellness, Dr. Scott Kahan, was quoted as saying that tirzepatide and its brothers could “herald a radical shift in metabolic syndrome therapy.”

Overall, the trial results are said by the chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association, Dr. Robert Gabbay, to be “substantial and highly clinically meaningful.” Meanwhile, a new study (slated to wind up in 2025) has been registered, which will try out both tirzepatide and semaglutide on obese patients who are afflicted with various comorbidities.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Newly Approved Diabetes Drug has Record-Breaking Weight Loss Effect,”, 06/07/22
Source: “Eli Lilly says obesity drug tirzepatide resulted in weight loss of up to 34 pounds,”, 04/27/23
Image by Mark Licht/CC BY 2.0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FAQs and Media Requests: Click here…

Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

Profiles: Kids Struggling with Obesity top bottom

The Book

OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

Food & Health Resources