People with Type 2 diabetes may put their condition ‘into remission’ with a weekly injection, according to a new trial. The study found that the new drug – tirzepatide – could be a viable and cheaper alternative to costly weight-loss surgery, which is one of the ways to help people lose a significant amount of weight and put their Type 2 diabetes into remission.
Tirzepatide combines glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists and a new similar drug called glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide, or GIP. GLP-1 receptor agonists are typically prescribed alongside other diabetes medications, such as metformin, which help to curb the appetite, stimulating the body to use up glucose in the blood, and lowering the amount of sugar digested and absorbed from food. Adding the second active ingredient – GIP – appears to make tirzepatide more effective.
The trial’s results were announced at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). 1,879 patients were given self-injector pens to take either a dose of tirzepatide or semaglutide (another type of GLP-1 receptor agonist) once a week for up to 10 months. Tirzepatide was more effective, giving greater weight loss and better blood glucose control even at low doses.