Eli Lily's highly coveted diabetes medicine Mounjaro was shown to be more effective in helping patients who are overweight or obese lose weight when compared with Novo Nordisk's Ozempic, according to a recent study.
The study – published Monday in MedRxiv – is the latest to underscore how tirzepatide, sold under the brand names Mounjaro and most recently, Zepbound, is stronger than other weight-loss drugs on market.
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According to the results, adults taking Mounjaro were more likely to lose 5%, 10% and 15% of their body weight compared to those who were taking Ozempic, which is the brand name for semaglutide.
Those same patients also saw larger reductions in weight at the three-, six- and 12-month mark, according to the findings.
Mounjaro and Ozempic were approved by federal health officials to lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. However, given their weight loss effects, both drugs were also being used "off label" to treat obesity, especially when Wegovy was hard to come by.
Wegovy and Ozempic have the same active ingredient, semaglutide, but they have different dosages and FDA-approved intended uses. Novo Nordisk's Wegovy was approved in 2021 by the FDA for chronic weight management. At the time, it was the first drug approved since 2014 for long-term weight management, and it quickly surged in popularity.
Novo Nordisk told FOX Business that "the doses of semaglutide evaluated in this analysis have not been investigated for chronic weight management, and there are no head to head trials that have reported which evaluate Wegovy and tirzepatide."
However, prior studies have shown how powerful tirzepatide is in regard to weight loss.
In one recent study, adults who were overweight or obese and had a weight-related medical problem, not including diabetes, and took the drug at its highest dose lost an average of 48 pounds compared to the placebo, the company said. About one in three people lost over 58 pounds, or 25% of their body weight, compared to the 1.5% people lost while using the placebo.
Following the study, the FDA approved tirzepatide for the treatment of obesity. under the brand name Zepbound.
Zepbound was approved specifically for adults with obesity or those who are overweight and also deal with weight-related medical issues such as hypertension, dyslipidemia or Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Novo Nordisk said the full doses of Mounjaro for type 2 diabetes are the same as for Zepbound in obesity.