New diabetes drug helped obese people without the disease lose incredible amounts of weight

The headline sounds like a snake oil ad, but Tirzepatide, a newly-approved drug to treat Type 2 diabetes, has been shown to help people without the disease lose dozens of pounds over just sixteen months.

"Almost 40% of individuals lost a quarter of their body weight," said Dr. Ania Jastreboff, co-director of the Yale Center for Weight Management.

According to a Yale School of Medicine report, "side effects were primarily gastrointestinal, and included nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and mainly occurred in the dose-escalation phase."

From CNN:

All in all, people without diabetes lost an average of 15% to 20.9% of their starting body weight over the course of the 72-week double-blinded, randomized clinical trial, which was published Saturday in The New England Journal of Medicine. Participants who got a placebo lost between 2.4% and 3.1% of their body weight, on average.

In comparison, studies on people with diabetes who used tirzepatide found they lost an average of 15% of their starting body weight, [American Diabetes Association chief medical office Robert] Gabbay said.

"This is a not uncommon observation," he said. "The impact of previous weight loss medications are less effective in people with diabetes, and we honestly don't know exactly why."

However, the impact of tirzepatide on people with diabetes is still "profound," Gabbay said, "providing much more than other tools that we've had."