Overweight and obese patients taking weight loss and diabetes drug tirzepatide—the generic name for Mounjaro and Zepbound—saw significant reductions in their blood pressure, according to a new study published Monday, indicating potentially another benefit of the popular drug.
Participants taking 10 milligram doses of tirzepatide had the greatest systolic blood pressure reductions (10.6 points), followed by those on 15 milligram doses (8.0 points) and participants on 5 milligram doses (7.4 points), according to the study published Monday in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.
However, the researchers aren’t sure if the drop in blood pressure was only due to tirzepatide, or if weight loss and diet change had an effect, as well.
Tirzepatide is the generic name for diabetes drug Mounjaro and weight loss drug Zepbound, which are manufactured by drugmaker Eli Lilly.
Systolic blood pressure is the first number in a blood pressure reading, and it measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats, while the second number—diastolic pressure—measures the pressure while the heart is at rest.
The study—funded by Eli Lilly—looked at 600 overweight or obese participants who took the drug for nine months and had normal blood pressure or high blood pressure that was under control, and didn’t have type 2 diabetes.
There’s a strong link between obesity and high blood pressure, and research shows obesity accounts for between 65% and 78% of cases of primary hypertension.
What To Watch For
Researchers believe additional studies on the drug’s long term effects are needed to understand its impact on cardiovascular events like stroke and heart attack, and to determine what would happen to blood pressure if patients stop taking the drug.
“Overall, these data are encouraging that novel weight loss medications are effective at reducing body weight, and they are also effective at improving many of the cardiometabolic complications of obesity including hypertension, type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia, among others,” Michael E. Hall, chair of the department of medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, said in a statement.
$3 billion. That’s how much in global revenue Eli Lilly has generated in 2023 as a result of Mounjaro.
This study is an offshoot of a broader 2022 clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which found weekly doses of tirzepatide led to weight loss in up to 22.5% of participants. Tirzepatide was only initially approved for use in type 2 diabetes mitigation in the form of Mounjaro, though many doctors prescribed it off-label for use in weight loss. However, the findings in the NEJM study ultimately led to the Food and Drug Administration approving it for weight loss in November 2023 under the brand name Zepbound. The medication is two-fold: it’s a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist—a drug used to treat diabetes and weight loss—and it’s also a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), which is a hormone that helps release insulin after eating food.
The list price of Mounjaro and other weight loss drugs reportedly increased in January. Mounjaro’s price increased by 4.5% to $1,069.08 per monthly dose, while the price of Ozempic reportedly increased by 3.5% to almost $970. Eli Lilly told Forbes it takes into account the “medicines’ efficacy and safety profile,” and overall value when increasing drug prices.
List Price Of Ozempic And Other Drugs Reportedly Rise: Here’s What That Means For Consumers (Forbes)
Diabetes Drug Mounjaro Expected To Be Approved For Weight Loss Soon: What To Know And How It Compares To Similar Drugs (Forbes)
FDA Approves Diabetes Drug Mounjaro For Weight Loss Under Brand Name Zepbound (Forbes)
Will Ozempic Craze Hit Fitness Stocks? Here’s What Analysts Predict. (Forbes)