Retatrutide, a medication used to treat obesity focuses on three hormones that play a role, in regulating appetite. As of August 2023, Retatrutide is currently being tested as a treatment for obesity. It was developed by the company Eli Lilly and Company. The medication works by activating three hormone receptors; GLP 1, GIP, and GCGR.
What makes Retatrutide unique among weight loss medications are its standout features. In phase two trials it has demonstrated results with weight loss of, up to 24% over an 11-month period. However, it is important to consider that these effects may only be temporary and the actual benefits of this medication could potentially surpass expectations.
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Weight loss medications are in demand as pharmaceutical companies have made advancements in helping individuals shed their body weight resulting in a substantial drop in pounds. While Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus all products of Novo Nordisk have been dominating the market, recently Eli Lilly also has its lineup of obesity treatments.
Recent data disclosed by the company indicate that its products could offer doctors and patients a range of options for managing this condition. This includes the availability of pill-based treatments that may be more accessible compared to the injectable medications used for weight loss.
One such medication under development is Retatrutide which acts as an inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP 1) and glucagon receptor agonist specifically designed to combat obesity.
Obesity is a condition that occurs when someone’s weight exceeds the range of their height. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) categorizes individuals with a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 29.9 as overweight while those with a BMI of 30 or higher are classified as obese.
Retatrutide, a medication used in treating obesity targets three hormones involved in regulating hunger.
- GIP (inhibitory peptide or glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) is an incretin hormone released by the gut after meals. It stimulates the pancreas’s beta cells to produce insulin.
- GLP 1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) another hormone also prompts the beta cells to secrete insulin.
- Glucagon, produced by the pancreas alpha cells plays a role in liver glucose production and helps maintain blood sugar levels.
Due to its action, on all three receptors, this drug has earned the nickname ‘triple G.’
The results of a Phase 2 trial, which were published in The New England Journal of Medicine reveal that Retatrutide has shown weight reduction effects in adults, with obesity and overweight. Over a period of 24 weeks, Retatrutide led to a weight loss of up to 17.5%. Furthermore, at 48 weeks it demonstrated a weight reduction of up to 24.2%. Retatrutide is administered through injections on a daily basis.
Additionally, research is currently being conducted on the use of Retatrutide for treating type 2 diabetes mellitus. Eli Lillys’ experimental drug shows potential for delivering weight loss benefits compared to current available medications on the market.
In a stage clinical trial presented at the American Diabetes Association’s annual meeting in San Diego, it was reported that participants who took the experimental drug, Retatrutide experienced an average body weight loss equivalent to approximately 58 pounds or around 24% reduction from their initial weight. These findings have also been published simultaneously in The New England Journal of Medicine.
If the results are confirmed in a larger scale phase 3 trial, which is expected to continue until 2025 Retatrutide could surpass another weight loss drug developed by Lilly called Tirzepatide.
Experts estimated this year that Tirzepatide could potentially become the selling drug of all time. Currently approved for Type 2 diabetes, under the name Mounjaro, FDA approval for its use in weight loss is anticipated either this year or early next year.
Dr. Shauna Levy, an obesity medicine specialist and the medical director of Tulane Bariatric Center in New Orleans described the findings as “astonishing.”
Could Retatrutide be considered an alternative to Tirzepatide?
Retatrutide works by stimulating lipolysis (the breakdown of cells). Reducing hunger cravings. Clinical trials have demonstrated that patients treated with Retatrutide experienced weight loss compared to those who received a placebo. Moreover, individuals taking Retatrutide also saw improvements, in blood pressure levels, total cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels when compared to the placebo group.
In general, both Tirzepatide and Retatrutide show promise, as treatments for individuals looking to lose weight without making changes to their lifestyle. However, it’s crucial to consult with your doctor before starting any medication regimen to determine which one is most suitable for your needs.
So, what sets Tirzepatide and Retatrutide apart?
The main distinction lies in their composition. Tirzepatide consists of three components; liraglutide (a glucagon-like peptide 1 agonist) an analogue of oxyntomodulin and a GLP 2 analogue. On the other hand, Retatrutide contains one active component—exenatide—which is another GLP 1 that is overexpressed in the pancreas.
Both drugs are utilized to manage type 2 diabetes by enhancing insulin production and reducing blood glucose levels. However, studies have shown that Retatrutide has an effect on appetite reduction compared to Tirzepatidue alone. This is due to its impact on hormones involved in hunger and satiety. As a result, it can be integrated into weight management strategies for individuals, with diabetes who are overweight or obese.
What advantages does Tirzepatide offer?
Tirzepatide, a treatment, for type 2 diabetes has shown to be more effective than Retatrutide in improving control and A1C levels. Clinical trials have demonstrated that Tirzepatide leads to reductions in A1C levels at 12 weeks compared to Retatrutide (2.3% vs 1.8%) resulting in improved health for patients.
Furthermore, the superior effect of tirzepatide on A1C levels was maintained for up to 52 weeks compared to the comparator drug. This can have an impact on the quality of life of individuals with diabetes by reducing the risk of long-term complications such as heart and kidney disease associated with glucose control.
Additionally, studies suggest that tirzepatide may also help in weight loss lowering blood pressure, and reducing risk factors for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events. Ultimately tirzepatide provides an alternative treatment option, for type 2 diabetes that improves control and A1C levels leading to overall health outcomes and quality of life.
Tirzepatide presents advantages for individuals who are, at risk of experiencing cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes. A study conducted in 2019 and published in The Lancet revealed that people taking Tirzepatide had a chance of encountering major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) when compared to those using Retatrutide.
In fact, there was a 35% decrease in MACE among users whereas Retatrutide exhibited no substantial variation in its impact on cardiovascular risks.
Throughout the study duration, researchers observed that patients on Tirzepatide experienced instances of artery disease, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and stroke compared to those using Retatrutide. Moreover, participants who took Tirzepatide reported blood sugar control and less weight gain than those on Retatrutide.
It is important to note that individuals taking Tirzepatide not only saw protection against MACE but also witnessed a reduction in levels (a marker for long-term diabetes damage) and body fat percentage compared to their initial levels. Ultimately these findings indicate the potential of Tirzepatide, in mitigating events related to type 2 diabetes while offering benefits related to body composition.
Is Retatrutide available?
As of August 2023, Retatrutide is not FDA Approved and is not available. Retatrutide is currently being tested as a treatment for obesity. This medication was developed by Eli Lilly and Company. It functions by activating three hormone receptors GLP 1 GIP and GCGR.
Retatrutide stands out among weight loss medications due to its features. In phase two trials it has demonstrated promising results with a weight loss of up to 24%, over an 11-month period. However, it is crucial to bear in mind that these effects may only be temporary and the actual benefits of this medication could potentially surpass expectations.
Compared to Retatrutide, Tirzepatide offers advantages in terms of body weight. Studies have revealed that Tirzepatide leads to long-term reductions, in body weight compared to Retatrutide. This can be attributed to its ability to activate the GLP 1 receptor and promote a feeling of fullness. Furthermore, research has shown that Tirzepatide is more effective than Retatrutide in reducing fat, which can lower the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other obesity-related conditions.
Additionally, Tirzepatide demonstrates efficacy, in reducing blood sugar levels compared to Retatrutide. These combined effects have the potential to improve health outcomes associated with obesity and metabolic dysfunction.
One of the benefits of taking Tirzepatide is that it can boost energy levels by improving how the body processes glucose. Tirzepatide as a GLP1 receptor agonist stimulates the release of insulin in response, to blood sugar levels. With increased insulin production and better glucose metabolism, the body can effectively use glucose for fuel resulting in heightened energy levels.
Additionally, Tirzepatide may also help with weight management by reducing appetite and food cravings.
Tirzepatide offers advantages beyond energy enhancement. It has been shown to contribute to health by lowering LDL cholesterol levels and increasing HDL cholesterol levels. Furthermore, it reduces inflammation markers such as C reactive protein (CRP).
In terms of clarity, improved availability of glucose can potentially enhance functioning. Moreover, Tirzepatide may aid in stabilizing mood by regulating hormones, like serotonin and dopamine that are implicated in emotions and mental well-being.
Tirzepatide offers a range of appealing benefits, for individuals with type 2 diabetes. Not only does it help manage blood sugar levels, but it also improves energy levels by acting as a GLP1 receptor agonist. Additionally, it has been found to enhance health by reducing inflammation markers and cholesterol levels. Furthermore, it aids in clarity and stabilizes moods.
Advantages of Retatrutide
Retatrutide is an acting medication specifically designed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this purpose. The benefits of Retatrutide are plentiful making it an attractive choice among diabetes medications.
One notable advantage is that Retatrutide works rapidly after administration with effects within 24 hours. This sets it apart from acting injectables like Tirzepatide which may take several weeks before any significant impact on blood sugar levels is observed.
Moreover, studies have demonstrated that Retatrutide effectively reduces A1C levels when combined with exercise changes in individuals, with type 2 diabetes. Clinical trials have also shown that Retatrutide helps decrease fasting glucose levels and improves control compared to a placebo.
In cases where people who didn’t see any improvement, from oral diabetes drugs have achieved outcomes with Retatrutide therapy. Additionally, one major benefit of Retatrutide is its simplicity in administration. One injection per week is needed, unlike diabetes treatments that require multiple daily injections. This simplifies diabetes management. Promotes compliance with the treatment plan, in the long run.
When it comes to managing type 2 diabetes two medications called Retatrutide and Tirzepatide have roles. Although both medications target the receptors to control blood glucose levels there are notable differences that may make one more suitable, for certain patients than the other.
In terms of effectiveness, Retatrutide has shown a reduction in levels by 1.9 2.4% while Tirzepatide lowers levels by 1.5 2%. These medications also share side effects like nausea and headaches. However, some individuals may experience side effects with Retatrutide due, to its dosage requirements compared to Tirzepatide.
When it comes to safety Retarutide is generally well tolerated at recommended doses. Does not pose the risk of hypoglycemia or weight gain, like diabetes treatments. On the contrary, Tirzepatide carries a likelihood of injection site reactions due to its size. Additionally, excessive doses of Tirzepatide can lead to hypoglycemia and weight gain.
In summary, both Retarutide and Tirzepatide are options for managing type 2 diabetes. However, one may be more suitable for patients depending on their needs. Retarutide offers efficacy with side effects while still being safe when used as recommended.
Laura Marchese MS, RD, LD