New research suggests that an obesity drug may lower blood pressure 

In a recent study, the drug tirzepatide, marketed as Zepbound for obesity and Mounjaro for diabetes, showed a significant reduction in blood pressure among adults who were overweight or obese over a nine-month period. 

This research, featured in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, is part of a broader clinical trial that previously demonstrated tirzepatide’s effectiveness in inducing weight loss of up to 22%, in overweight or obese adults. 

The study, funded by Eli Lilly, the drug’s manufacturer, involved 600 adults with a body mass index of 27 or higher, excluding those with type 2 diabetes, who either had normal or controlled high blood pressure. 

Blood pressure monitoring took place before initiating treatment and again after nine months of weekly tirzepatide injections. 

Participants on 5 milligrams of weekly tirzepatide experienced an average reduction of 7.4 mmHg, those on 10 milligrams had a reduction of 10.6 mmHg, and those on 15 milligrams had an average reduction of 8.0 mmHg.

These findings played a role in the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the drug for chronic weight management in November.

Tirzepatide emulates the actions of two gut hormones. Following a rise in blood sugar post-meal, the drug prompts increased insulin production, reducing blood sugar levels. 

Additionally, it decelerates the movement of food through the stomach, leading to a prolonged feeling of fullness. Its mechanism is similar to semaglutide, the active ingredient in the weight loss drug Wegovy, and its counterpart diabetes medication, Ozempic. 

A study last summer demonstrated Wegovy’s ability to lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, or heart-related death by 20% in people with heart disease, obesity, or overweight.

However, in the latest study, it remains unclear whether the reduction in blood pressure is due to the participants’ weight loss from the broader study or the medication itself. The study did not factor in participants’ dietary intake, a potential influencing factor in the observed outcomes.

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