Mujaro promises incredible weight loss

The pharmaceutical industry searched for safe and effective weight loss drugs like it was El Dorado. Decades later, after numerous failed attempts, semaglutide and tirzepatide, better known by the trade names Ozempic and Munjaro, were introduced. First of The Novo Nordisk laboratory quickly became one of the most sought-after medicines in Spain, and due to the high demand for it, many patients traveled from pharmacy to pharmacy. The second one, from the pharmaceutical company Lilly, has not yet appeared in the country. will starting July 1 and it will become a more powerful alternative than the previous one.

Like its main competitor, Munjaro is available in pharmacies as a treatment. against obesity and type 2 diabetes. And it does so in a format similar to Ozempic or Wegovy, weekly injections that can only be obtained with a prescription, under medical supervision and without government funding. Lilly’s lab has chosen to go to market before competing to enter the government’s treatment pipeline, although it is in talks with the Department of Health. And unlike NovoNordisk, which only asked for funding for diabetes patients, it will also be asked for obesity treatment, the company confirmed to ABC.

The new drug will be sold in two doses of 5 and 10 milligrams at a price from 271 euros to 358 euros per month, respectively. That’s a slightly higher price than Ozempic, whose monthly injections start at 140 euros, but it’s “competitive,” according to Jose Antonio Sacristan, Lilly’s medical director, during the drug’s presentation. He also clarified that for now Muñaro will not be sold in Spain in its 15-milligram version, the most effective dose. “We believe that the presentations that will go on sale will cover the treatment of most patients,” he said.

The highest dose of Muñaro, 15 milligrams, will not yet arrive in Spain, at least for now. José Antonio Sacristán, medical director of Lilly, this Monday during the presentation of his new drug, justified that doses of 5 and 10 mg are presented. The drug that goes on sale will cover the treatment of most patients.

Lilly prepared for strong demand and faced the same shortage problems faced by its predecessor. The production capacity of all factories has been increased threefold, and new ones have been created. Within a year, Mujaro’s arrival led to the creation of one hundred new jobs directly involved in the anti-obesity business, according to the pharmaceutical company.

“Not for cosmetic use”

If semaglutide represented a revolution in the treatment of both diseases, tirzepatide (Mundharo) represents a step forward, representatives of the participating scientific societies: the Spanish Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Obesity and Internal Medicine, said yesterday. But there is a warning: “It is not intended for cosmetic use. For those who are not obese, this medicine will not provide any benefit and may cause unwanted hormonal effects in the long term,” warned Mar Malagon, president of the Spanish Society for the Study of Obesity.

Like Ozempic, the treatment is only for people who cannot control their diabetes and excess weight with conventional medications or through lifestyle changes, improved diet, or exercise.

Why is this better?

Mujaro also reduces appetite, improves satiety, slows gastric emptying, and increases insulin production for weight loss and glucose control, just like its competitors. But it acts on two different hormonal receptors: GLP-1 and GIP, which enhances its effect and promotes tolerance to the drug. If there are patients who are resistant to semaglutide drugs, they will have a new therapeutic option.

Its mechanism of action reduces excess fat, including visceral fat, which accumulates around the waist. “This is an indicator that shows us that not only weight is lost, but also fat,” explained Javier Escalada, president of the Foundation of the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition. And it achieves this before other drugs.

Up to 23.6 kg

In people with type 2 diabetes, the results are more striking. More than 90% of diabetics achieve control and normalization of glucose levels in half of the treated cases. “We can’t talk about a cure because type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease, but we can talk about a treatment,” Escalada says.

In terms of weight, a loss of up to 22.5% was observed, which in terms of kilograms reaches 23.6 kg per year, and four out of ten treated patients managed to lose more than 25 kilograms, which corresponds to the figures achieved with bariatric intervention. The average weight loss was 12.4 kg. compared to 6.2 kg with semaglutide/ozempic, as well as lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Rebound effect and other problems

Like other similar drugs, the side effects are also similar. The main ones are stomach discomfort (nausea, diarrhea, constipation…), which usually disappears over time and improves if taken gradually, starting with the lowest dose.

It is also not without the so-called rebound effect of Ozempic, although doctors insist that this is not just a rebound effect, but a drug intended to treat chronic diseases. If you stop taking it, its “magic” will disappear.

Another bad news is that the loss of visceral fat is accompanied by a loss of muscle mass, as with other similar treatments, which must be counteracted by increasing protein intake and physical activity, experts explained. There are only three clear contraindications to its use, even if indicated by diabetes and excess weight: pregnancy, previous pancreatitis, or a family history of medullary thyroid cancer. This is a rare tumor and is not associated with the more common thyroid cancer.

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