Tirzepatide: Coming Soon for Obesity Treatment
My fellow primary care nurses, have you heard about the new once-weekly subcutaneous injection for the treatment of obesity “tirzepatide”? It is not approved in Canada as of yet but patients are asking about it. We, as primary care nurses have the privilege to support our patients with evidence-based information.
We all know the prevalence of obesity in Canada and the historical treatment for obesity has been focused on lifestyle-based approaches or a combination of lifestyle and surgical intervention. However, we all are aware of the struggles we, and our patients, have with implementing these behavioral lifestyle changes.
Tirzepatide is a combination of GLP1 and GIP. The New England Journal of Medicine published an article on June 30, 2022, regarding tirzepatide. This article summarizes the outcomes of a double-blind study after 72 weeks for obese patients taking 5mg, 10mg, or 15mg weekly. One endpoint worth sharing with you is that patients had a reduction in body weight between 5% - 30% compared to the placebo group. Additionally, tirzepatide noted improvements in waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting glucose levels, and lipids levels. If I were you reading this I would be saying “ok – tell me about the side effects”. Probably not surprising to any of you, the most frequently reported adverse effects are nausea, diarrhea, and constipation.
This is exciting to have a new medication coming to market to support our patients. I would encourage you to read the article I reference and keep yourself informed on tirzepatide as we will be able to access more information soon, I am sure, when it comes to Canada.
Thank you APCNA for the opportunity to share a thought.
Abbie Skrove RN.
Jastreboff, Ania M., et al. “Tirzepatide Once Weekly for the Treatment of Obesity: Nejm.” New England Journal of Medicine, 4 June 2022, https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2206038.