Retatrutide: After “King Kong”, comes the “Godzilla” of weight loss medication

After some dubbed Mounjaro the “King Kong” of weight loss medications, along comes its blockbuster sibling, Retatrutide.

Astonishing weight loss

In the constant quest to combat obesity and its associated health risks, a groundbreaking development has emerged – a new weight loss injection named "retatrutide". This cutting-edge medication has surpassed its predecessors, including its sister drug Mounjaro also manufactured by Eli Lilly, by enabling patients living with obesity to shed an astonishing four stone in less than a year.

The "Godzilla" of weight loss medication

What sets retatrutide apart is its innovative mechanism of action, targeting three distinct receptors in the brain. Unlike existing weight loss jab, retatrutide goes a step further by turbocharging calorie burning while simultaneously inducing a sense of fullness. The results of a trial presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Venice were nothing short of remarkable – participants experienced an average weight loss of one-quarter of their body weight after nearly a year. Experts have hailed retatrutide as the most effective anti-obesity treatment to date, earning it the nickname "Godzilla" among weight loss jabs.

Manufactured by American pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly, retatrutide could soon become an option for patients on the NHS, pending further long-term studies. In a trial involving 338 obese adults, those administered with retatrutide witnessed unprecedented weight loss outcomes. Over 48 weeks, participants lost an average of 24% of their body weight, equivalent to more than four stone each. Notably, retatrutide demonstrated greater efficacy in women, with a weight loss of 28.5% compared to 21.2% in men. In stark contrast, the placebo group experienced a mere 2% reduction in body weight.

Three-way action

Retatrutide outshines other drugs, by activating three receptors and thus enhancing both weight loss and metabolic rate. Glucagon, the third hormone introduced by retatrutide, stimulates fat burning, leading to increased calorie expenditure.

Dr. Ania Jastreboff, director of the Yale Obesity Research Center, described the trial results as "striking," emphasizing the unprecedented degree of weight reduction achieved by retatrutide. Nadia Ahmad from Eli Lilly expressed excitement over retatrutide's unique mechanism of action, predicting its transformative impact on the obesity treatment landscape.

A significant advancement in the fight against obesity

In addition to its remarkable weight loss benefits, retatrutide also demonstrated positive effects on participants' health markers. Significant improvements were observed in blood pressure and blood sugar levels, with four in ten participants able to discontinue medication for high blood pressure. However, like all GLP-1 drugs, retatrutide is not without side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, and constipation.

As retatrutide heralds a new era in obesity management, further research and trials are underway to explore its safety and long-term efficacy. The drug's potential to facilitate weight loss of up to 30% raises optimism, albeit with the caveat of ensuring safety through rigorous testing.

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study underscores the multifaceted benefits of retatrutide, offering hope for millions struggling with obesity worldwide. With its unparalleled efficacy and potential to transform lives, retatrutide represents a significant advancement in the fight against obesity.

As retatrutide awaits approval for NHS use, its anticipated impact on obesity treatment could be nothing short of revolutionary. While uncertainties remain regarding its cost and accessibility, the promise of retatrutide offers a beacon of hope for those battling obesity and its associated health complications.

Published: 15 May 2024