Zepbound and Mounjaro May Assist Cut back Obstructive Sleep Apnea Signs

This content material initially appeared on On a regular basis Well being. Republished with permission.

By Lisa Rapaport

Key Takeaways

  • Tirzepatide, the energetic ingredient in Mounjaro and Zepbound, diminished sleep apnea signs for individuals with weight problems.
  • The drug improved sleep apnea signs whether or not or not individuals used a PAP machine.
  • Drugmaker Eli Lilly plans to hunt FDA approval for tirzepatide as a therapy for obstructive sleep apnea.

Tirzepatide, the primary ingredient within the injected weight reduction and diabetes medicine Zepbound and Mounjaro, would possibly assist scale back obstructive sleep apnea signs, preliminary outcomes from two late-stage research recommend.

Each of the research examined tirzepatide in individuals with weight problems and obstructive sleep apnea, a situation that causes temporary episodes of totally or partially halted respiration all through the night time that’s usually exacerbated by extra weight. Individuals have been randomly assigned to take both tirzepatide or a placebo for one 12 months.

In a single examine of individuals with sleep apnea who didn’t use respiration gadgets at night time, the variety of apnea episodes dropped by 55 p.c after one 12 months with tirzepatide, in contrast with 5 p.c on placebo, based on preliminary examine outcomes reported by drugmaker Eli Lilly that haven’t been revealed or independently verified.[1]

Outcomes have been related for sufferers who wore what’s generally known as a optimistic airway strain (PAP) machine at night time with a masks that blows air into the higher airways to assist help regular respiration. For individuals with apnea who used a PAP machine, apnea episodes declined by 63 p.c after a 12 months in contrast with about 6 p.c with the placebo.

Tirzepatide Causes Weight Loss, Which Improves Sleep Apnea

“It’s not stunning that tirzepatide would assist — tirzepatide causes weight reduction and weight reduction improves sleep apnea,” says Susan Spratt, MD, a professor of endocrinology at Duke College Faculty of Medication in Durham, North Carolina, who wasn’t concerned in both of the research.

“I believe what’s stunning is the quantity that tirzepatide diminished the signs of sleep apnea,” Dr. Spratt says.

Individuals with apnea who weren’t on PAP remedy misplaced a mean of 18 p.c of their physique weight after one 12 months on tirzepatide, based on the outcomes reported by Eli Lilly. Individuals on PAP therapies who took tirzepatide misplaced 20 p.c of their physique weight on common.

What’s outstanding about these preliminary outcomes is that the quantity of weight reduction achieved after one 12 months with tirzepatide is far better than what is often achieved with life-style modifications like consuming much less or exercising extra or with weight reduction surgical procedure, says Eric Landsness, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of neurology and sleep medication at Washington College Faculty of Medication in St. Louis.

Weight Performs a Function in Sleep Apnea

“I’m not shocked by the magnitude of obstructive sleep apnea change,” says Dr. Landsess, who wasn’t concerned in both of the research. “I believe that is actually a testomony to how a lot weight performs a task within the severity of obstructive sleep apnea.”

Unwanted effects of tirzepatide have been delicate to reasonable in severity and most frequently included gastrointestinal points like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and constipation, based on Eli Lilly.

Eli Lilly to Search FDA Approval for Tirezepatide as Remedy for Sleep Apnea

Tirzepatide is the primary drug in a brand new household of medicines that concentrate on two hormones — glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) — which are concerned in sustaining wholesome blood sugar ranges and sending alerts from the intestine to the mind when individuals are full.

The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted one drug made with tirzepatide, Mounjaro, to deal with sort 2 diabetes, and one other one, Zepbound, for weight reduction. However many sufferers with out sort 2 diabetes have struggled to get insurance coverage protection for these medicines, Spratt says.

Based mostly on outcomes from the 2 research, the corporate stated it plans to hunt FDA approval this 12 months to promote tirzepatide as a therapy for moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea.

“If tirzepatide is accepted by the FDA, it’ll undoubtedly be a sport changer,” Spratt says.

On a regular basis Well being follows strict sourcing pointers to make sure the accuracy of its content material, outlined in our editorial coverage. We use solely reliable sources, together with peer-reviewed research, board-certified medical specialists, sufferers with lived expertise, and data from high establishments.


  1. Tirzepatide Diminished Sleep Apnea Severity by As much as Practically Two-Thirds in Adults With Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Weight problems. Eli Lilly. April 17, 2024.

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