HomeBusinessEli Lilly's Zepbound drug reduces sleep apnea, company confirms.

Eli Lilly’s Zepbound drug reduces sleep apnea, company confirms.

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Eli Lilly’s weight loss drug, Zepbound, has been proven to reduce obstructive sleep apnea in adults with obesity, a condition that affects about 39 million adults in the U.S. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when a person’s upper airway becomes blocked during sleep, cutting off airflow and leading to potential risks like heart arrhythmias and heart failure. The drug’s efficacy in reducing these risks was demonstrated in two studies of adults with obesity and moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.

In these studies, Zepbound showed promising results compared to a placebo, with significant reductions in the number of breathing interruptions during sleep. The drug’s effectiveness was especially notable in participants who were not using PAP machines, which help keep the airway from collapsing by gently blowing air into it. The findings have not been published in a medical journal yet but were announced in a news release by Lilly, who plans to share more details at an upcoming conference in June and submit the results to the FDA.

Dr. Susan Spratt, an endocrinologist at Duke Health in North Carolina, praised the research for highlighting the importance of treating obesity as a serious health issue rather than a cosmetic concern. She believes that these findings could lead to increased insurance coverage for weight loss drugs like Zepbound, especially in light of recent decisions by Medicare to cover such medications for certain patients. Lilly’s efforts to further validate and potentially gain FDA approval for Zepbound demonstrate a significant step forward in addressing the health risks associated with obesity and obstructive sleep apnea.

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