Weight Loss Drug Zepbound Shows Promise In Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Clinical Trials Suggest

Published by Healthdor Editorial on April 25, 2024

21
3 minutes

he trials reveal significant reductions in respiratory problems during sleep among participants taking Zepbound, shedding light on a potential new approach to managing OSA.

Weight Loss Drug Zepbound Shows Promise In Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea Clinical Trials Suggest - Weight Loss Drug Zepbound Shows Promise in Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Clinical Trials Suggest

Recent clinical trials conducted by Eli Lilly have revealed promising results for the potential use of the weight loss drug Zepbound in treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA, a condition characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep due to blocked airways, often develops as a result of excess weight or obesity. Accumulation of fat around the upper airways leads to their obstruction, impeding normal breathing patterns. While continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is a common treatment for OSA, recent findings suggest that Zepbound may offer an alternative or complementary approach.

According to Dr. Daniel Skovronski, Chief Scientific Officer at Eli Lilly, the trials demonstrated significant improvements in respiratory function during sleep among participants using Zepbound. This suggests a potential breakthrough in managing OSA, particularly for individuals who cannot tolerate or adhere to CPAP therapy.

The Role of Zepbound in OSA Treatment

Two separate clinical trials evaluated the efficacy of Zepbound in individuals with OSA. The first trial focused on participants who either could not or did not wish to use CPAP therapy. Results showed that those taking Zepbound experienced significantly fewer respiratory issues during sleep compared to those not receiving the medication. Additionally, participants reported an average weight loss of 18% since the start of the study, highlighting the potential dual benefits of Zepbound in weight management and OSA treatment.

In the second trial, researchers examined the effects of Zepbound in conjunction with CPAP therapy. Participants using both treatments experienced a greater reduction in sleep-related events compared to those receiving a placebo. Moreover, Zepbound users observed a substantial weight loss of 20.1%, further supporting the drug's potential in addressing OSA symptoms.

Addressing Underlying Causes of Respiratory Problems

Zepbound's effectiveness in reducing OSA symptoms raises questions about its mechanism of action. Unlike CPAP therapy, which focuses on alleviating symptoms, Zepbound targets underlying causes of respiratory issues during sleep. By promoting weight loss, particularly in subcutaneous fat stores, Zepbound may help alleviate airway obstructions associated with OSA.

Dr. Skovronski emphasizes the significance of this approach, highlighting Zepbound's potential to address natural causes of breathing problems during sleep. This represents a paradigm shift in OSA management, offering a solution beyond symptom management.


The findings from Eli Lilly's clinical trials suggest a promising role for Zepbound in the management of obstructive sleep apnea. With its ability to reduce respiratory issues during sleep and promote weight loss, Zepbound may offer a novel therapeutic option for individuals with OSA, especially those unable to tolerate traditional CPAP therapy. Further research is needed to fully understand the drug's mechanism of action and its long-term effects on OSA outcomes. However, these preliminary results offer hope for improved treatment options and better quality of life for OSA patients.