Eli Lilly weight loss drug significantly improves sleep apnea symptoms

April 17, 2024

Eli Lilly's drug tirzepatide significantly reduced the severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in obese adults, according to results from two phase 3 clinical trials.

The drugmaker shared that the trials demonstrated a reduction of up to 63% in the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), which measures sleep disruptions due to restricted or blocked airflow.

The SURMOUNT-OSA studies assessed the efficacy of tirzepatide in adults with moderate-to-severe OSA, both with and without positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy. Over a 52-week period, participants receiving tirzepatide experienced a substantial decrease in AHI and notable weight loss compared to those given a placebo.

Specifically, study 1 (without PAP therapy) showed a 55% reduction in AHI and an 18.1% reduction in body weight, while study 2 (with PAP therapy) reported a 62.8% reduction in AHI and a 20.1% reduction in body weight.

Given these promising results, Eli Lilly plans to pursue regulatory approvals for tirzepatide as a potential treatment for OSA.