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AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Tirzepatide is a novel dual glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 RA) currently under review for marketing approval. Individual trials have assessed the clinical profile of tirzepatide vs different comparators. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the efficacy and safety of tirzepatide for type 2 diabetes. METHODS: We searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane and up until 27 October 2021 for randomised controlled trials with a duration of at least 12 weeks that compared once-weekly tirzepatide 5, 10 or 15 mg with placebo or other glucose-lowering drugs in adults with type 2 diabetes irrespective of their background glucose-lowering treatment. The primary outcome was change in HbA1c from baseline. Secondary efficacy outcomes included change in body weight, proportion of individuals reaching the HbA1c target of <53 mmol/mol (<7.0%), ≤48 mmol/mol (≤6.5%) or <39 mmol/mol (<5.7%), and proportion of individuals with body weight loss of at least 5%, 10% or 15%. Safety outcomes included hypoglycaemia, gastrointestinal adverse events, treatment discontinuation due to adverse events, serious adverse events, and mortality. We used version 2 of the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomised trials to assess risk of bias for the primary outcome. RESULTS: Seven trials (6609 participants) were included. A dose-dependent superiority in lowering HbA1c was evident with all three tirzepatide doses vs all comparators, with mean differences ranging from -17.71 mmol/mol (-1.62%) to -22.35 mmol/mol (-2.06%) vs placebo, -3.22 mmol/mol (-0.29%) to -10.06 mmol/mol (-0.92%) vs GLP-1 RAs, and -7.66 mmol/mol (-0.70%) to -12.02 mmol/mol (-1.09%) vs basal insulin regimens. Tirzepatide was more efficacious in reducing body weight; reductions vs GLP-1 RAs ranged from 1.68 kg with tirzepatide 5 mg to 7.16 kg with tirzepatide 15 mg. Incidence of hypoglycaemia with tirzepatide was similar vs placebo and lower vs basal insulin. Nausea was more frequent with tirzepatide vs placebo, especially with tirzepatide 15 mg (OR 5.60 [95% CI 3.12, 10.06]), associated with higher incidence of vomiting (OR 5.50 [95% CI 2.40, 12.59]) and diarrhoea (OR 3.31 [95% CI 1.40, 7.85]). Odds of gastrointestinal events were similar between tirzepatide and GLP-1 RAs, except for diarrhoea with tirzepatide 10 mg (OR 1.51 [95% CI 1.07, 2.15]). Tirzepatide 15 mg led to higher discontinuation rate of study medication due to adverse events regardless of comparator, while all tirzepatide doses were safe in terms of serious adverse events and mortality. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: A dose-dependent superiority on glycaemic efficacy and body weight reduction was evident with tirzepatide vs placebo, GLP-1 RAs and basal insulin. Tirzepatide did not increase the odds of hypoglycaemia but was associated with increased incidence of gastrointestinal adverse events. Study limitations include presence of statistical heterogeneity in the meta-analyses for change in HbA1c and body weight, assessment of risk of bias solely for the primary outcome, and generalisation of findings mainly to individuals who are overweight or obese and already on metformin-based background therapy. PROSPERO registration no. CRD42021283449.

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Dual GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonist, Meta-analysis, Systematic review, Tirzepatide