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Tirzepatide vs. Semaglutide (Mounjaro vs. Wegovy) for Weight Loss

<p>Tirzepatide vs. Semaglutide (Mounjaro vs. Wegovy) for Weight Loss</p>
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

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Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 8 min read

While there are a multitude of diabetes drugs on the market, some are more beneficial than others. Many of them come with the added benefit of promoting weight loss in a variety of ways. Take Tirzepatide and Semaglutide, for example. While both of these drugs help promote weight loss, many wonder whether these two drugs deliver what they promise. Are they really effective in promoting weight loss? And more importantly, how do they work?

According to experts, Tirzepatide is a drug that is prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Also known by the name Mounjaro, this medication has also been proven effective in helping people lose weight. Tirzepatide is administered weekly by “subcutaneous injection.” This means that it is administered under the skin to be effective. 

Tirzepatide can be prescribed online in as little as one day, and you can begin taking it for weight loss on the very first day it is prescribed. To get this medication, you should have an online consultation with a doctor. He or she will assess your body mass index or BMI and health history. Once your doctor has that information, he or she will help you develop a weight loss plan for this medication. Once you get a prescription, this drug will be shipped to your house, or you may pick it up at your local pharmacy. 

So how does Tirzepatide work? Individuals who take this drug have found that in addition to treating their diabetes, it causes weight loss. According to Goodrx Health, Tirzepatide is the first drug in its class that is administered weekly by injection. Once ingested, Tirzepatide works by manipulating your insulin levels, hunger hormones, and the production of blood sugar. The FDA is currently in the process of trying to get this drug approved for weight loss. This medication may be approved for weight loss more quickly than other medications, because of its efficiency. This drug is currently being prescribed for weight loss off-label in individuals without diabetes.

Tirzepatide is technically the combination of two different drugs: “a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist and a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonist.” Because of this, Tirzepatide is also known as a “dual GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist.” These are both hormones that your system releases after you eat. Tirzepatide mimics the effects of these hormones This triggers the pancreas to distribute insulin into your system. As a result, the liver lowers the amount of glucose the body produces. This slows down digestion, lowers blood sugar, and makes you feel full. 

Because this medication makes you feel full, you don’t eat as much or may not feel like eating at all after taking it. Some other injectable medications only imitate one incretin, GLP-1. Many believe this drug to be more effective than others, because it uses two incretins. This helps speed up weight loss. If you take this drug for type 2 diabetes, you treat two conditions that affect many Americans. The FDA hasn’t yet validated this drug’s ability to aid weight loss or its safety, so it is best to discuss this with your doctor before being prescribed this medication. You may also want to discuss alternative treatment options in case Tirzepatide is not the ideal weight loss or diabetes drug for you. 

Tirzepatide begins manipulating your blood sugar levels immediately. However, it can take as long as 12 weeks for it to fully begin working in your system. This may be inconvenient for individuals who want immediate weight loss, but you may begin feeling its effects as soon as you take your first dose. 

But what about Semaglutide? According to PubMed, Semaglutide is another promising drug for weight loss. It has a long half-life. Just like Tirzepatide, Semaglutide is administered weekly by injection. Much like Tirzepatide, Semaglutide is believed to be superior to other drugs in its ability to help in weight loss and management. Recent studies have found that Semaglutide is more effective than placebos administered in clinical trials. 

Also known as Ozempic, Semaglutide also comes in a prefilled pen injector. It does not need to be taken with food. When you take this medicine is entirely up to you. However, experts recommend that you take this drug on the same day each week and at the same time of the day. Follow the directions on the drug label to ensure you are taking it correctly. 

Studies have found that people who took once-weekly Tirzepatide saw a reduction in weight after taking this drug for 26 weeks. The speed at which you lose weight depends on the individual and activity levels, but this drug is very effective. There do not seem to be many differences between the effectiveness of both drugs; both are effective in promoting weight loss. However, researchers and experts have found Tirzepatide to be the superior drug when it comes to diabetes treatment and management. It is superior in the sense that it affects hemoglobin levels in the first 40 weeks of taking it.

Like any other drug, Semaglutide has its fair share of side effects. According to experts, Semaglutide may cause bloating, belching, stomach upset, and blurred vision. In addition, it can cause confusion, chills, difficulty swallowing, and irritability. It may also lead you to feel empty or sad. 

However, there are many benefits of taking Semaglutide for weight loss. Semaglutide helps improve the body’s makeup by helping fight body fat, promoting lean muscle mass, and reducing the amount of body fat you carry. According to the Endocrine Society, Semaglutide has the ability to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. This drug also results in a slimmer waistline. Less belly fat is especially beneficial, since fat buildup can cause problems, such as high blood pressure, cancer, and stroke. 

Trizepatide comes with its own host of benefits. Because it is a GLP-1 receptor, Tirzepatide is very effective at promoting weight loss, lowering glucose levels, and reducing the risk of heart disease. Tirzepatitde is especially effective when it is combined with a healthy diet and increased activity. Those taking a low dose of Tirzepatide in studies lost an average of 15 percent of their body weight when they took the drug over an extended period of time in clinical trials. Those who took higher doses, like 10 and 15 milligrams, saw an average weight loss between 19.5 and 20.5 percent of their overall body weight. 

You often hear about drugs that are going to change your life and cause weight loss. Many of them don’t work, but Tirzepatide truly delivers on that promise. In addition to causing weight loss, it is a very effective drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Researchers have extensively studied the drug and found that it has the ability to reverse the metabolic defects associated with type 2 diabetes. That’s not to say it doesn’t have some drawbacks. 

Tirzepatide has the ability to cause stomach upset, loss of appetite, tiredness, and constipation. It also has a number of negative side effects, which include vision changes, kidney problems, nausea, and vomiting. It can also cause a rapid heartbeat, shaking, and sweating. If you experience any of these serious side effects, you should contact your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room. You may want to carry glucose tablets or gel to “treat low blood sugar,” should it occur. 

You can eat a natural source of sugar, such as honey, to restore glucose levels, if they dip too low. Drinking non-diet sodas or fruit juice is a good way to restore blood sugar and make you feel better. It’s important to know the symptoms of high blood sugar. High blood pressure can cause increased urination, a common symptom of diabetes. 

Though very effective, Semaglutide also has a host of negative side effects. It can cause nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and stomach pain. Roughly 30 percent of those taking Semaglutide for weight loss will experience stomach pain. Stomach pain may be mild and may cause nausea and vomiting. However, these symptoms may subside as time goes by. Roughly 11 percent of those taking Semaglutide experienced these symptoms in clinical trials. 

Fatigue is another common side effect of Semaglutide. Less than 5 percent of individuals experienced fatigue in clinical trials. Pancreatitis is yet another side effect of this medication.  Even though it is rare, some people developed pancreatitis while taking Semaglutide. This condition can be life-threatening, and you should seek immediate medical health if you experience this side effect. 

Those with a history of acute pancreatitis should not take this medication. Gallbladder disease and gallstones are also possible side effects of Semaglutide. Although uncommon, some individuals developed these during clinical trials. Individuals taking this drug have the potential for kidney damage as well. This is more likely to happen if you have diarrhea that leads to dehydration. Not urinating enough or at all are also signs of kidney problems. Contact your doctor right away if you experience any of these. 


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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.