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Weight Loss

Differences Between Semaglutide and Tirzepatide: Which is Better for Weight Loss?

Semaglutide and Tirzepatide are becoming increasingly popular for weightloss. What is the difference between the two and is one better?

We're living in one of the most exciting times for obesity treatment! With several revolutionary obesity drugs either currently on the market or poised for approval, people struggling with weight loss have cutting-edge options for managing appetite and metabolism. Two of the names floating around right now are semaglutide and tirzepatide. People are having extraordinary results with both. While the two work similarly to promote weight loss, tirzepatide breaks the current mold for obesity drugs by mimicking two hunger hormone receptors instead of one. Having the facts on both is important when making the decision to take control of your health. Here's a glance at the differences between semaglutide and tirzepatide.

Semaglutide at a Glance

Semaglutide is better known among the two obesity drugs at the moment. That may change due to reasons that will be covered a little further down in this article. For now, semaglutide is helping people to lose weight under the brand names of Ozempic and Wegovy. Semaglutide is part of a class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs). It works by mimicking the GLP-1 hormone that is naturally released in the gut while consuming food. GLP-1 plays a critical role in prompting the body to increase insulin production to reduce blood sugar. In fact, semaglutide was used with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for more than a decade in the treatment of type 2 diabetes before becoming a popular weight-loss medication. Currently, it is approved for off-label use as a weight-loss drug.

In high amounts, GLP-1 has been shown to influence the areas of the brain responsible for suppressing appetite and creating feelings of fullness. When used in conjunction with diet and exercise, semaglutide can lead to significant and sustained weight loss in obese and overweight people. According to a 2022 study on weight-loss outcomes associated with semaglutide treatment for overweight or obese patients, researchers found that the total body weight loss percentage achieved at three months was 5.9%. That jumped to 10.9% at six months.

Tirzepatide at a Glance

Sold under the brand name Mounjaro, tirzepatide is surfacing as a drug that's poised to knock semaglutide off its perch as the reigning weight-loss drug. In fact, industry forecasters predict that tirzepatide will become the best-selling drug of all time due to the drastic weight loss associated with this drug. What makes tirzepatide so effective?

Tirzepatide is what's known as a dual incretin because it simultaneously works on two hunger hormone receptors responsible for altering metabolism and blood sugar. In addition to acting as a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor in the body the way that semaglutide does, tirzepatide also mimics something called gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) that is a hormone produced and secreted by the upper gut when food is ingested. When given a 15-milligram dose, 82.7% of patients in a trial achieved reductions in body weight. At the lower dosage of 10 milligrams, 70.2% saw body-weight reductions. 

Participants in tirzepatide trials have lost between 16% and 22.5% of their starting weight. The average weight reduction for patients taking the highest dose of 15 milligrams was 52 pounds. That number fell to 35 pounds and 49 pounds at the lower doses of 5 milligrams and 10 milligrams. What's more, safety and tolerability profiles for tirzepatide were similar to popular incretin drugs that have already been approved for obesity treatment. 

In separate trials, tirzepatide has been shown to produce greater weight loss compared to semaglutide. In a global phase-3 trial from the drug manufacturer, participants taking tirzepatide achieved average weight reductions of 15.7% compared to placebo. However, a lack of studies putting the two drugs through a head-to-head comparison using the same dosages, time intervals, and conditions makes a straightforward comparison difficult.

Currently, tirzepatide only has FDA approval for the treatment of diabetes. As a result most people seeking to use this drug for weight loss will have a hard time getting insurance approval unless they have obesity-related diabetes. Fortunately, generic tirzepatide can easily and safely be ordered online for off-label use for people who don't want to pay full price for name-brand Mounjaro.

How Semaglutide and Tirzepatide are Similar

Both semaglutide and tirzepatide are intended to be administered once weekly using subcutaneous self-injections. Both can be given on either a full or empty stomach. Semaglutide and tirzepatide can be both ordered online through Telewellnessmd.com for off-label use without an in-person visit to a doctor. You simply need to book a virtual consultation to discover if one of these drugs could help you to achieve significant and sustained weight loss.

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