Welcome, you are shopping with

Ellie MD
05/14/2024
5 min read

Discovering effective weight loss solutions has become more accessible with the rising popularity of weight loss injectables like semaglutide and tirzepatide. These powerful medications offer new hope in the pursuit of healthier lifestyles.

In this semaglutide vs. tirzepatide guide, we will explore the differences between these two drugs and provide the knowledge you need to embark on a successful weight loss journey.

Semaglutide and Tirzepatide Basics

Semaglutide belongs to the class of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. It is an FDA-approved medication used for treating type 2 diabetes and long-term weight management.

Tirzepatide is a newer medication that belongs to a different class known as glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and GLP-1 receptor agonists. It is also FDA-approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Doctors can prescribe tirzepatide off-label for weight loss purposes. Off-label prescribing is when a provider gives you a drug that the FDA has approved for a condition different from your own. While it may sound unusual, it is legal and common. In fact, 1 in 5 prescriptions today are prescribed off-label! In the near future, tirzepatide may be approved for weight loss as it is currently undergoing the FDA approval process.

How Semaglutide and Tirzepatide Work

Semaglutide and tirzepatide are receptor agonists drugs that bind to a specific cell receptor (like a key fitting into a lock) and trigger a response. Essentially, semaglutide and tirzepatide work by imitating the functions of certain hormones in our body.

Semaglutide mimics the activity of GLP-1, a hormone naturally released by your gut in response to food. GLP-1 helps regulate appetite and blood sugar levels in the body. Tirzepatide not only mimics GLP-1 but also mimics GIP, a hormone that enhances the release of insulin following food intake. In the brain, both GIP and GLP-1 are thought to be involved in controlling appetite.

By mimicking the effects of these hormones, semaglutide and tirzepatide reduce feelings of hunger and increase feelings of fullness, making it easier for individuals to lose weight.

Are Semaglutide and Tirzepatide Effective for Weight Loss?

Recent studies have shown that semaglutide and tirzepatide can be effective tools for weight loss when combined with lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise. A recent clinical study showed that people using semaglutide lost an average of 15% of their body weight after 68 weeks. That’s like an individual who weighs 200 pounds losing 30 pounds in about 16 months!

Even more striking, a recent study showed those using tirzepatide observed an average weight loss of 21% of their body weight over a span of 72 weeks. Imagine someone who weighs 200 pounds shedding more than 40 pounds in 17 months!

Side Effects of Semaglutide and Tirzepatide

Like any medication, semaglutide and tirzepatide can cause side effects. These side effects tend to occur when first starting the medication or when increasing the dose. This is why patients slowly increase their dosage over time, giving the body a chance to adjust to the medication.

The most common side effects of semaglutide and tirzepatide include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach Pain

There can be serious side effects to both drugs as well, including:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Gallbladder Problems
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Kidney Failure
  • Vision Changes

If you are taking either of these medications and have a severe reaction, seek medical help immediately.

People may experience more side effects with semaglutide compared to tirzepatide, according to one study. At the highest dose of each drug, 88% of subjects experienced any adverse side effects with semaglutide, whereas 64% of subjects on tirzepatide had side effects. With both drugs, gastrointestinal problems were the most common and were tolerable for most patients. They were also more common in the days following a dosage increase.

Semaglutide and Tirzepatide are Best Supported by Lifestyle Changes

Semaglutide and tirzepatide make it easier to lose weight and adopt healthy habits. However, while they can be powerful tools in weight management, these medications won’t guarantee long-term results without an overall health strategy. This includes:

  • A balanced diet: Adopting a mindful eating strategy is crucial for long-term success. We recommend minimizing sugar and processed foods while emphasizing protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These changes combined with the medication will improve your overall health.
  • Quality sleep: Getting better sleep is important for our metabolic health. Individuals should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night to aid weight loss.
  • Regular exercise: Regular exercise has a big impact on your overall health. Cardio and strength training are both important to keep your heart, lungs, muscles, and bones healthy.
  • Stress management: Stress is bad for all of us and can impact our physical and mental health. Stress also affects hormones, which as we know, can affect your weight. Adopting stress management techniques can go a long way.

Weight Management with Ellie MD

The Ellie MD Weight Management Program is convenient, discreet, and easy. Here’s how it works:

  1. Complete a short assessment to see if you qualify.
  2. A licensed medical practitioner will evaluate you and prescribe the medication if approved.
  3. Receive your medication right to your front door!

When you choose Ellie MD, you get more than just medication; you gain access to a dedicated team of healthcare professionals who are there to support you every step of the way. Our innovative platform makes it easy to connect with a licensed doctor whenever you need them.

If you’re ready to start your weight loss journey, learn more here.

Related Articles