A Comparison of Tirzepatide vs. Semaglutide From a Weight Loss Expert

Jan 11, 2024 | Weight Loss

In case you didn’t know, there’s a new drug on the market that promises to reduce body weight in people with obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Tirzepatide is the first drug of its kind. This medication targets the glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor and the glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide receptor to stimulate weight loss.

Semaglutide, a weight loss medication you’re likely more familiar with, targets just one of these receptors. So, what are the main differences between tirzepatide vs semaglutide, and how do they work to help people with obesity and type diabetes achieve their target weight?

Discover the main difference between tirzepatide and semaglutide, the efficacy, and the mechanisms involved in each drug’s ability to reduce body weight.


What Is Tirzepatide?

Tirzepatide, marketed under the brand names Zepbound and Mounjaro, is prescribed to adults with type 2 diabetes and weight loss issues. As a GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist, tirzepatide helps people lose weight by reducing hunger and slowing the passage of food from the stomach into the small intestine.

This may cause you to feel fuller for longer. Tirzepatide also lowers blood sugar levels by decreasing the amount of sugar the liver makes and increasing insulin production.

Zepbound is FDA-approved for adults who are obese or overweight and who have weight-related medical conditions like hypertension or cardiovascular disease. Zepbound should be combined with food and exercise to help you lose weight and keep it off.

Mounjaro is prescribed for people with type 2 diabetes to help lower their blood sugar levels. It should also be used in conjunction with diet and exercise.

Tirzepatide is the active ingredient of both Mounjaro and Zepbound by Eli Lilly and Company. Both are administered subcutaneously once a week and come in single-dose pens with the same strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 12.5 mg, and 15 mg per 0.5 mL.


How Does Tirzepatide Work?

As a glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, tirzepatide mimics the hormone GLP-1, known to regulate hunger, causing people to eat less. It also imitates the GIP hormone (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide). This hormone is well known for raising blood glucose levels, which may lead to feelings of fullness.

Tirzepatide also slows down the rate at which food passes through the intestines, which prolongs the time that food remains in the stomach, resulting in a feeling of fullness and satisfaction.

Tirzepatide may also increase energy, leading to more frequent movement throughout the day and increased calorie burn.


What Is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide is another diabetic and weight loss drug available. Like tirzepatide, semaglutide is taken once weekly along with changing habits like diet and exercise.

Semaglutide is the active ingredient in Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus. It is a GLP-1 agonist that decreases glucagon release, increases insulin release, delays stomach emptying, and suppresses appetite.

Wegovy injection is approved to help adults and children 12 years of age and older who are obese or some adults who are overweight and have weight-related medical issues lose and maintain their weight.

Ozempic is an injection prescribed to people with diabetes who have cardiovascular disease to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular events like a heart attack or stroke. Rybelsus is a tablet used to reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It is taken once a day.


How Does Semaglutide Work?

While tirzepatide targets both the GLP 1 and the GIP receptor agonist, semaglutide only mimics the GLP-1 receptor agonist, which is released by your gut after you eat to signal to the brain that you are full.

Semaglutide lowers high blood sugar by raising the amount of insulin produced, decreasing the amount of glucagon released, and prolonging stomach emptying. It also regulates appetite, reducing your cravings.


Is Tirzepatide Better Than Semaglutide?

Research suggests tirzepatide may cause a more significant reduction in body weight than semaglutide. However, additional comparative studies are needed to draw firm findings. It’s also important to remember that each person reacts to medications differently. Semaglutide may work better for some people than tirzepatide.

During a 72-week study, those receiving the maximum dose of tirzepatide lost an average of 21% of their body weight. This was compared to the placebo group, which saw a 3% loss.

Studies on the efficacy of semaglutide have also been positive. Participants who were overweight or obese and took the medication lost an average of 5.9% of their body weight after three months (13 weeks) and 10.9% after six months (26 weeks).

Tirzepatide’s more significant weight loss result may be likely because it targets both the GLP-1 receptor and the GIP receptor, while semaglutide only targets the GLP-1 receptor.


Cost of Tirzepatide vs. Semaglutide

Tirzepatide may cost between $1,400 and $1,500 a month without insurance. Because of a shortage, compounding pharmacies are authorized to provide tirzepatide for around half the retail price. The medication is also provided in certain weight-loss clinics, but the supply has remained irregular.

You may have to pay $1,000–$1,200 monthly for semaglutide. Compounding is much cheaper, usually $300–$500 per month.

Luckily, some insurance companies like BCBS Federal may cover Wegovy and other GLP-1s. BCBS also covers Zepbound. If you’re a military personnel, Tricare may give you coverage for Zepbound. All you need to do is call your insurance company to determine your coverage options.

It will probably only require a copay and be much less cheap. It is important to know that plans have to opt to cover prescription drugs for weight loss; thus, it is essential to check your insurance company’s coverage of this class and inquire about the subject during open enrollment.


What Is the Difference Between Semaglutide and Tirzepatide?

Although both tirzepatide and semaglutide are used to assist patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity in losing weight and improving cardiovascular diseases, there are some significant distinctions between them.

The main distinctions between these drugs are that they’re two different classes of drugs and have slightly differing targets in the brain.

Tirzepatide is unique in its class of medications since it targets both the GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonists. By activating these receptors, tirzepatide functions differently from semaglutide.

Semaglutide exclusively targets the GLP-1 receptor agonist. However, it has been on the market longer than tirzepatide and is supported by greater research and clinical proof.


Do Tirzepatide and Semaglutide Have Side Effects?

Yes, these weight loss medications may have potential side effects. The side effects may be mild to severe.

Tirzepatide (Mounjaro and Zepbound) may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, and stomach discomfort.

Tirzepatide may have severe side effects but may be rare, which may include:

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney failure
  • Allergic reactions
  • Vision changes
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Vision changes
  • Stomach pain

Semaglutide shares the same side effects as tirzepatide, which include nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting.

Semaglutide’s severe side effects may include:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Vision changes
  • Kidney failure
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Gallbladder issues
  • Allergic reactions




Can I combine both semaglutide & tirzepatide?

Semaglutide and tirzepatide can be taken together if prescribed by your doctor. However, it’s critical to follow dosages and instructions.


Can patients with type 2 diabetes use tirzepatide or semaglutide?

Semaglutide and tirzepatide are approved by the FDA to treat type 2 diabetes. Although they function differently, they have similar modes of action as dual glucose-reducing incretin hormones, making them useful for lowering blood sugar and A1C.


Do these drugs help with weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes?

Besides regulating blood sugar levels, both tirzepatide and semaglutide have been proven in clinical trials to enhance significant weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes.

Tirzepatide is marketed under the Zepbound brand, while semaglutide is marketed under Wegovy. This is because of their ability to reduce hunger, increase fullness, and slow stomach emptying.


Is tirzepatide more effective than semaglutide?

Although some research shows tirzepatide might be slightly more effective for weight loss, both drugs, when combined with lifestyle changes, many help people with type 2 diabetes manage their weight and glycemic control. Overall efficacy depends on adherence to treatment and individual factors.


How to Access Weight Loss Medications In the US

So, if you want to start your weight loss journey, how can you access semaglutide and tirzepatide for weight loss in the US? If you meet specific requirements, you will have complete access to Wegovy and Zepbound injections for body weight reduction and weight loss in the US.

These include:

  • If you’re obese with a BMI of 30 or more
  • If you’re overweight with a BMI of 27 and have a weight-related medical condition like cardiovascular disease or hypertension.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) states that semaglutide prescriptions for weight loss can only be prescribed for two years when combined with specialized weight management services involving multidisciplinary input.

You can get semaglutide and tirzepatide weight loss medications through NP2GO weight loss clinic in Oklahoma–if you’re between the ages of 18 and 75 and meet the baseline requirements for treatment.

But remember that if you want to reach your weight loss goals and reduce your body mass, there are other options besides prescription drugs to consider. That’s why the NP2GO weight loss program adopts a comprehensive weight loss strategy backed by lifestyle changes, health coaching, and practical recommendations for food and exercise.

We use medicine that targets parts of the brain involved in hunger regulation to give your body a biological reset and help you achieve a considerable drop in weight and meet your weight loss goals.

Our clinical team is there at every turn to provide the resources and support you need to lose weight safely and keep it off.

Our health coaches provide helpful tips on making significant lifestyle changes, such as adopting a reduced-calorie diet and increasing your physical activity level. We understand how difficult it may be to lose weight, so we link you with a community of supportive individuals on the same journey as you.

While new drugs are being introduced to help people with type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity lose weight, semaglutide (Wegovy and Ozempic) and tirzepatide (Mounjaro and Zepbound) are tried-and-tested weight-loss medications with longer-lasting benefits.


Are You Ready to Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals?

NP2GO offers semaglutide and tirzepatide for weight loss clients in the US, including Oklahoma, Washington DC, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, and New Mexico. We start with low-dose tirzepatide or semaglutide injections since they’re a safe and effective way to reduce your waist size.


Here’s how it works.

First, you will book a consultation, either virtually or in person. Ensure you ask questions you may have throughout your session. Our experts can also give you a target weight loss figure. Many of our patients lose 10 to 15% of their starting weight.

We will then show you how to administer your weekly injections. The best delivery method for these medications is through injection. It ensures that your body won’t process any medication, maximizing its effect on your weight.

That’s right—you can receive treatment without visiting our clinic! We provide all the resources and skills required for self-care. You will then come for monthly consultations to monitor your weight-loss progress.

So, are you looking for the best US weight loss program? NP2GO Clinic has the semaglutide and tirzepatide injections you need to get your target body. Book your consultation with us today! You can also call 405-696-7003.