Tirzepatide is a New Medication for Diabetes and Weight Loss

Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) is known as a dual incretin agonist or a “twincreatin” because it works on the receptors for 2 hunger hormones GIP and GLP-1. At Atlanta Endocrine Associates, Dr. Scott Isaacs offers accurate diagnosis and state-of-the-art weight management. To learn more, contact the office in Atlanta, Georgia.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the average weight loss with tirzepatide is an astounding 22.5%, which more than any other medication for weight loss, approaching weight loss results of bariatric surgery. The study, known as SURMOUNT-1, was a placebo-controlled trial with over 2500 participants with obesity.

GIP = glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide

GLP-1 = glucagon-like peptide-1

The weight loss with tirzepatide is greater than any other medication, including semaglutide, which is sold under the names Ozempic, Rybelsus and Wegovy. These medications are long-acting versions of other GLP-1 medications that have been on the market for over a decade such as liraglutide (Victoza, Saxenda), dulaglutide (Trulicity) or exenatide (Byetta, Bydureon). Until now, semaglutide has been considered the newest and the most powerful weight loss medication, but now tirzepatide appears to produce even greater weight loss by stimulating two satiety hormone receptors instead of just one. The side effects of tirzepatide are the same as the GLP-1 medications, primarily nausea and gastrointestinal disturbance. Most side effects are temporary when the medication is started at the lowest dose and slowly increases over time.

Other weight loss medications include phentermine (Adipex-P®, Lomaira®)* phendimetrazine (Bontril®)* benzphetamine (Regimex®, Didrex®)* orlistat (Xenical®, alli®)† phentermine and topiramate ER (Qsymia®)† Plenity® naltrexone HCl and bupropion HCl (CONTRAVE®)† liraglutide injection (Saxenda®)† semaglutide injection (wegovy®)† *Approved for short term use †Approved for long term (chronic) use.

The best weight loss results are seen when medications are combined with intensive lifestyle modification and calorie restriction. The major benefit of weight loss is improvement comorbidities of obesity such as diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal blood lipids and heart disease which can be seen with as little as 5% weight loss. Remember, tirzepatide or any other weight loss medication is not a magic bullet but simply a tool to lower appetite for sustained calorie reduction. There is no perfect medication for obesity. A medication that may work for a family member or a friend may not be the ideal medication for you. Treating obesity can be complicated so it is best to work with a knowledgeable health care professional who is dedicated to working with you over the long term. If you’d like to learn more about tirzepatide or other ways to achieve permanent weight loss, please feel free to call us or schedule an appointment with Dr. Isaacs.