Nowadays, there are several products available that boast serious weight-loss potential. These medications all claim to be the best, yet they have differences that make them slightly better or worse than their counterparts.
Two of the most notable products out there are tirzepatide and Wegovy. Both of these have shown promise and are used by many already.
So, which is better? This article looks at the pros and cons of tirzepatide vs. Wegovy in the search for a better weight management medication.
What Is Tirzepatide?
Tirzepatide is a compound that mimics two different types of hormones. One is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), and the other is a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). These are both hormones that your body releases naturally after you eat. By mimicking them, tirzepatide is able to mimic the effects they have on your body. This makes them a type of treatment that uses your body’s natural abilities to enhance it, like peptide therapy.
Tirzepatide is also the generic name for the medication. You may know it as Mounjaro, a brand name for it.
What Is Wegovy?
Wegovy is the brand name for the medication semaglutide. Semaglutide also goes by the brand names Ozempic and Rybelsus.
The semaglutide in Wegovy is similar to tirzepatide in that it has an impact on hormones. Specifically, it is able to mimic GLP-1 hormones and, thus, produce a similar effect. However, unlike tirzepatide, semaglutide cannot mimic GIP hormones.
What Do These Hormones Do?
In your body, hormones are essentially signals or messages your body sends to itself. They are how different parts of your body indicate that something needs to be accomplished somewhere. For example, hormones may be released when you are hurt so that your body can respond to the injury.
Tirzepatide and Wegovy impact specific hormones: GLP-1 and GIP. These hormones both have a purpose that relates to the goal of these medicines.
What Do GLP-1 Hormones Do?
Your body releases GLP-1 hormones naturally when you eat. These hormones make their way to your brain, where they send the signal that you are full and, thus, no longer need more food. Your brain then removes your desire for more food by making you feel full. This is all done to prevent overeating.
Alongside this, GLP-1 slows gastric emptying. This means that it makes the food in your digestive system stay in the system for longer. This causes you to stay full for longer, as your body has not finished digesting what you just ate.
However, there is some evidence that some people do not produce enough GLP-1. This means that their brains don’t get these same signals and, thus, don’t send the signal to stop eating. This causes someone with this condition to overeat.
This is where products like tirzepatide and Wegovy are helpful. They help provide the levels of GLP-1 that your body needs to prevent overeating. Alongside other weight loss treatments, they can help someone lose weight and keep it off.
What Do GIP Hormones Do?
GLP-1 hormones are not your body’s only appetite-regulating hormones. Alongside them, GIP hormones accomplish a similar function.
This mostly concerns the way both alter your appetite. GIP assists GLP-1 in sending the signals that make you feel full. Together, these hormones work in harmony toward the same goal.
Tirzepatide vs. Wegovy: Side Effects
Both tirzepatide and Wegovy have similar side effects. Neither produces side effects that are generally more or less severe than the other.
Most of these side effects relate to the way that GLP-1 impacts the stomach. These include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Luckily, some of these symptoms, like nausea, may be treatable with some treatments.
However, they can also have more serious side effects. These include low blood glucose, thyroid issues, and more.
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Tirzepatide vs. Wegovy: Effectiveness
While tirzepatide and Wegovy accomplish similar goals, they do so with different rates of effectiveness. Tirzepatide helped people in some studies lose around 22% of their starting weight, while semaglutide helped people lose around 15% of their starting weight. This gives tirzepatide an edge when it comes to effectiveness.
This makes sense considering how the two medicines function. The fact that tirzepatide has the effect of GIP hormones helping to aid the effect of GLP-1 hormones may be what gives it the edge.
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Tirzepatide vs. Wegovy: FDA Approval
Both tirzepatide and Wegovy have shown promising results when it comes to helping with weight loss. However, promising results don’t necessarily mean these medications have met the standards that the FDA sets for medications.
Wegovy has met these standards. In 2021, the FDA approved Wegovy as a treatment for chronic weight management. This is significant, as this approval marked the first time the FDA approved a treatment like this since 2014.
Meanwhile, tirzepatide has not been approved in a similar way. Mounjaro, the name brand for tirzepatide, has been approved for treating diabetes. However, it has not been approved for weight management. Despite this, approval may be on the horizon. The creators of Mounjaro have stated that their medicine is on the fast track to FDA approval for weight management.
With all of this in mind, when it comes to FDA approval, Wegovy is better. Keep in mind that this may change if Mounjaro’s fast-track approval ends up working out. So, be on the lookout if that happens.
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Tirzepatide vs. Wegovy: Which Is Better?
Tirzepatide and Wegovy are very similar medications. Both have shown good results in helping manage weight. Both also come with similar side effects.
However, Wegovy is the only product currently approved to help with weight loss by the FDA. For those worried about taking an unapproved medication, this is a big deal.
Meanwhile, tirzepatide has been demonstrated to be slightly more effective. It also may have FDA approval on the horizon, which would make it even with Wegovy if/when it happens.
Because of this, neither is the universal winner. We suggest working with your doctor to find out which one is right for you individually.
Tirzepatide vs Wegovy
Tirzepatide and Wegovy are so similar that it is hard to say one is better than the other. Instead, you should work with a healthcare professional to determine which one is best for you. Once you have done so, you can start getting the treatment you need.