During a time when obesity is a major public health concern, weight loss injections are becoming a promising solution. Semaglutide and tirzepatide are injections proven to be effective for promoting weight loss. But which one is right for you?
At Legacy Health and Wellness Clinic, our skilled preventive care physician, Dr. Ifeoma Ogbonna, specializes in weight management. She’s made it her mission to help patients who struggle with their weight get the tools they need to reach their goals. Among those tools are weight loss medications like semaglutide and tirzepatide.
Here, we explain how these weight loss injections work and the differences between them so you can decide which one is right for your needs.
Semaglutide and tirzepatide help you lose weight by lowering your appetite so you eat less. Both medications are glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists.
GLP-1 mimics the actions of a hormone your body produces when food reaches your stomach. This natural hormone slows the movement of food through your digestive tract so you feel full longer and activates the appetite control center in your brain.
Unfortunately, it takes your body about 15 minutes after you start eating to release the appetite-controlling hormone. That’s why we recommend eating slowly and waiting at least 15 minutes before going back for seconds. But it’s hard to change eating behaviors.
The injections provide your body with a steady supply of a substance that mimics the natural hormone, so your appetite remains low and you feel full soon after you start eating.
Tirzepatide contains another active ingredient — glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor, which mimics the actions of another hormone released when you eat. The GIP receptor in tirzepatide also activates the satiety center in the brain, helping with hunger control.
There’s some evidence that GIP receptors may help burn fat, which is an added bonus for those trying to lose excess body fat.
Semaglutide is an FDA-approved treatment for obesity and sold under the brand name Wegovy®. According to research, semaglutide can help you lose up to 12% of your body weight over a 16-month period.
Currently, tirzepatide isn’t FDA approved for weight loss, but has been fast-tracked for approval because of the weight loss results from clinical trials. Research shows that tirzepatide helps people lose more than 15% of their body weight over 18 months.
Both semaglutide and tirzepatide help with weight loss. Though it seems tirzepatide may work better than semaglutide, it’s not FDA-approved yet for weight loss (as we already mentioned) and so may not be covered by health insurance.
In either case, you need a prescription in order to get weight loss injections. If you’re considering semaglutide or tirzepatide for weight loss, we can talk to you about the medications and help you decide which medication is right for you.