Everything You Need to Know About Tirzepatide for Weight Loss

April 19, 2024

Tirzepatide is a medication developed to treat type 2 diabetes, belonging to a new class of medications known as GLP-1 receptor agonists. These drugs are effective in managing blood sugar levels and promoting weight loss by mimicking the effects of hormones produced by the gastrointestinal system after a meal, specifically GLP-1 and GIP hormones.

How Does Tirzepatide Work?

The drug works by imitating these hormones, which stimulates insulin secretion and reduces appetite by slowing the rate at which the stomach empties. It interacts with areas in the brain that contain GLP-1 receptors to signal satiety, indicating to the brain that enough food has been consumed. Consequently, this helps individuals eat less without the need to count calories. The dual mechanism of action also helps overcome the plateau phenomenon often observed in weight loss programs.

Safety and Side Effects

While generally safe, Tirzepatide can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation, which typically resolve over time. A clinical study on the drug reported minimal dropouts due to side effects.

Tirzepatide and Weight Loss

Weight loss is often associated with improved physical and mental well-being. Tirzepatide is available in two different medications used to treat diabetes: Tirzepatide and Mounjaro. The weight loss drug contains a higher concentration of Tirzepatide than Mounjaro, making it more effective in promoting weight loss.

Clinical Trials and FDA Approval

In 2022, a phase 3 randomized, controlled clinical trial demonstrated that Tirzepatide led to a 20 percent reduction in body weight over 72 weeks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug last month, with the trade name Zepbound, for weight loss in individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higherβ€”or for those with a BMI of 27 or greater who also had health conditions such as high cholesterol or hypertension.

Long-term Use and Maintenance

According to Dr. Louis Aronne, lead study author, “Obesity is a leading driver of many diseases that we spend our time treating in medicine; illnesses like hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and fatty liver disease are either caused by or worsened by obesity. The fact that we now have drugs that are proving to be effective is exciting and rewarding.”

The SURMOUNT-4 trial, conducted at 70 sites in various countries between March 2021 and May 2023, revealed that individuals who discontinue taking the medication tend to regain much of the lost weight within a year. However, those who continued on the drug not only experienced further weight loss but also preserved improvements in metabolic and cardiovascular health.


Tirzepatide is proving to be a significant advancement in the treatment of obesity and its related health issues. However, it requires long-term use, and further studies are needed to evaluate its long-term risks and benefits. Obesity, like diabetes or high blood pressure, is a chronic condition and must be treated as such.

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