Which One Is Better: Tirzepatide vs Semaglutide | A Comprehensive Guide

Are you struggling to find which one is the right medication for weight loss: Tirzepatide or Semaglutide? You’re not alone, as many people with type 2 diabetes and obesity who are looking to kickstart their weight loss journey can’t decide between these two. 

This is because of the fact that both Tirzepatide and Semaglutide promise miraculous results, so it can be a hard nut to crack to know where to start. Both drugs are FDA-approved and are famous for stimulating weight reduction — ultimately helping those who have a lot of trouble maintaining a healthy baseline weight.

So, what are the actual differences between Semaglutide vs. Tirzepatide, and how do they work to assist people to achieve their desired body weight? Most importantly, which of these hot weight loss medications is more effective and good to consider? 

Well, this Tirzepatide versus Semaglutide comparison guide will help you find answers to all your queries. Let’s get started!

A 2024 Comparison Guide: Semaglutide vs Tirzepatide

Overview of Semaglutide

This is actually a glucagon-like peptide 1 substance that results in decreased appetite. This way, you can easily lessen your food intake to a great extent. 

No doubt, branded medicines, including Ozempic, have incredibly risen in fame over the past few years in terms of weight management and treating type 2 diabetes.

Let’s see how it works:

How Does Semaglutide Work?

Semaglutide generally mimics the GLP 1 receptor agonist as compared to Tirzepatide, which targets both GIP and GLP 1 receptor agonists.

This receptor is secreted by your gut right after you eat in order to send signals to the brain that you’re just full. Yes, that’s right.

Raising insulin secretion and insulin release ultimately assists in controlling blood sugar and decreasing the release of glucagon. In this way, it boosts and prolongs slow gastric emptying and regulates appetite.

And the result? Your cravings are highly controlled and reduced!

Not only this, but Semaglutide has also revealed the potential to decrease the significant risks of many health complications that come up with obesity, like stroke, certain types of cancer, or heart disease.

Through this weight loss, this medication can reduce weight and the burden of several chronic diseases.

Overview of Tirzepatide

Tirzepatide is an insulinotropic polypeptide (dual glucose-dependent) & glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist tirzepatide substance that efficiently stimulates weight reduction and helps regulate low blood sugar levels.

This is what makes it a life-changing and magical treatment for specific patients with type 2 and prolonged obesity, as it makes users feel full quickly.

Want to know how it works? Let’s find out:

How Does Tirzepatide Work?

Tirzepatide mimics a specific hormone GLP-1 receptor as the glucagon-like-peptide receptor agonist, which is well-known for regulating hunger, and it eventually causes individuals to eat less.

Not only this, but it imitates a dual glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide hormone as well – leading to an increase in blood glucose levels, energy levels, calorie burn, and feelings of fullness.

The success of this medicine comes from its top-notch ability to maintain sugar levels, reduce weight or inflammation, and suppress appetite, which is why it is considered more effective.

With this feeling of satisfaction and fullness, people can follow more frequent movements all day.

Cost Comparison

Unfortunately, access to these medicines is tough for many patients due to the lack of insurance coverage and high drug costs. Also, the generics for these two drugs aren’t available yet.

Here’s a general overview of the money analysis of Tirzepatide vs Semaglutide:

Tirzepatide Costs

  • Zepbound subcutaneous injection of 5 mg/0.5 mL: $1125 one-month supply
  • Mounjaro subcutaneous injection of 5 mg/0.5 mL: $1135 per-month supply

Semaglutide Costs

  • Rybelsus oral tablet of 7 mg: $1,029 per month supply of almost 30 tablets
  • Wegovy subcutaneous injection of 2.4 mg/3 mL: $1430 supply per month 
  • Ozempic subcutaneous injection of 2 mg/3 mL: $1029 supply per month 

In case you have insurance, the payable amount for these medicines may vary depending on your prescription coverage, copay, and deductible.

Sometimes, the manufacturer may even give you a copay coupon to lower the costs (only if you’ve got any commercial insurance).

Efficacy of Tirzepatide and Semaglutide

These weight loss medications are used to treat type 2 diabetes and belong to the same drugs class, called GLP-1 receptor agonists, lowering body weight or blood sugar levels.

And so, both boast quite similar efficacy rates, and only a few points differ in terms of their efficacy.

Tirzepatide is the latest medicine that has shown good results in many clinical trials. This is an injection that’s given once a week, lowers A1C levels, and assists with weight loss effects.

In contrast, Semaglutide injection site reactions have been around for longer & are also given once weekly. So yes, it is also effective when it comes to promoting weight reductions and lowering A1C levels.

Remember that both Semaglutide and Tirzepatide provide valuable results, and they do come with side effects, too. Therefore, patients need to consult a physician before using them.

Every body type is different, and hence, health situations or adverse events may also differ from one person to another. 

So, the answer to which one is more efficient for a specific individual depends on several factors, be it health conditions, functionality, or body type.

Doses of Semaglutide and Tirzepatide 

Both Tirzepatide and Semaglutide are injectable and work by stimulating insulin secretion and slowing down sugar absorption into the bloodstream.

In spite of their huge similarities and resemblance, Semaglutide is mostly available in 2 distinct higher doses and is given only once a week. 

On the other hand, Tirzpatide is offered once a week with specific dosing options of 20 mg, 15 mg, 10 mg, & 5 mg. Clear enough?

Meanwhile, following your physician’s instructions is crucial regarding the frequency and dose of these drugs, as they can fluctuate depending on the patient’s current health status and other factors.

Potential Side Effects They Possess

No matter which weight loss medication you choose for losing weight, they always have some potential side effects, from mild to severe.

For instance, Tirzepatide (Zepbound and Mounjaro) might lead to vomiting, constipation, indigestion, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and nausea.

Some severe yet rare negative aspects of Tirzepatide are as follows:

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

Although Semaglutide possesses side effects similar to Tirzepatide 15 mg, some severe negative factors are: 

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

There are also some moderate drawbacks of both Semaglutide and Tirzepatide, such as headaches, fatigue, abdominal pain, constipation, digestive tract issues, low blood sugar, upset stomach, etc. 

In addition, their boxes contain warnings, especially regarding the increased risk of thyroid C-cell tumors. And let us clarify that this type of warning is the most critical warning given by the FDA.

Serious Warnings 

Tirzepatide or Semaglutide medications have boxed warnings for the risk of thyroid C-cell tumors. A boxed warning is undeniably the most critical warning from the FDA.

It shows that you shouldn’t make use of these products if:

  • You have a kind of Multiple Endocrine Syndrome (Neoplasia type 2)
  • You and your family have a particular medical history of MTC (medullary thyroid carcinoma)

Always consult your doctor beforehand about the increased risk of this type of side effect to avoid complications in the future.

How Do I Qualify For Either Medication?

Well, if you are overweight, obese, or suffering from type 2 diabetes, you are simply qualified for both these weight loss medications. Yes, you heard that right!

However, if you’re at risk for any sort of cardiovascular disease, it’s better to opt for Tirzepatide.

Your healthcare provider will possibly assess your history to evaluate if you are a fit candidate and which one is suitable for you in current scenarios.

Do They Both Work Effectively for Weight Loss?

Yes, both Semaglutide and Tirzepatide do wonders when it comes to losing weight without considerable effort. In fact, recent studies have compared Tirzepatide and Simaglutide for weight loss.

According to American Diabetes Association, Tirzepatide has a more significant effect on promoting weight loss than Semaglutide. 

Even though it costs a bit extra, researchers have concluded that Tirzepatide 15 mg is highly effective and provides a better value for money.

However, there are some essential caveats to remember about these studies:

  • First, the doses of Tirzepatide and Semaglutide given to the candidates were unequal. Tirzepatide’s dose was higher, which probably had an effect on the final results. It’s possible that weight loss could have increased even in the case of Semaglutide if the dose was increased.
  • Another point that needs to be comprehended is that this research looked at the weight loss effects in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Therefore, it’s possible that people without diabetes may not have seen similar impacts.
  • Currently, Tirzepatide is FDA-approved only for those with type 2 diabetes. However, the study suggested that Semaglutide might be an effective weight-loss treatment for diabetic patients.

Semaglutide Vs. Tirzepatide: Which One Is Better?

As we already mentioned, the FDA approves Semaglutide, and it is used to treat weight loss and type 2 diabetes under the brand names Rybelsus, Wegovy, and Ozempic. 

Anyhow, only Wegovy currently has approval for its usage in weight management. No doubt, it mimics a particular GLP-1 hormone & makes people less hungry.

As far as Tirzepatide is concerned, it is sold under the Mounjaro brand. Unlike Semaglutide, it mimics the GIP hormone and GLP-1 hormone, which creates the sensation of fullness and triggers insulin sensitivity, insulin coverage, and creation.

This identifies that Tirzepatide can offer an exceptional boost to weight loss. But we cannot deny the fact that it is merely approved for type 2 diabetes care; therefore, any use of this medication or injection is off-label in weight reductions.

However, one perk of Semaglutide is that it is available in both injections and oral tablets, while Tirzepatide is accessible only in the form of injections.

So, the final decision about which one to consider between Semaglutide and Tirzepatide will depend on your preferences and needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Combine Tirzepatide & Semaglutide?

Tirzepatie and Semaglutide may be taken together sometimes. However, you need to make sure that you don’t take them combined without a prescription from a healthcare physician. However, one point that needs to be understood is that it can be really critical for a common man to follow proper instructions and dosages.

Can Type 2 Diabetic Patients Utilize Tirzepatide or Semaglutide?

Both these medications are FDA-approved and are helpful in treating people with type 2 diabetes. Their functions are undoubtedly different, but they definitely have quite similar modes of action because of the specific dual glucose-reducing incretin hormones. This makes them very beneficial in lowering A1C and blood sugar.

Do These Medications Assist With Weight Loss In Type 2 Diabetes Patients?

Other than helping to regulate blood sugar levels, these two drugs have been proven in different clinical trials to boost weight loss in patients who are suffering from diseases like type 2 diabetes. 

It is also important to keep in mind that Tirzepatide is actually marked under the brand of Zepbound, while Semaglutide is supervised under Wegovy. It is due to their capability to increase fullness, slow stomach emptying, and reduce hunger.

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, Tirzepatide and Semaglutide are both type 2 diabetes medications that doctors widely prescribe for effective weight management.

While you may find Tirzepatide more useful due to the way it works, note that the research is still incomplete, and there’s no justified argument about which one to consider.

Your healthcare provider is the only one who can offer you the best advice on weight loss options and which one you should opt for, depending on your health status. 

So, you must consider your needs while choosing a treatment for weight loss and type 2 diabetes.

Hope this article helps you in your significant and memorable weight loss journey!