How Does Tirzepatide Work?
Tirzepatide has shown promising weight loss results in patients who are obese, overweight, and/or have type-2 diabetes.
In a clinical trial, Tirzepatide demonstrated superior weight loss compared to a placebo over a 72-week treatment period. Participants taking Tirzepatide lost up to 15.7% of their body weight, with a significant percentage achieving at least a 5% reduction in body weight.
According to the study, the safety profile for Tirzepatide is generally comparable to other medications approved for obesity and overweight treatment.
We’ll go over what Tirzepatide is and how it encourages weight loss and controls blood sugar.
What Does Tirzepatide Do?
Tirzepatide is a prescription medication that acts as a GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist. Together, these effects can help control blood sugar levels, reduce appetite by slowing the digestive process, and encourage weight loss.
An agonist is a medication that acts on a specific receptor to trigger a bodily response. In the case of GIP and GLP-1 agonists like Tirzepatide, they initiate the release of insulin.
Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a hormone made up of 30 amino acids that comes from the endocrine cells in the intestines. It belongs to a group of hormones called incretins, which help increase insulin production. Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) is another incretin that impacts insulin production.
Tirzepatide’s dual action as a GIP and GLP-1 agonist differentiates it from similar medications like Semaglutide. Some patients find that Tirzepatide provides stronger weight loss effects with less adverse effects like nausea.
How Long Does It Take For Tirzepatide To Work?
Tirzepatide influences insulin production as soon as you begin taking the medication. This can lead to benefits like slowed weight gain, reduced risk of developing type-2 diabetes, and less fatigue related to blood sugar spikes throughout the day.
Despite working quickly on insulin, it may take time to feel the effects of Tirzepatide.
Many patients report a suppressed appetite after their first dose, but some patients don’t experience this benefit until they’ve taken Tirzepatide for a month or more.
When you inject your dose, it takes around 24 hours for the medication to be fully absorbed, so the effects often begin the next day after injection.
Tirzepatide’s Weight Loss Timeline
Every patient’s experience with weight loss varies, so there is no set timeframe that applies to everyone.
How quickly you lose weight depends on factors like lifestyle habits, diet, activity level, age, and other medications you may be taking.
However, most people who follow a healthy diet and exercise routine begin reporting some weight loss within a month to two months of starting the medication. Anecdotally, weight loss can occur at lower doses before reaching the maximum dose, but significant weight loss is typically achieved at sustained higher doses.
Regardless of when you begin to feel the effects, Tirzepatide and similar medications work best when used to encourage weight loss over time.
In the study we mentioned earlier, participants were given varying doses of Tirzepatide over the course of 72 weeks (18 months). The study participants who took 5 mg, 10 mg, or 15 mg of Tirzepatide lost an average of 15-21% of their body weight over that time.
Weight loss programs should aim for long-term results rather than quickly losing weight.
Rapid weight loss can lead to metabolic changes that make weight gain more common after patients stop trying to lose weight. And lifestyle changes are important in helping patients maintain their progress after they’ve reached their goal weight.
How Should Tirzepatide Be Administered?
Tirzepatide is typically administered once weekly as a subcutaneous injection. The medication should be titrated, or started at a lower dose and increased over time. This helps patients avoid more intense side effects because titrating lets the body adjust over time.
While protocols vary, a typical dosage starts at 2mg once weekly and is increased at four-week intervals to reach a final dose of 10-15mg. From there, patients continue to inject a weekly maintenance dose.
Defy Medical provides guidance on how to self-administer injections, as well as simple online ordering of necessary supplies like syringes, alcohol wipes, and sharps containers.
How do I get Tirzepatide?
Tirzepatide requires a prescription from a medical provider.
Defy Medical offers medically guided weight loss and weight management plans that include medications like Tirzepatide as appropriate. You can access our expert care via convenient telemedicine and order your medications online through our Patient Portal if prescribed.Get Started