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Is Tirzepatide Approved for Weight Loss?

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A woman measures her waist and celebrates her weight loss with Tirzepatide.

On Nov 8, 2023, Tirzepatide was approved by the FDA for chronic weight management in patients with obesity. It was already approved for blood sugar management in patients with type-2 diabetes.

The recent approval came after two medical trials found that Tirzepatide demonstrated significant weight loss compared to control groups who received a placebo.

Tirzepatide is the active ingredient, and it’s been approved for weight management under the brand name Zepbound, and for blood sugar improvement under the brand name Monjouro.

Is Tirzepatide Approved For Use In All Countries?

Approval status differs depending on the country. Tirzepatide has received approval under various brand names from the FDA in the United States and a positive opinion from the EMA in Europe.

Regulatory decisions made by individual countries will influence Tirzepatide’s availability in those areas. We recommend checking with your country’s governing body for their list of approved prescriptions.

Defy Medical is licensed to prescribe medications like Tirzepatide in the United States. We do not currently ship medications overseas.

How Does Tirzepatide Work For Weight Loss?

Tirzepatide is a dual GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist, and it promotes weight loss by acting on insulin and the digestive process.

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a hormone that triggers the production of insulin. Tirzepatide mimics these effects to help control blood sugar. Tirzepatide slows down digestion, as well, so that you feel fuller for longer and experience less desire to eat.

Tirzepatide is also a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonist, and GIP impacts insulin production and blood sugar management.

Together, these effects help many obese and overweight patients lose weight when combined with a healthy diet and exercise.

How Effective Is Tirzepatide For Weight Loss?

Tirzepatide has been shown to be effective for weight loss in overweight or obese patients.

In a study that lasted eighteen months, participants taking Tirzepatide lost significantly more weight than those who took a placebo (15-20% compared to 3.1%). Higher doses of Tirzepatide led to greater weight loss over time, with the most effective doses being 10-15 mg.

Participants saw the most success when they paired Tirzepatide with a calorie-restricted diet and regular physical activity.

How Long Does It Take for Tirzepatide to Start Working?

From the first injection, Tirzepatide typically affects insulin production and blood sugar. It reaches the bloodstream quickly, usually within 24 hours of injecting it.

On average, the amount of Tirzepatide in the bloodstream becomes consistent after four doses over the course of a month.

Many patients experience a reduced appetite after their first injection, although it may take longer depending on individual factors. Weight loss occurs steadily over time, which is why Tirzepatide weight loss plans typically span a year or more.

Tirzepatide is titrated, or taken in gradually increasing doses so the body has time to adjust.

Larger doses of Tirzepatide usually lead to more weight loss. Patients tend to experience the best results once they reach their maximum maintenance dose, though some patients find success at lower doses.

What are the Side Effects of Tirzepatide?

Due to its effects on insulin, Tirzepatide has reported side effects related to digestion.

Patients sometimes experience heartburn, constipation, feeling overly full, and nausea. In more severe cases, they may also experience vomiting and diarrhea.

These side effects are typically temporary as your body adjusts to the medication, but they sometimes persist after you’ve reached your maintenance dose.

Defy Medical provides access to medication like Zofran as appropriate, which can help with issues like nausea. Many patients also take over-the-counter medications to manage acid reflux.

Talk to your provider at Defy Medical about different ways you can manage any symptoms you may experience.

Which GLP-1 Medication Will Work Best for You?

Tirzepatide isn’t the only medication available that can help patients manage blood sugar and lose weight. Semaglutide and Liraglutide are other GLP-1s to consider, and more medications with similar methods of action are entering development.

Given the options, it can be difficult to figure out which weight loss solution is best for you. Defy Medical offers consultations where our experienced providers talk with you about your options.

Our care team looks at your lab results, response to treatment, goals, and more to recommend the right weight loss plan for you (as appropriate).

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