For decades, obesity has become an ever-growing problem in the United States. According to the CDC, from 1999 to 2020, the number of people affected by obesity increased by 10%, gradually increasing from 30.5% to 41.9%. As obesity has slowly turned into a serious epidemic, many researchers, health organizations, and physicians have focused their attention on understanding the cause of obesity and finding ways to treat it.
After several years, researchers have found that various factors can contribute to obesity, such as poor eating habits, insufficient sleep, certain illnesses, and a lack of physical activity. However, in some cases, no matter how much a person attempts to improve these factors, they still have difficulty keeping off excess weight. For people in these situations, their lifestyle may not be the source of their obesity. Instead, researchers have found that genetics can also have a huge role in an individual’s appetite and how their digestive system breaks down fats and sugars.
Over recent years, manufacturers have produced several weight loss medications to help obese and overweight patients control their appetite and manage how their bodies digest food. Semaglutide injections such as Ozempic, which first started as a weight loss medication for Type 2 diabetics, have grown increasingly popular as a weight loss treatment for overweight or obese patients. In fact, the weight loss drug has shown such promising results that the FDA officially approved Ozempic under the name, Wegovy as a chronic weight management treatment in 2021.
But now, there is a new injectable medication on the horizon that may provide better weight loss results for patients struggling with obesity and overweight gain than its predecessors. And with any luck, it will be available for use in 2023. So, if you have been struggling with obesity and are preparing to try a different weight loss medication this year, it may be time to learn more about the newest weight loss drug, Tirzepatide (Mounjaro).
What Is Tirzepatide/Mounjaro?
Similar to GLP-1 weight loss medications like Wegovy and Ozempic, Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) is an FDA-approved diabetic injection for weight loss in patients suffering from obesity due to Type 2 diabetes. However, unlike Wegovy and Ozempic, which only utilize the GLP-1 receptor to help with weight loss, Tirzepatide is a dual GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist medication that combines the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist and the glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonist to help lower blood glucose levels and slow down digestion.
So how does this work, you ask? Well, by itself, the GLP-1 receptor agonist helps you to manage weight loss in two ways. First, it slows down digestion, so you can eat less food and still feel more satisfied after meals, which can also help to lower the number of calories your body needs to burn. Second, the GLP-1 receptor agonist will send signals that notify your brain to reduce your appetite so you are less motivated to have food cravings. This helps you to avoid junk foods and unhealthy snacks that can affect your weight and focus on more nutritional foods that can be used to create a better diet.
The GIP receptor agonist in Tirzapatide also helps to regulate insulin and blood sugar. As the stomach breaks down food, the GIP receptor will send signals to the pancreas to release insulin after we eat and instruct the liver to reduce the amount of glucose our bodies make, which also helps to maintain blood sugar levels and slow down digestion.
By combining GLP-1 and GIP receptor agonists, Tirzepatide can maintain both your digestion and glucose levels, which can help promote more weight loss than other GLP-1 medications. Studies show that patients who were obese or overweight were also able to see significant weight loss after using Tirzepatide. In a clinical study involving over 2,000 applicants, patients with an average body weight of 230 pounds (or a BMI of 30 or higher) were able to lose up to 15% to 22.5% of their body weight after using Tirzepatide for 72 weeks. The results from the study were so promising that it even prompted the FDA to Fast Track the approval of Tirzepatide as a weight loss treatment for obesity and overweight gain in 2022. With the Fast Track designation, Tirzapatide will likely receive FDA approval sometime in 2023. Thanks to these new developments, physicians will soon be able to prescribe Tirzepatide for weight loss by the end of the year, providing obese patients with another weight-loss option in addition to Ozempic and Wegovy.
How Quickly Will I See Results From Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) Injections?
Since every patient’s physiology, body type, and medical history is different, each person who uses Tirzepatide will have a different time frame to reach their weight loss goals. In many cases, Tirzepatide will begin to lower your blood glucose immediately, but it may still take 8 to 12 weeks for you to start noticing results. However, most patients taking Tirzepatide could achieve their target weight four weeks sooner than those taking Semaglutide medications such as Wegovy and Ozempic. On average, most patients have seen significant weight loss after 28 weeks of using Tirzepatide.
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Who Shouldn’t Take Mounjaro?
Although Mounjaro can provide several benefits that can help overweight patients with weight loss, it may not work as a promising treatment for everyone. People with pre-existing medical conditions may have an increased risk of exacerbating or worsening their ailment using Mounjaro. You should consult with your physician if you have a medical history of specific health complications such as:
- Kidney issues
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Medullary thyroid cancer
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid using Mounjaro as the treatment can cause damage to the fetus or get passed through the breastmilk and negatively affect breastfed newborns. With that in mind, it is imperative for patients to disclose their medical history and any life changes to their physician before using Tirzepatide for obesity.
How To Take
Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) comes in the form of a single-dose injectable pen that is injected into the stomach, thighs, or the back of your upper arms. To start the process, you will first choose your injection site and place the base of the pen flat on your skin before unlocking the medicine. Once that’s done, you will need to hold the button for 10 seconds and listen for the first click, which means the injection has started. Afterward, a second click will signal that the injection is complete. Patients who use Tirzepatide will typically need to administer weekly injections for weight loss. During treatment, it is recommended that you rotate your injection sites to avoid causing redness and irritation from injecting in the same location.
Tirzepatide can be taken any day of the week at any time of the day. However, you will need to stick to a chosen time frame every week for consistency. If you decide to change the day you would normally take your dose, you will need to wait 72 hours before taking your next dose. If you miss a dose, you’ll need to take the next dose within four days or 96 hours of the missed dose. If it’s been more than four days, you will need to skip the missed dose and take your next dose on the regularly scheduled day. Just make sure that you do not take two doses within three days of each other.
Possible Side Effects
As it is with any medication, Tirzepatide has the potential to cause several side effects, especially at the beginning of treatment. Because Tirzepatide works to alter how your body digests food, it may lead to various stomach issues as you adjust to the medication. Most patients report mild effects that usually resolve themselves over time, including:
- Stomach pain
- Lack of appetite
- Irritation or redness at the injection site
Tirzepatide can also increase the chances for allergic reactions, thyroid cancer, gallbladder issues, and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). You will need to monitor your symptoms if you begin experiencing these side effects. If the side effects become more severe or persistent during treatment, you will need to notify your physician as soon as possible so they can adjust your dosage.
Where Can I Get Tirzepatide To Lose Weight?
Currently, Tirzepatide is sold by the pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly under the brand name Mounjaro, which you can only receive with a prescription. Since Tirzepatide is a weight loss medication, it is usually helpful to schedule an appointment with a physician at an established and reputable weight loss clinic to help you receive and use Tirzepatide as a weight loss treatment. If you’re struggling with weight management, the staff at the Semaglutide Weight Loss Clinic can provide several weight loss treatments, such as Tirzepatide, Ozempic, and Wegovy, to help you achieve your weight loss goals. We also offer effective diet and exercise plans to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle so you can reach your target weight faster and increase your chances of improving your health. Contact us at 1-866-226-1982 to schedule an appointment at any of our weight loss clinics in the United States to learn more about using Tirzepatide for weight loss.