What is tirzepatide?

Tirzepatide (otherwise known by the brand name Mounjaro) is a weight loss and type 2 diabetes medication that has recently gained attention. That’s because it’s both a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist medication — the first of its kind. 

Like other weight loss drugs, tirzepatide also slows down how food is metabolized by the body, which in turn makes people feel fuller for longer and aids in weight loss and body weight reduction [1]. The drug targets visceral fat, which is fat around the midsection, heart and arteries. 

How does tirzepatide work for weight loss?

As a dual GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist, tirzepatide works on the glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonist and the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist.

You may have heard the term glucagon-like peptide 1 before because that’s the receptor agonist that other weight loss and diabetes medicines, like Wegovy, target.

But, what makes tirzepatide different is it’s the first combination of 2 classes of medications, the GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist which are both incretin hormones that are released after food intake. Thus, making Tirzepatide more potent than the regular GLP medication like semaglutide.

Tirzepatide works by mimicking both of these receptor agonists, which includes processes like alerting the pancreas to stop releasing insulin after eating and sending signals to the liver to decrease glucose levels [2].

In turn, this not only helps you feel fuller for longer but it slows down digestion, and aids in glycemic control, which all lead to weight loss and weight management [2].

Clinical trials have shown that tirzepatide has beneficial effects on helping those with type 2 diabetes and obesity lose weight and aids in weight management too. A clinical trial with over 2500 people who were either obese or overweight was split into 2 treatment groups: people taking tirzepatide and people in the placebo group.

The clinical trial showed a weight loss of 15-20% of their starting body weight in 72 weeks for people taking tirzepatide. On the other hand, those in the placebo clinical trial group only showed average weight reductions of 3% [3].

We have seen in our office patients losing 15-20% of their body weight doing nothing but the weight loss medication. This is truly designed to help patients lose weight without doing any physically demanding exercise.



  1. https://www.drugs.com/tirzepatide.html
  2. https://www.goodrx.com/conditions/weight-loss/tirzepatide-and-weight-loss
  3. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2206038

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