New Research Shows Tirzepatide Leads to More Weight Loss Than Semaglutide
A recent study presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Hamburg, Germany has revealed that tirzepatide, sold under the brand name Mounjaro, leads to greater weight loss compared to semaglutide, sold as Wegovy. The research focused on three different doses of each drug, analyzing data from studies where individuals took the drugs once-weekly for 12 weeks.
The study solely examined semaglutide and tirzepatide as separate drugs. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had previously approved semaglutides, leading to the availability of brands like Wegovy and Ozempic. On the other hand, the FDA approved Eli Lilly’s tirzepatide, marketed as Mounjaro, in 2022.
The research found that a medium dose of tirzepatide (considered to be 10mg) was more effective at producing weight loss compared to a 2mg dose of semaglutide. On average, individuals taking tirzepatide lost nearly eight pounds more within the same time. The study also compared 5mg of tirzepatide with 1mg of semaglutide, demonstrating that patients lost close to four pounds more on Mounjaro.
Furthermore, researchers from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece analyzed data from over 18,000 patients with type-2 diabetes across 22 studies. They concluded that tirzepatide, or Mounjaro, was the superior drug in terms of producing more effective weight loss results. The drug was also found to be better at controlling blood sugar levels than semaglutides.
Both drugs are available in various doses, and doctors typically incrementally increase the dosage based on each patient’s tolerance and needs. The study observed significant differences in effectiveness when comparing higher doses of each drug.
Lead author Dr. Thomas Karagiannis, an internal medicine physician at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, noted that a higher dose of tirzepatide was more effective at lowering hemoglobin A1C levels, which indicate blood sugar levels, compared to semaglutide.
However, Dr. Karagiannis pointed out that tirzepatide does have side effects, especially when taken in higher doses. High-dose tirzepatide (15mg) was associated with an increased risk of vomiting compared to low- and medium-dose semaglutide. Individuals taking 15mg of Mounjaro were up to 85% more likely to experience vomiting and nearly 50% more likely to have nausea compared to those on lower doses of semaglutide. Nevertheless, neither drug increased the risk of serious complications.
In recent years, several weight loss drugs have gained popularity for their efficacy in helping people shed pounds. Similar to semaglutide (Wegovy), tirzepatide (Mounjaro) is a once-weekly injection designed to improve glucose levels in people with type-2 diabetes while aiding weight loss.
Previous studies have also reported comparable findings. Phase three clinical trials of tirzepatide showed that individuals lost 26% of their total weight over 84 weeks. In contrast, people taking semaglutide over 68 weeks lost close to 13% of their body weight, according to the FDA.
In the near future, injectables may not be the only weight loss medications available on the market. Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Mounjaro, is expected to release a once-daily pill called orforglipron, which has demonstrated significant weight loss results, helping users lose up to 15% of their body weight after eight months during a phase two clinical trial.