Game-Changers for Weight Loss: Semaglutide & Tirzepatide

There’s a new generation of drugs on the market that are revolutionizing how we’re dealing with excess weight. Belonging to a class of medications known as GLP-1 agonists, Semaglutide and Tirzepatide were initially developed to treat type 2 diabetes. But over the past couple of years, both have also received FDA approval for the treatment of obesity and even some cases of overweight.

If you have trouble losing weight despite all diet and exercise efforts, these game-changers can be exactly what you need to turn your life around. If you are interested in learning more about these drugs, including how they work, what makes each unique and if there’s anything to be concerned about, keep reading.

A Dive Into Semaglutide & Tirzepatide

Semaglutide and Tirzepatide are glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, a class of medications that mimic the action of the glucagon-like peptide-1 hormone. This hormone is normally produced in the gut every time you eat. It reduces appetite and triggers the release of insulin. Insulin is essential in normal blood glucose control.

Semaglutide and Tirzepatide were originally developed and FDA-approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. They were sold under the brand names Ozempic and Mounjaro. Later on, the FDA approved two other brands with similar formulations to treat obesity and overweight: Wegovy and Zepbound. Because there has been such a high demand for these drugs, Ozempic and Mounjaro are widely being prescribed for off-label use in patients who need to lose weight.

As far as treatment goes, these medications may seem like a quick fix, but they do require some level of dedication. The medications must be injected weekly at incremental doses for multiple months, and they must be used in conjunction with diet and lifestyle changes to see results and maintain them.

How GLP-1 Receptor Agonists Work

Semaglutide and Tirzepatide were found to be remarkably effective in helping people lose weight. In a 15-month study by the drug’s manufacturer, Semaglatitude led to a 15% reduction in body weight. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that patients given Tirzepatide once weekly over 16 months lost 20% of their body weight compared to only 3% in the placebo group.

So, what’s the science?

Both drugs essentially work by mimicking the action of GLP-1, which acts on a number of receptors in the body and brain. For example, it acts on receptors in pancreatic beta cells, which triggers the production and release of insulin. Insulin helps lower blood sugar levels, which promotes fat burning.

They also seem to work on receptors in the brain that control appetite. Many patients can attest to this effect, noticing that they’re less hungry overall and feel fuller after a small meal once they start treatment.

Comparing Semaglutide vs. Tirzepatide

Semaglutide is available under the brand names Ozempic, Wegovy and Rybelsus, all of which have received FDA approval for the treatment of diabetes, while Wegovy has received additional FDA approval for weight management.

Tirzepatide is available under the brand name Mounjaro and is only FDA-approved for diabetes management. However, it has been used off-label for weight loss.

There are two other major differences between these two drugs:


Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist, while Tirzepatide is a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). This is a different hormone also produced by the intestines but that acts on different receptors and that helps in blood glucose control. This explains why studies have found Tirzepatide to be slightly more effective for weight loss compared to Semaglutide.


Semaglutide is available as injections and in pill form, which is good news for patients who may not feel comfortable about using needles. Tirzepatide is currently only available as an injection.

What to Expect

If you’re interested in trying Semaglutide or Tirzepatide for yourself, you might be interested to learn more about what the actual treatment entails.

Treatment usually starts at a smaller dose that increases incrementally until you reach your maintenance dose. We can provide you with a prescription or dispense the medication to you directly for your convenience. Our team will show you how to administer the injections properly, so that you can do them yourself from the comfort of your home.

Remember that weight loss takes time and nothing is a quick fix. While medications like these can be life-changing for people, your treatment should be paired with a healthy diet and regular exercise. We will provide ongoing nutritional support alongside your treatment plan to help you achieve the best results. We also have a variety of protein supplements available for purchase if you’d like to incorporate them into your health and fitness routine.

And What About Safety Concerns?

Many weight loss drugs of days past had dubious safety profiles and were ineffective for patients. So it’s expected that you may be skeptical about the efficiency and especially the safety of Semaglutide and Tirzepatide. So far, studies have found these types of medications to be safe, with people experiencing only mild side effects, including:

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue and low blood sugar

How to Tell If You’re a Candidate

You are probably a good candidate for this treatment if you are obese or overweight with additional health problems. The FDA has approved these drugs for patients with the following characteristics:

  • BMI 30 and over
  • BMI 27 with weight-related conditions

To find out if you’re a good candidate for Semaglutide or Tirzepatide, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our providers at De La Belle in Memphis, TN. We will review your medical history, perform necessary exams and let you know if this treatment is right for you. You will also have the opportunity to learn more about these weight-loss game-changers and how a medical weight-loss plan can help you achieve your goals.