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What Are the Hot New Medications in Weight Loss?

Updated 11/8/23

 

I’m sure you have heard all the rave about the new medications being used for weight loss such as Mounjaro, Ozempic, and Wegovy.  But what exactly is this treatment and how can it help you achieve your weight loss goals?  Let’s dive in! 

Zepbound

Zepound is the newest tirzepatide that just hit the market on November 8th, 2023. This medication is FDA-approved as a weight loss drug. Zebound has shown to reduce patients’ weight by as much as one-fifth in drug trials. Check out these New York Times Articles for more information on this weight loss medication: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/08/health/fda-tirzepatide-obesity-zepbound-wegovy.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/08/well/zepbound-mounjaro-weight-loss.html

MOUNJARO

Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is the newest medication on the market and is FDA approved to help lower and improve blood glucose in adults with type 2 diabetes as an adjunct to diet and exercise.  This represents the first new class of diabetes medication introduced in nearly a decade.  Tirzepatide is a once-weekly injectable dual glucogon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonist.  It works by increasing insulin production and lowers glucagon secretion as well as targets areas in the brain that regulate appetite and food intake.  Tirzepatide acts in the following ways:

  • delays how quickly the stomach digests food (feeling of fullness with smaller meals)
  • slows intestinal motility so you feel fuller longer after meals
  • allows for lower blood sugars by reducing the production of sugar in the liver
  • stimulates insulin secretion by the pancreas
  • GIP increases energy expenditure, resulting in weight loss

Although tirzepatide is not approved for weight loss, it has been found to cause significant weight loss and therefore, used off-label for weight loss.  The results, based on the studies, have been impressive with about 22% weight loss.  

IMG 3447 2
Weight loss results from client using Mounjaro

The benefits of tirzepatide are:

  • decreased appetite and cravings
  • weight loss
  • A1C reduction
  • improved cardiometabolic measures

The most common side effects include nausea, decreased appetite, fatigue, indigestion, and constipation.  Patients have also reported acid reflux, stomach discomfort, headache, vomiting, belching, and diarrhea. You should not use this medication if you have a history of thyroid cancer, pancreatitis, or gallbladder disease.  This medication is not indicated for patients with type 1 diabetes.  Tirzepatide should also not be used with any other GLP-1 medications. It is not intended for children under age 18.

 

tirzepatide vs semaglutide

OZEMPIC or WEGOVY

Ozempic and Wegovy (both are semaglutide) are considered a modified molecule our bodies make, called GLP-1 analog.  It works by increasing insulin production and lowers glucagon secretion as well as targets areas in the brain that regulate appetite and food intake.  Semaglutide acts in the following ways:

 

  • delays how quickly the stomach digests food (feeling of fullness with smaller meals)
  • slows intestinal motility so you feel fuller longer after meals
  • allows for lower blood sugars by reducing the production of sugar in the liver
  • stimulates insulin secretion by the pancreas

Ozempic is also FDA approved to help lower and improve blood glucose in adults with type 2 diabetes as an adjunct to diet and exercise.  In June 2021, Wegovy, was FDA approved for weight loss. These drugs are both semaglutide but dosing is a little different for them with Ozempic reaching 2mg and Wegovy reaching 2.4mg. The results, based on the studies, have shown about 12-15% weight loss. 

The benefits of semaglutide are: 

  • decreased appetite and cravings
  • weight loss
  • improved blood glucose control 

The most common side effects include nausea, decreased appetite, fatigue, indigestion, and constipation.  Patients also report acid reflux, stomach discomfort, headache, vomiting, belching, and diarrhea.  You should not use this medication if you have a history of thyroid cancer, pancreatitis, or gallbladder disease.  This medication is not indicated for patients with type 1 diabetes.  Semaglutide should also not be used with any other GLP-1 medications.  It is not intended for children under age 18. 

As you can see, these medications are somewhat similar, though different classes of medications.  Both are quite effective for weight loss. They are becoming more widely used off-label for weight loss given their effectiveness and minimal side effect profile. They are both also titrated up slowly with dosage increases each month to ensure patients tolerate it well. 

patient percentage weight loss mounjaro ozempic

Now, how do you obtain this treatment?  Mounjaro, Ozempic, and Wegovy are prescription medications that must be prescribed by a healthcare provider based on the recommended therapy guidelines for use.  Insurance companies may not always cover these medications for weight loss.  You can call to discuss what your insurance would cover.  Sometimes a prior authorization is needed/required for these medications, which can usually be done by your prescribing provider.  You can try discounts like goodrx or manufacturer discounts on the drug’s website.  If those options don’t work, talk to us about other ways of getting these medications without the hassle and delivered to your door.  

Medications like tirzepatide and semaglutide, along with an individualized weight loss program, can help you reach your goal!  Call or text us today to speak with a provider to see if this approach is right for you.

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