FAQ

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What is Tirzepatide?

Tirzepatide is a once-weekly injectable prescription medication used for weight management in adults with chronic weight-related conditions, intended to be used alongside a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity.

How does Tirzepatide help with weight loss?

Tirzepatide mimics natural hormones that control appetite and food uptake, leading to reduced calorie consumption. It also improves insulin regulation, which helps manage blood sugar levels. Be sure to watch the videos at the bottom of this page for more detailed information.

Why choose Tirzepatide over Semaglutide for weight loss?

  • Effectiveness: Several studies suggest that Tirzepatide may offer greater weight loss benefits compared to Semaglutide, especially in individuals with type 2 diabetes. However, it's important to note that research is ongoing, and definitive conclusions are yet to be drawn.
  • Mechanism of Action: Tirzepatide is a dual agonist of the GLP-1 and GIP receptors, potentially offering an extra weight loss boost by acting on two pathways. In contrast, Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist, targeting only one pathway.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Some analyses suggest that Tirzepatide may provide better value for money in terms of the cost needed to achieve a certain percentage of weight reduction compared to Semaglutide.
  • Improved Glycemic Control: In comparative studies for type 2 diabetes, tirzepatide lowered A1C levels by about 2% to 2.5%, while semaglutide lowered A1C by about 1% to 2%. This indicates that tirzepatide may provide superior glycemic control.

How quickly I'll lose weight with Tirzepitide?

  • Initial Weight Loss: Most people who follow a healthy diet and exercise routine begin reporting some weight loss within a month to two months of starting the medication.
  • Substantial Weight Loss: After 12 weeks of intensive lifestyle intervention, Tirzepatide showed an additional 21.1% weight loss, for a total mean weight loss of 26.6% from study entry over 84 weeks.
  • Sustained Treatment Benefits: A controlled clinical trial demonstrated that Tirzepatide led to a 20% reduction in body weight over 72 weeks. Those who continued on the drug lost another 5%, so their overall weight loss was about 25%.
  • Long-Term Results: With consistent use and combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise, substantial weight loss can be observed 6 months and beyond.

It's important to note that individual results can vary based on factors such as adherence to the prescribed diet and exercise regimen, starting weight, metabolic rate, and other health conditions. Additionally, Tirzepatide's effectiveness in weight loss is significantly enhanced when combined with lifestyle modifications, including a healthy diet and regular physical activity.

Is Tirzepatide safe?

Tirzepatide has undergone rigorous clinical trials and is considered safe when taken under medical supervision.

What are the side effects of Tirzepatide?

The side effects of Tirzepatide can include both common and more serious effects. The most common side effects are usually temporary and include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion
  • Upset stomach
  • Bloating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Burping
  • Flatulence (gas)
  • Facial changes
  • Vivid dreams
  • Hair loss

More serious side effects, such as gallbladder problems, pancreatitis, and allergic reactions, are rare but possible. It's important to consult a healthcare provider if any side effects seem excessive or severe. 

Additionally, Tirzepatide may cause acute kidney injury. Tirzepatide is not be suitable for individuals with a personal or family history of Medullary Thyroid Cancer or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome (MEN2).

How should Tirzepatide be stored?

Store Tirzepatide in the refrigerator when not in use. If traveling, it is recommended to take ice packs with you during travel to keep it cold but not to have the ice packs touch any vials directly. Upon arrival at your destination place it in the refrigerator.

How often do I take Tirzepatide?

Tirzepatide is administered as a once-weekly injection.

When do I increase my Tirzepatide dose?

It is recommended to stay on a particular dose for at least 4 weeks before increasing to the next dose. Most individuals will start out at 2.5MG injections each week for 4 weeks, then 5.0MG injections each week for 4 weeks, and then 7.5MG injections each week for 4 weeks. If you notice you are losing weight too quickly or are having too many side effects (e.g. nausea/vomiting), it is recommended to step down to the previous dose. Your Provider will help guide you to see if 7.5MG is what is recommended to continue at or if increasing is a better and safe option for you.

Please note that getting to the 15MG vial is not the ultimate goal. It is achieving your weight loss goals in a controlled, slow but steady, and safe manner. Please contact your Provider if you have any questions along your weight loss journey

What if I miss a dose of Tirzepatide?

If you miss a dose and are within 4 days of your dosing date, take it as soon as possible. If you are 5 days past your dosing date, please contact us and we will help you get back on this medication. Starting and stopping this medication may have significant side effects like nausea and vomiting especially if at higher doses.

What happens if I stop taking Tirzepatide?

Discontinuing Tirzepatide may lead to weight regain if lifestyle modifications are not maintained.

How are refills of Tirzepatide handled?

Refills are discussed with your provider and can often be done over the phone. You are responsible for requesting your refill.

Can Tirzepatide cause diarrhea?

While not common, diarrhea may occur. Stay hydrated and contact your provider if you experience diarrhea.

How do I prevent constipation while taking Tirzepatide?

To prevent constipation, stay hydrated, exercise regularly, consume dietary fiber, and consider using over-the-counter remedies like Metamucil or stool softeners if needed. C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital Michigan Medicine** has a helpful PDF to help choose high fiber foods. Fiber Food Chart

What if I'm already constipated while on Tirzepatide?

If you're constipated, increase your fiber and water intake. If constipation continues consider start taking over-the-counter Miralax and follow the prevention recommendations once regular bowel movements resume.

How much weight can I expect to lose with Tirzepatide?

Weight loss varies by individual, but studies have shown significant reductions in mean body weight, with some patients experiencing a weight loss of 20% or more. Again, Individual results may vary from patient to patient and results are not guaranteed.

How long will I have to take Tirzepatide?

The duration of Tirzepatide treatment varies from person to person, but it may be a long-term commitment to maintain weight loss.

What should I do if my Tirzepatide medication hasn't been delivered?

The Pharmacy should send you a shipment confirmation email when your medication ships. Please contact them to check on the status of your medication. If you cannot find that email or they do not respond to your inquires, please contact us and we are more than happy to check on the status of your medication.

Can Tirzepatide give me diabetes?

Tirzepatide is used to treat type 2 diabetes and is not known to cause diabetes. It helps regulate blood sugar levels.

What is the mechanism of action of Tirzepatide?

Tirzepatide, a synthetic peptide, acts as a dual agonist at the GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) and GIP (gastric inhibitory polypeptide) receptors. By stimulating insulin release from the pancreas, reducing glucagon secretion, and increasing adiponectin levels, Tirzepatide helps in lowering hyperglycemia and promoting weight loss. Its dual agonism at the GIP and GLP-1 receptors contributes to its glycemic and weight control effects. The medication works by mimicking the natural hormones GLP-1 and GIP, which are involved in glucose homeostasis and insulin secretion.

Can Tirzepatide be used in combination with other diabetes medications?

Yes, Tirzepatide can be used in combination with other diabetes medications. It has been evaluated and approved for use as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In the phase III SURPASS trials, once-weekly subcutaneous Tirzepatide was tested as monotherapy or as add-on therapy to oral glucose-lowering medications and insulin. It was found to be superior to the GLP-1 receptor agonists dulaglutide and semaglutide, as well as basal and prandial insulin, when used in combination with these medications.

Tirzepatide has been shown to achieve better glycemic control in terms of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) reduction and improved insulin sensitivity. It was generally well tolerated, with a safety profile consistent with that of GLP-1 receptor agonists (RAs) and was associated with a low risk of clinically significant or severe hypoglycemia.

However, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate combination of medications for individual patients, as combining medications can increase the risk of certain side effects and requires careful monitoring.

Are there any diabetes medications that should not be used in combination with Tirzepatide?

Tirzepatide should not be used in combination with certain diabetes medications due to the increased risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Specifically, caution is advised when using Tirzepatide with:

  • Insulin: Combining Tirzepatide with insulin can significantly lower blood sugar levels. If used together, a healthcare provider may need to adjust the insulin dosage to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia.
  • Sulfonylureas (such as glimepiride, glyburide, and glipizide): These medications also lower blood sugar, and using them in combination with Tirzepatide may further increase the risk of hypoglycemia. Dosage adjustments of the sulfonylurea may be necessary.
  • Meglitinides (such as nateglinide and repaglinide): Similar to sulfonylureas, meglitinides can cause hypoglycemia, and combining them with Tirzepatide may enhance this effect.

Patients should closely monitor their blood sugar levels and watch for symptoms of hypoglycemia, such as dizziness, shaking, headache, and sweating, when Tirzepatide is used in combination with these medications. It is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting or adjusting any diabetes medication regimen.

What are the contraindications of Tirzepatide and who shouldn't take it?

Tirzepatide is contraindicated in certain individuals and should not be taken by:

  • Patients with a personal or family history of Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma (MTC) or in patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome type 2 (MEN 2)
  • Individuals with known serious hypersensitivity to Tirzepatide or any of the ingredients in the medication

Additionally, Tirzepatide has not been studied in patients with severe gastrointestinal disease and is not recommended for these patients.

It should be used with caution in patients with a history of pancreatitis or gallbladder disease, as it has been reported to cause acute pancreatitis and gallbladder problems in clinical trials.

Patients should also be monitored for signs of acute kidney injury.

Patients who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should NOT take Tirzepatide, as Tirzepatide may harm the unborn baby.

It is also important to discuss with a healthcare provider before starting Tirzepatide if there are any concerns about thyroid tumors, as the medication may increase the risk of thyroid C-cell tumors.

Before starting Tirzepatide, it is crucial to discuss with a healthcare provider to ensure it is safe and appropriate based on individual health conditions and history.

Can I get more detailed information about GLP-1s?

Yes! There are two great videos by Harvard** that dive into how GLP-1 medications work. Please be sure to watch both to understand these medications.

Disclaimer

*Mounjaro™ and Zepbound™ are exclusively available from Eli Lilly and Company™. Healthspan & SlimDownRx does not claim any affiliation with, or endorsement from the above mentioned products or entities.

**Harvard Medical School Continuing Education is in no way affiliated with and does not provide any endorsement to Healthspan & SlimDownRx. The videos linked are for educational purposes only.

***C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital Michigan Medicine is in no way affiliated with and does not provide any endorsement to Healthspan & SlimDownRx. The PDF provided is for educational purposes only.

Informative Videos

Both videos are great Harvard** videos that discuss how GLP-1 and GIR work as well as side effects and other information. Tirzepatide is now FDA approved, but at the time of the recording of these videos, Tirzepatide was still pending FDA approval.

https://youtu.be/P6gt4A_3Whs

https://youtu.be/DYuy6hDPat0

Lilly's tirzepatide shows additional 21.1% weight loss after 12 weeks of intensive lifestyle intervention, for a total mean weight loss of 26.6% from study entry over 84 weeks | Eli Lilly and Company