Tirzepatide For Weight Loss: Dosage, Pricing & More

Also known as Mounjaro, take a crash course on Tirzepatide. Learn about the most frequently asked questions on this powerful weight-loss medication

Table of Contents
  • What is Tirzepatide?
  • Does Tirzepatide Work For Weight Loss?
  • How Long Does It Take To See Weight Loss On Tirzepatide?
  • Is Tirzepatide the Same as Mounjaro?
  • Is Tirzepatide the Same as Ozempic?
  • Is Tirzepatide Safe For Weight Loss?
  • What is the Dosage Schedule for Tirzepatide For Weight Loss?
  • How Much Does Tirzepatide Cost?
  • How to Get Tirzepatide For Weight Loss Online

What is Tirzepatide?


Tirzepatide has emerged as a promising treatment for weight management and type 2 diabetes, demonstrating noteworthy advantages in clinical trials. It was initially released in the US market in the summer of 2022. While the initial studies were done for its use in type II diabetes, recent research has shown that it is also beneficial for weight loss. 

Tirzepatide operates as a dual agonist for GIP (Glucose-Dependent Insulinotropic Polypeptide) and GLP-1 (Glucagon-Like Peptide-1) receptors, presenting a novel mechanism for addressing these conditions (1). The medication can decrease insulin resistance and regulate blood sugar levels, driving down hemoglobin A1c (a marker for blood sugar). Additionally, the medication's dual effects work to suppress appetite and increase feelings of satiety. It helps patients feel fuller for longer, even when eating less food (1). 

Does Tirzepatide Work For Weight Loss?

One major trial in adults with obesity demonstrated that over half of the participants lost over 20% of body weight was achieved while on the highest dose (15mg weekly) of tirzepatide (2). Compared to only 3% weight loss among participants in the placebo group, tirzepatide has made waves in the medical community for its effectiveness.

How Long Does It Take To See Weight Loss On Tirzepatide?

Many patients lose 5 to 6% of their weight in their first few weeks on Tirzepatide. Some patients notice up to 20% of their weight loss on medication over the first 12 weeks. To manage side effects, patients must start on a low dose and slowly increase the dose over time. It’s important to have follow-up appointments with your provider to adjust your dose appropriately.

Is Tirzepatide the Same as Mounjaro?

Tirzepatide is the primary active ingredient in medications marketed under the brand names Mounjaro and Zepbound. While Mounjaro is FDA-approved for type 2 diabetes and Zepbound for obesity, these brand-name prescription medications both use tirzepatide. They are used for managing type 2 diabetes and assisting with weight loss.

Is Tirzepatide the Same as Ozempic?

While these medications are similar, they have some key differences. Tirzepatide is an injectable medication that is a dual agonist of the GLP-1 – GIP receptors. It acts on both pathways to suppress appetite and improve insulin resistance.

Ozempic is the brand-name medication for the active ingredient semaglutide, which primarily acts at the GLP-1 receptor alone. This medication is also effective for weight loss and can be useful for type II diabetics and insulin resistance (3).

Tirzepatide promotes a higher level of weight loss but also typically results in slightly more severe side effects. Read more here for a detailed comparison between Tirzepatide and Semaglutide.

Is Tirzepatide Safe For Weight Loss?

Tirzepatide is a safe medication that has been approved by the FDA (1). Both the SURMOUNT and The SURPASS clinical trials examined the effects of Tirzepatide in thousands of patients, demonstrating its safety and clinically significant benefits (2, 4). The most commonly reported side effects are gastrointestinal issues, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach upset. While it’s very uncommon, rare cases of pancreatitis, acute kidney injury, gallbladder disease, and hypersensitivity reactions have been reported. It’s important to talk with your provider about whether Tirzepatide is right for you. 

Can you take Tirzepatide with metformin?

Metformin and Tirzepatide can be taken together. Both of these medications work well for type II diabetics and pre-diabetic patients at controlling insulin resistance. Metformin is a medication primarily prescribed to improve insulin resistance (5)

Can you drink alcohol while on Tirzepatide?

Drinking small quantities of alcohol in moderation is safe. Heavy alcohol consumption while on Tirzepatide is not recommended as it can increase the risk of pancreatitis. This medication can also delay the rate at which your stomach empties, thus altering your metabolism of alcohol.

What is the Dosage Schedule for Tirzepatide For Weight Loss?

The initial dosage is 2.5mg per week for the first four weeks, followed by escalation to 5mg once weekly for another four weeks. The dose continues to increase by 2.5mg increments every four weeks, up to a maximum of 15mg per week, so long as the user can tolerate it (6). 

As mentioned, the most common side effects of tirzepatide are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and upset stomach. For users that experience these side effects, your provider may suggest spacing out dose escalations even further (for example, increasing your dose every 6-8 weeks instead of every 4 weeks). For those particularly sensitive to the medication, your provider may suggest an approach that prioritizes using the lowest effective dose for achieving the targeted weight loss instead of increasing to the 15mg weekly dose.

Where to Inject Tirzepatide

Tirzepatide can be safely injected into the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. You may want to switch up your injection sites to avoid overly irritating one spot. Talk with your provider about your injection strategy.

How Much Does Tirzepatide Cost?

How Much Does Tirzepatide Cost With Insurance?

It's hard to know if tirzepatide will be covered by your health insurance. Most patients who have type II diabetes or prediabetes will get coverage from their health insurance plans. Patients with health insurance may be eligible for the manufacturer's coupon, which can bring the cost down to just $25 per month. 

How Much Does Tirzepatide Cost Without Insurance?

If you do not have any form of health insurance, tirzepatide can be very expensive, costing upwards of $1000 per month.

What Is The Most Affordable Way To Get Tirzepatide For Weight Loss?

Compounding pharmacies can offer much more affordable alternatives to brand-name medications. Mochi Health partners with FDA-approved pharmacies to offer safe and effective compounded tirzepatide at just $325 monthly.

How to Get Tirzepatide For Weight Loss Online

For those seeking information about GLP-1 medications or exploring eligibility for medication-supported weight loss, consider visiting Mochi Health. Our board-certified obesity medicine physicians provide personalized weight management guidance and prescribe weight loss medications as part of your tailored weight loss strategy.

Sources

  1. MOUNJAROTM (Tirzepatide) Injection, for Subcutaneous Use.” Access Data FDA, Food and Drug Administration, www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2022/215866s000lbl.pdf. Accessed 06 May 2024. 
  2. Jastreboff AM, Aronne LJ, Ahmad NN, Wharton S, Connery L, Alves B, Kiyosue A, Zhang S, Liu B, Bunck MC, Stefanski A; SURMOUNT-1 Investigators. Tirzepatide Once Weekly for the Treatment of Obesity. N Engl J Med. 2022 Jul 21;387(3):205-216. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2206038. Epub 2022 Jun 4. PMID: 35658024.
  3. Frías JP, Davies MJ, Rosenstock J, et al. Tirzepatide versus semaglutide once weekly in patients with type 2 diabetes. N Engl J Med 2021;385:503-515.
  4. Rosenstock J, Wysham C, Frías JP, et al. Efficacy and safety of a novel dual GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist tirzepatide in patients with type 2 diabetes (SURPASS-1): a double-blind, randomised, phase 3 trial. Lancet 2021;398:143-155.
  5. Ludvik B, Giorgino F, Jódar E, et al. Once-weekly tirzepatide versus once-daily insulin degludec as add-on to metformin with or without SGLT2 inhibitors in patients with type 2 diabetes (SURPASS-3): a randomised, open-label, parallel-group, phase 3 trial. Lancet 2021;398:583-598.
  6.  ZEPBOUND (tirzepatide) injection. United States prescribing information. Revised November 2023. US Food and Drug Administration. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2023/217806s000lbl.pdf (Accessed on November 18, 2023).
  7. Del Prato S, Kahn SE, Pavo I, et al. Tirzepatide versus insulin glargine in type 2 diabetes and increased cardiovascular risk (SURPASS-4): a randomised, open-label, parallel-group, multicentre, phase 3 trial. Lancet2021;398:1811-1824.
  8. Dahl D, Onishi Y, Norwood P, et al. Effect of Subcutaneous tirzepatide vs placebo added to titrated insulin glargine on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes: the SURPASS-5 randomized clinical trial. JAMA2022;327:534-545.
  9. Rosenstock, J., Wysham, C., Frías, J. P., Kaneko, S., Lee, C. J., Fernández Landó, L., Mao, H., Cui, X., Karanikas, C. A., & Thieu, V. T. (2021). Efficacy and safety of a novel dual GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist tirzepatide in patients with type 2 diabetes (SURPASS-1): a double-blind, randomised, phase 3 trial. Lancet (London, England), 398(10295), 143–155. 
  10. Willard, F. S., Douros, J. D., Gabe, M. B., Showalter, A. D., Wainscott, D. B., Suter, T. M., Capozzi, M. E., van der Velden, W. J., Stutsman, C., Cardona, G. R., Urva, S., Emmerson, P. J., Holst, J. J., D'Alessio, D. A., Coghlan, M. P., Rosenkilde, M. M., Campbell, J. E., & Sloop, K. W. (2020). Tirzepatide is an imbalanced and biased dual GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist. JCI insight, 5(17), e140532.

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