What is Tirzepatide?

Tirzepatide is a medication used to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity. It is a dual-acting glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonist, which means it mimics the action of natural hormones in the body to help regulate blood sugar levels and promote weight loss.

Tirzepatide works by:

  • Stimulating the release of insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels
  • Slowing the release of glucose from the stomach into the small intestine
  • Reducing appetite and increasing feelings of fullness
  • Increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin, making it easier for glucose to enter cells

Tirzepatide is administered through a once-weekly injection and is available under the brand names Mounjaro and Zepbound. It is approved for use in adults with type 2 diabetes and obesity, and is often used in combination with diet and exercise to help manage blood sugar levels and promote weight loss.


Benefits of taking Tirzepatide

Some of the benefits of tirzepatide include:

  • Effective in reducing blood sugar levels and improving glycemic control
  • Can help with weight loss and improve body composition
  • May reduce the risk of cardiovascular events and mortality
  • Can be used in combination with other medications to improve blood sugar control

There are potential side effects such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Injection site reactions
  • Increased risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer


Clinical Data

Tirzepatide Once Weekly for the Treatment of Obesity New England Journal of Medicine VOL 387 No. 3

In this phase 3 double-blind, randomized, controlled trial, we assigned 2539 adults with a body-mass index (BMI; the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) of 30 or more, or 27 or more and at least one weight-related complication, excluding diabetes, in a 1:1:1:1 ratio to receive once-weekly, subcutaneous tirzepatide (5 mg, 10 mg, or 15 mg) or placebo for 72 weeks, including a 20-week dose-escalation period.

Coprimary end points were the percentage change in weight from baseline and a weight reduction of 5% or more. The treatment-regimen estimand assessed effects regardless of treatment discontinuation in the intention-to-treat population.


At baseline, the mean body weight was 104.8 kg, the mean BMI was 38.0, and 94.5% of participants had a BMI of 30 or higher. The mean percentage change in weight at week 72 was −15.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], −15.9 to −14.2) with 5-mg weekly doses of tirzepatide, −19.5% (95% CI, −20.4 to −18.5) with 10-mg doses, and −20.9% (95% CI, −21.8 to −19.9) with 15-mg doses and −3.1% (95% CI, −4.3 to −1.9) with placebo (P<0.001 for all comparisons with placebo). The percentage of participants who had weight reduction of 5% or more was 85% (95% CI, 82 to 89), 89% (95% CI, 86 to 92), and 91% (95% CI, 88 to 94) with 5 mg, 10 mg, and 15 mg of tirzepatide, respectively, and 35% (95% CI, 30 to 39) with placebo; 50% (95% CI, 46 to 54) and 57% (95% CI, 53 to 61) of participants in the 10-mg and 15-mg groups had a reduction in body weight of 20% or more, as compared with 3% (95% CI, 1 to 5) in the placebo group (P<0.001 for all comparisons with placebo). Improvements in all prespecified cardiometabolic measures were observed with tirzepatide. The most common adverse events with tirzepatide were gastrointestinal, and most were mild to moderate in severity, occurring primarily during dose escalation. Adverse events caused treatment discontinuation in 4.3%, 7.1%, 6.2%, and 2.6% of participants receiving 5-mg, 10-mg, and 15-mg tirzepatide doses and placebo, respectively.


In this 72-week trial in participants with obesity, 5 mg, 10 mg, or 15 mg of tirzepatide once weekly provided substantial and sustained reductions in body weight.



Click here to read what the NIH says about the differences between Semaglutide and Tirzepatide.