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Bariatric Surgeon India

Medical management of obesity – semaglutide vs tirzapatide

Obesity is a complicated medical disorder affecting millions of individuals around the world. It also contributes to multiple obesity-related health complications like type-2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, etc.

Modifying obese people’s lifestyles by introducing a specific diet and physical activity plan has been one of the best options for losing weight for so long. However, some people with severe obesity or obesity-related comorbidities require medical interventions. With increased research and developing technology over the past few years, new medicines that focus on appetite control and weight loss have emerged as promising options. Two such drugs are tripeptide and semaglutide, which have gained the attention of the world for their effectiveness in treating obesity and enhancing metabolic health.

The main intention of developing these medications was to treat type 2 diabetes in obese people. However, in June 2021, the FDA approved the use of semaglutide (Wegovy) in the treatment of obesity in adults. Again, in December 2022, the FDA approved the use of semaglutide in obese adolescents aged 12 and older. 

The other medication, tirzepatide, was approved by the FDA in May 2022 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults. Later in 2023, the FDA approved tirzepatide injection for obesity treatment, the first and only kind of medicine that activates both Gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) hormone receptors.

Knowing About Tirzepatide and Semaglutide:

These drugs are part of a group of medicines called glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs). The functions of these medications are similar to those of the endogenous hormone GLP-1, which plays a key role in controlling hunger, food consumption, and glucose metabolism. As mentioned, these medications activate GLP-1 receptors in the brain and peripheral tissues, increasing the feeling of fullness and reducing appetite, eventually resulting in weight loss.


Semaglutide is available in different variants; the Ozempic variant is used to treat diabetes, and Wegovy is used to treat obesity. It is given in the form of injectable GLP-1 RA once a week. Our digestive system releases the GLP-1 hormone when we eat, which usually triggers more insulin production. However, this hormone has the ability to send signals of fullness to the brain. 

The clinical trials conducted on semaglutide have proved that it is very efficient in promoting weight loss compared to other weight loss medications, which include traditional. The semaglutide treatment effect on obese people, popularly known as STEP trials, has shown considerable weight reduction even after STEP 1, 2, 3, and 4 trials. In addition, patients treated with semaglutide showed progress in cardiometabolic parameters.


Tirzepatide can act on both glucagon receptors, GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide), and GLP-1, which is why it is called a “dual agonist.” The GIP hormone may additionally induce insulin production and a feeling of fullness. This dual mechanism helps with glucose control and weight loss. 

Several clinical trials have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of tirzepatide for obesity treatment, which have produced positive outcomes where patients lost substantial weight and improved their blood sugar levels. Over the past few years, researchers have been trying to develop tirzepatide as a potential treatment for both obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Semaglutide drug is available as both oral tablets and injections, whereas tirzepatide is available as an injection only.

Comparing the efficiency and safety of semaglutide and tirzepatide

Though both of these drugs are efficient in helping people lose weight and improve their metabolic functions, there are several factors that differentiate them.

Administration and the dosage of medicine 

Generally, both semaglutide and tirzepatide are given once a week in the form of an injection. However, the frequency and dosage vary from one person to another, depending on various other factors such as patient convenience and compliance.


In some clinical trials, using tirzepatide has shown comparable or even better weight loss results compared to semaglutide This might be due to the dual agonism of tirzepatide at the GLP-1R and GIPR, which offer additional benefits related to appetite control and regulating blood glucose levels.

Maintenance of blood glucose levels

Both medicines are effective in improving blood sugar levels in obese people with type 2 diabetes. However, the dual mechanism of tirzepatide might make it more effective in improving blood glucose levels when compared with semaglutide.


Although both drugs are generally safe, their adverse effects are similar because their functions are very similar. Side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and hypoglycemia are observed while using these medications, especially during the initial days of treatment. Safety in the long-term use of these medications is still materialising, and further studies are also being conducted to assess further side effects.

In conclusion, semaglutide and tirzepatide are promising developments in the medical field to treat obesity without surgery. These medications offer effective and well-tolerated treatment options for people with obesity and health complications related to obesity. These weight loss medications are new and recommended to be used only under the guidance of an expert bariatric surgeon. For more detailed information, consult Dr. V Pareek, one of the best weight loss surgeons in Hyderabad with more than 17 years of experience. He can help you with the best weight loss treatment, including semaglutide and tirzepatide medications if they suit you. 


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