Weight Loss Protocol
The FDA-Approved Weight Loss Protocol
Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) is FDA approved for Type 2 diabetes. The Medication has shown promising results for weight loss in people without diabetes, as well. Tirzepatide is the first medication in its class and comes as a once-weekly injection. It works by reducing your body’s insulin levels, blood sugar production, and hunger hormones.
The FDA has granted Tirzepatide its Fast Track designation to be reviewed for the treatment of obesity and overweight. This means they will review and potentially approve it for weight loss sooner than is typical for medication approval. As with any medication, it has side effects and risks to be aware of. So, if you’re considering using Tirzepatide for weight loss, what should you know about this medication?
In addition to treating Type 2 diabetes, Tirzepatide has been shown to help with weight loss in people without diabetes. A clinical trial of over 2,500 people with obesity or overweight experienced significant weight loss with weekly Tirzepatide. Those treated with Tirzepatide had an average weight loss of 15% to 20% of their starting body weight over 72 weeks (about 16 and a half months). Those taking the placebo (an injection with no medication in it) only had an average of 3% weight loss.
How does Tirzepatide work?
Tirzepatide is unique because it’s the first combination of two classes of medications: a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist and a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonist. Therefore, Tirzepatide is known as a dual GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist. GLP-1 and GIP are both incretin hormones, which are hormones that are released after eating. Tirzepatide works by mimicking their effects. This includes telling the pancreas to release insulin after eating and signaling the liver to lower the amount of glucose it’s making. These effects help you feel full, slow down digestion, and lower blood sugar.
How does Tirzepatide cause weight loss?
In addition to helping lower blood sugar, Tirzepatide helps with weight loss in a few ways:
- It signals to the brain that you’re full — so you eat less.
- It slows the movement of food through your stomach — so you feel full longer.
Other similar injectable weight loss medications only mimic one incretin — GLP-1. It’s thought that because Tirzepatide acts like two incretins, it can cause more weight loss than current alternatives.
What are the side effects of Tirzepatide?
Like any medication, Tirzepatide can cause side effects. These seem to be most bothersome when first starting it or after raising the dose. Most side effects are mild and resolve with time.
Common side effects include:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Upset stomach
If these side effects are severe or ongoing, discuss them with your healthcare provider.
What are the dangers of using Tirzepatide for weight loss?
There are also some potentially serious side effects that can happen with Tirzepatide. These include:
- Severe allergic reaction. This can cause a rash and breathing difficulties, and requires immediate medical attention.
- Pancreatitis. This can cause severe stomach or back pain, vomiting, and fevers, and requires immediate medical attention.
- Thyroid cancer. Your healthcare provider may recommend avoiding Tirzepatide if you or a close family member has a history of certain types of thyroid cancer.
- Gallbladder problems. This can include gallstones.
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This is especially possible when used with insulin, sulfonylureas, or glinides.
- Tirzepatide can also interact with other medications. Make sure you review your medications with your healthcare provider and pharmacist.
Recommended medication instructions:
A weekly starting those of 25units weekly. This is a subcutaneously injection into the fat of the stomach. There is minimal discomfort associated with the injection. The medication may be increased as tolerated.