Who does not want a healthy and fit body? Weight is a common indicator of health - experts do not consider people who are overweight or underweight to be healthy. Mounjaro and Wegovy are two medicines that help people shed their extra weight. Weight loss and related topics can often be sensitive issues. As such, there is much research on these matters - some of the research is contradictory.
However, doctors, scientists, and medical research experts are looking towards hormones to help people manage their weight. Hormones are natural compounds found in the body that perform several important roles. Thus, regulating how hormones work can help manage weight and related issues.
This article informs readers about two leading medicines that help manage weight - Mounjaro and Wegovy. This article can help people understand how these medicines work and make an educated choice between the two.
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What Is Mounjaro?
‘Mounjaro’ is a trade or brand name for a medicine whose active ingredient is ‘tirzepatide’. Tirzepatide is a natural compound found in the body. It helps perform several important bodily functions. It is a compound that mimics a class of hormones called ‘glucagon-like peptide-1’ or ‘GLP-1’. However, it also mimics the effect of another class of hormones called ‘glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide’ or ‘GIP’. Thus, its ability to mimic two different types of hormones is unique.
Medical experts have known about and studied GLP-1-mimicking compounds for some time. It is this research that led to the discovery of tirzepatide. Initial research and data indicated that tirzepatide could help people with diabetes manage their symptoms. Specifically, its action made it suitable for treating Type 2 diabetes. However, growing evidence indicates that tirzepatide can help people manage their weight.
What Is Wegovy?
‘Wegovy’ is a trade or brand name for a weight-management medicine whose active ingredient is ‘semaglutide’. Semaglutide is a natural compound that can perform several important bodily functions. Like tirzepatide, semaglutide mimics the action of the GLP-1 class of hormones. However, it cannot mimic the effects of GIP hormones in the body. However, this inability to mimic GIP hormones does not make it less effective than tirzepatide.
Like many other compounds that help people manage their weight , semaglutide started as a diabetes drug. Its ability to mimic the effects of GLP-1 hormones helps semaglutide manage and control the symptoms of diabetes. One of the first drugs that used semaglutide was called ‘Ozempic’. However, it has health benefits beyond managing type 2 diabetes. Several studies indicate that semaglutide can help people manage their weight as well.
Thus, more research and data came out in support of semaglutide’s weight management benefits. In 2021, only four years after Ozempic came out, the market saw the first semaglutide-based medicines for weight management.
What Is A GLP-1 Hormone?
The brain is responsible for controlling and managing the human body. It does so using a variety of control mechanisms, one of which is the body’s hormone system. These hormones regulate various bodily functions, including digestion and metabolism. Glucagon-like peptide-1, also called GLP-1, are a class of hormones that help regulate these digestive and metabolic processes.
Research suggests that elevated GLP-1 levels indicate to the brain that its appetite is full. Thus, it helps regulate food intake. However, experts believe that some people’s brains may be immune to GLP-1. In other cases, their bodies do not produce enough GLP-1 for their brains to register their signals. Such people are prone to overeating as their brains cannot tell when they are full. Medicines like Mounjaro and Wegovy can help such people rein in their appetites.
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What Is A GIP Hormone?
The body does not rely on only one type of hormone to regulate itself. Like various other biological processes, hormones work in a complicated arrangement with each other. The GLP-1 hormones that help regulate digestion and appetite are no exception. Another class of hormones is called the ‘glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide’ or ‘GIP’ hormones. GIP hormones aid GLP-1 hormones in their digestive and metabolic action.
GIP hormones help GLP-1 enhance its action of regulating the appetite. It helps GLP-1 tell the brain that it needs to stop eating. Thus, GIP enhances the ability of GLP-1 hormones to prevent overeating.
Who Makes These Two Medicines?
The company behind the brand name Mounjaro is called Eli Lilly and Co. It is an American pharmaceutical company that started making tirzepatide in 2016.
Wegovy is a formulation that uses semaglutide and is made by the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk. Both these companies are well-known in the pharmaceutical industry.
Tirzepatide and semaglutide are medical-grade drugs that require careful handling. The manufacturing facilities use the latest technological advances to ensure purity and quality.
What Do These Two Medicines Do?
Both Mounjaro and Wegovy are medicines that can help people manage their weight. Though the active compound is different, they act via similar mechanisms in the body. The key pathway involves mimicking the effect of GLP-1 hormones in the brain. Mounjaro uses tirzepatide as its GLP-1 mimicking agent, while Wegovy uses semaglutide. The compounds may be different, but their biological effect is quite similar.
GLP-1 and GIP hormones signal the brain to stop food intake. GIP hormones can also help initiate processes that help burn off the energy gained from eating food. Thus, GLP-1 and GIP hormones can help improve blood glucose levels and overall fitness. Medicines like Mounjaro and Wegovy contain compounds that mimic the effects of these hormones. Thus, using these medicines per a doctor’s advice can help people manage their weight and other related issues.
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How Effective Are These Two Medicines At Managing Weight?
Tirzepatide and semaglutide have different effects on the body. Tirzepatide, the active ingredient in Mounjaro, mimics the effect of GLP-1 and GIP hormones. Semaglutide, the active ingredient in Wegovy, only mimics the effect of GLP-1 hormones. Thus, tirzepatide is also called a ‘twincreatin’ medicine as it mimics two hormone groups.
Scientific trials involving placebos and controls show promising results for tirzepatide. People taking tirzepatide lost, on average, 22% of their starting weight. People participating in these trails also undertook important lifestyle changes. They ate a healthier diet and improved their exercise routine.
Similar trials for semaglutide also gave positive results for weight management. People who coupled semaglutide doses with better diets and exercises lost about 15% of their initial weight.
What Is The Right Dose For These Two Medicines?
Tirzepatide is a potent medical compound that mimics two types of hormones. It works to mimic the effect of GLP-1 and GIP hormones. Thus, it requires a relatively lower dosage to achieve its results. The typical dosage range for Mounjaro, whose active ingredient is tirzepatide, is between 2.5 and 15 mg. It is injected subcutaneously once a week.
Although semaglutide only mimics GLP-1 hormones, it typically needs a fairly low dose to be effective. Most doctors recommend taking around 2.4 mg of Wegovy, whose active ingredient is semaglutide. This medicine is also injected subcutaneously once a week.
Readers must bear in mind the fact that these are regulated prescription drugs. These substances can have significant side effects if used incorrectly. Therefore, people who wish to use Mounjaro or Wegovy must talk to a qualified doctor. Only a doctor can prescribe the correct dose of these medicines.
Are There Any Side Effects To Using These Two Medicines?
Tirzepatide and semaglutide have similar effects on the human body. This similarity also extends to their possible side effects. Both tirzepatide and semaglutide can produce a range of possible side effects in people. These side effects depend on various factors, such as interactions with other medicines or drugs. Side effects may also come about due to underlying biological factors.
Here is a short list of some of the possible side effects of these prescription medicines:
● Nausea and vomiting.
● Severely depressed/suppressed appetite.
● Stomach pains, cramps, and diarrhea.
● Low blood glucose, especially in people with Type 2 diabetes.
● Acute diseases in digestive tract organs and thyroid issues.
Does One Of These Medicines Cost More Than The Other?
Since these drugs are technically different compounds, they are made using different processes. Thus, these medicines can have different costs. The exact costs will depend on the patient’s geographic location, local laws and regulations, insurance coverages etc.
However, here is the typical cost of these two medicines:
● Mounjaro: Monthly cost is around USD 975. With insurance, it may come down to USD 25.
● Wegovy: Monthly cost is around USD 1,500. With insurance, it may come down to USD 25.
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Which Of These Two Medicines Is Better?
As seen in previous sections, tirzepatide can reportedly help people lose 22% of their weight. Thus, tirzepatide may be a better weight-management medicine. However, patients must make educated decisions in consultation with their doctors.
Weight management is a serious health concern. Doctors and healthcare experts understand the benefits of medicines in helping people manage their weight. Tirzepatide, the active ingredient in Mounjaro, is a promising new drug. Semaglutide, the active ingredient in Wegovy, can also help in this regard.
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