Tirzepatide vs. Ozempic: Differences and Similarities

A young man checking his blood sugar level

What Is Ozempic?

Ozempic is a brand name for semaglutide, a medication created by Novo Nordisk in 2012, often prescribed for managing type 2 diabetes and effective weight loss treatment of patients who have a body mass index of 27 or higher.

This medication belongs to the GLP-1 receptor agonist class family and simulates the GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) hormone, leading to insulin production and glucose reduction.

It often happens that doctors prescribe it after other diabetes medications (such as metformin) have been used for some time already.

How Does Ozempic Work?

There are three main ways in which Ozempic works on patients:

  • Stimulating insulin production. As it is capable of binding with the GLP-1 receptors, it can stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin. That is the reason why it is so often used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes.
  • Reducing glucagon secretion. Ozempic can reduce the production of glucagon in a glucose-dependent manner. It means it can help you control blood sugar levels by reducing the amount of sugar that is released by your liver into your body.
  • Preventing blood sugar spikes. This medication can slow down the process of food leaving your stomach, which reduces your appetite. That is the main reason why it has such significant weight loss results and is used for weight reduction in obesity treatments.

 

Thanks to its properties, Ozempic can also lower the risk of major cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes. They include, for example, a stroke, a heart attack, or even death in a patient who has been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.

It is important to note that Ozempic should not be used to treat patients with type 1 diabetes due to the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis. This condition develops when the body does not have enough insulin to let blood sugar into your cells for use as energy, and it starts to use fat instead, leading to dangerously increased levels of ketones produced very fast.

Another important thing to remember is that Ozempic cannot be used together with other type 2 diabetes medications, including insulin and metformin.

What Can Be the Side Effects of Taking Ozempic?

Medications are not perfect, and they all may have some side effects. Fortunately, those associated with Ozempic are not common, as they have been reported by just around 5% of the patients.

These side effects may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Nausea

 

Stomach side effects usually appear at the beginning of Ozempic use but have been reported to reduce as time goes by and the body gets used to the medication.

Even though serious side effects happen rarely, you need to be aware of them and reach out to your doctor as soon as possible if you have or suspect any of the following conditions:

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Kidney failure
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Pancreatitis (pancreas inflammation)
  • Diabetic retinopathy (eye damage associated with diabetes)
  • Allergic reaction

What Is Tirzepatide?

Tirzepatide, often referred to by its brand name Mounjaro, is also a part of the GLP-1 receptor agonist family, used for treating patients with type 2 diabetes.

Interestingly, it can not only mimic GLP-1, but it is also a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonist. When these two hormones are combined, they are capable of influencing signals transferred to the brain around food intake. 

That is why this drug is frequently used for body weight reduction in obese patients, along with a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet.

A woman checking her weight on a scale

How Does Tirzepatide Work?

Tirzepatide works by affecting your GIP and GLP-1 hormones, which results in the following:

  • Boosting insulin secretion. It also makes your body more sensitive to insulin, which helps it control blood sugar levels more effectively.
  • Decreasing stomach acid production. As it slows down the food digestion process, it makes your gastric emptying slower as well. It allows you to feel full for longer and reduces your appetite. For this reason, tirzepatide works not only for treating patients with type 2 diabetes but also for those who need weight loss.

 

In 2022, there was a clinical trial including over 2500 overweight or obese participants. They were divided into 2 treatment groups – the first one was taking tirzepatide and the second one was given a placebo.

As a result, it was observed that during 72 weeks, people taking tirzepatide experienced a 15-20% weight loss. When it comes to the placebo group, its participants experienced body weight reductions of only 3%.

What Are the Side Effects of Tirzepatide?

As it has been previously mentioned, all medications may have some side effects, and tirzepatide is no exception. Even though most of them appear only at the beginning of the treatment when the body is still getting used to the active ingredient, you should be aware of them before starting to take tirzepatide.

The most common ones are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Loss or reduction in appetite

 

Apart from these most frequent side effects, taking tirzepatide can also lead to a lower blood sugar level, and you should contact your doctor in the case of experiencing any of the following adverse effects:

 

  • Slurred speech
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety, irritability, or frequent mood changes
  • Faster heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Headaches

 

Even though they are rare, it is significant to take into account that tirzepatide may also have some other potentially serious side effects and adverse events, such as:

  • Pancreatitis. If you experience strong abdominal pain or back pain, vomiting and fevers, you should stop taking tirzepatide immediately and seek immediate medical help.
  • Severe allergic reaction. When an allergic reaction becomes severe, a patient can even have a rash or trouble breathing, so it is crucial to seek urgent medical attention in such a situation.
  • Thyroid cancer. While it is a rare case, it cannot be completely ruled out, so if there was a case of thyroid cancer in your personal or family medical history, it is not advised to take this medication for either type diabetes or weight management.

Which Foods to Avoid When Taking Ozempic or Tirzepatide?

Fortunately, taking Ozempic or tirzepatide does not exclude any foods or drinks from your diet completely. However, there are certain products you should consume in limited amounts as a patient using either of these medications for weight loss or type 2 diabetes.

Sugary Foods and Drinks

Foods and drinks that are high in sugar can lead to quick spikes in blood sugar that counteract the effects of the GLP-1 receptor agonist. Therefore, products like sweets, cookies, ice cream, fizzy drinks, sweetened juices or even condiments with a lot of added sugar are not recommended for patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity.

They are high in calories and low in nutritional elements, and weight gain can be particularly risky for type 2 diabetes patients.

If you are in the mood for a sweet snack, go for fresh fruits instead, especially those with low-sugar content like grapefruits, kiwis, or berries.

Starchy vegetables

Even though vegetables are generally important in a balanced diet, not all of them are recommended if you are taking type 2 diabetes or weight loss medications.

Namely, it is recommended to limit starchy vegetables, such as corn, green peas, white potatoes, or butternut squash, as they can increase your blood glucose level.

The vegetables you should eat the most are the non-starchy ones, such as leafy greens, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, or bell peppers. As they are low in carbohydrates, they will not influence your blood glucose level significantly.

Refined Carbohydrates

If you take Ozempic or tirzepatide, or are simply trying to lose weight, refined carbohydrates should be very limited in your diet. It is because they include refined grains and sugars that have been deprived of their nutritious elements, such as fiber and bran. Refined carbohydrates can be found in, for instance, white bread, white rice, pizza dough, cereals, or candies.

Simple carbs should be replaced with whole grains and high-fiber foods, including wheat bread, brown rice, lentils, or quinoa. Thanks to their richness in fiber, they can be helpful in keeping your blood sugar at the right level.

Fatty Foods

Similar to sugary foods and drinks, those high in fat may also lead to fast sugar spikes, especially if they contain trans fat. Therefore, while taking Ozempic or tirzepatide, you should avoid fried products, including French fries, crisps, doughnuts, and other processed foods. Moreover, it is also recommended to limit or eliminate fatty meats (such as burgers, bacon, or sausages) and full-fat dairy products (including heavy cream or butter).

Keep in mind that greasy foods are particularly dangerous to diabetes patients as they contribute to heart disease leading to death.

Tirzepatide vs. Ozempic – The Bottom Line

As you can see, both of these medications can be very helpful in treating type 2 diabetes and stimulating weight loss accompanied by a healthy lifestyle and diet. However, both may have their side effects, so you need to be cautious while taking them and call your doctor as soon as you notice any alarming signs and symptoms.

Even though both tirzepatide in the form of Mounjaro or semaglutide as Ozempic can be very effective, many patients turn to the latter because it is usually less expensive. Thanks to our help, you can order Ozempic at the most beneficial prices. 

Namely, we are always up to date with the latest Ozempic coupons, making it possible for you to get it at a discounted price whenever possible. Visit our website regularly to make a lot of savings on your diabetes or weight loss medications!

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