Tirzepatide and Semaglutide

How Does Tirzepatide Compare to Semaglutide in Terms of Efficacy?

Based on the search results, here’s a comparison of the efficacy of tirzepatide versus semaglutide:

  • Weight Loss:

    1. Tirzepatide appears to be more effective for weight loss compared to semaglutide.
    2. In clinical trials, tirzepatide 10 mg and 15 mg doses were more effective at lowering body weight than semaglutide 1 mg or 2 mg doses.
    3. One study showed tirzepatide led to weight loss of 7-13 kg (15.4-28.6 lbs), while semaglutide led to 6-10 kg (13.2-22 lbs) of weight loss.
  • Blood Sugar Control (HbA1c reduction):

    1. Tirzepatide seems to be more effective at reducing HbA1c levels compared to semaglutide.
    2. A meta-analysis found that tirzepatide 15 mg reduced HbA1c by 2.00%, tirzepatide 10 mg by 1.86%, and semaglutide 2.0 mg by 1.62% compared to placebo.
    3. Another study showed tirzepatide lowered A1C by 2-2.5%, while semaglutide lowered it by 1-2%.
  • Cardiovascular Benefits:

    1. Semaglutide has been shown to reduce cardiovascular risks in patients with type 2 diabetes or obesity and established heart disease.
    2. Cardiovascular outcome studies for tirzepatide are still ongoing.
  • Side Effects:

    1. Both medications increase the risk of gastrointestinal side effects.
    2. Tirzepatide, especially at higher doses, may be associated with a higher incidence of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea compared to semaglutide.
  • Cost-Effectiveness:

    1. One U.S. study suggested that tirzepatide may offer better value for money compared to semaglutide for weight reduction over 68-72 weeks.

It’s important to note that while tirzepatide appears to be more effective in some aspects, individual responses may vary. The choice between these medications should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider, considering factors such as the patient’s specific health needs, side effect profile, and treatment goals.

Are There Any Cost Differences Between Tirzepatide and Semaglutide?

Based on the search results, there are significant cost differences between tirzepatide and semaglutide:

  • Monthly retail costs:®

    1. Tirzepatide (Mounjaro®/Zepbound® ) costs approximately $ 800 -$1,500 per month without insurance.
    2. Semaglutide (Ozempic®/Wegovy®) costs about $600 -$1,430 per month without insurance.
  • Compounded versions:

    1. Compounded tirzepatide may cost around $300 -$400 per month.
    2. Compounded semaglutide is typically $200-$300 per month.
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis:

    1. A study found tirzepatide to be more cost-effective for weight loss, with the cost to treat each 1% reduction of body weight being $985 for tirzepatide compared to $1,845 for semaglutide.
  • Long-term cost analysis:

    1. The total cost of 72 weeks of tirzepatide treatment was estimated to be about $17,500 compared to $22,800 for 68 weeks of semaglutide treatment.
  • Cost-effectiveness for diabetes treatment:

    1. Tirzepatide 10 mg was associated with higher costs but greater reductions in A1c and weight compared to semaglutide 1 mg.
    2. The incremental cost for tirzepatide 10 mg was $854 more per year than semaglutide 1 mg, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $2,247 per 1% reduction in A1c and $237 per 1 kg of weight loss.
  • Projected long-term costs:

    1. A 50-year projection model suggested tirzepatide may save patients more than $15,000 per quality-adjusted life-year compared to high-dose semaglutide (2.0 mg).

It’s important to note that actual costs can vary depending on factors such as insurance coverage, dosage, discounts and specific formulation. Additionally, some insurance plans may cover these medications, potentially reducing out-of-pocket costs for patients.

Which Drug Has a Better Safety Profile, Tirzepatide or Semaglutide?

When comparing the safety profiles of tirzepatide and semaglutide, both medications exhibit similar types of side effects, primarily gastrointestinal in nature. However, there are some differences in the incidence and severity of these side effects.

Common Side Effects

Both tirzepatide and semaglutide can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. These side effects are most prevalent during the early stages of treatment and tend to decrease over time.

  • Tirzepatide: Approximately 25-30% of patients experience nausea when using tirzepatide.
  • Semaglutide: Users report similar rates of gastrointestinal side effects.

Serious Side Effects

Both medications have been associated with serious side effects, although these are rare:

  • Pancreatitis: Both drugs carry a risk of pancreatitis.
  • Gallbladder Disease: There is a potential risk for gallbladder issues with both medications.
  • Renal Impairment: Both drugs can cause renal impairment in some cases.
  • Thyroid C-cell Tumors: Both medications have boxed warnings for the risk of thyroid C-cell tumors, which is the most serious warning from the FDA.

Comparative Safety Data

A network meta-analysis indicated that all doses of tirzepatide and semaglutide increased the risk for gastrointestinal adverse events. However, tirzepatide, especially at higher doses, was associated with a greater relative increase in risk for nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea compared to semaglutide:

  • Nausea: Tirzepatide 15 mg had a higher risk ratio (RR) for nausea compared to semaglutide 1.0 mg and 0.5 mg.
  • Vomiting: Tirzepatide 15 mg also had a higher RR for vomiting compared to semaglutide 1.0 mg and 0.5 mg.
  • Diarrhea: Tirzepatide 15 mg had a higher RR for diarrhea compared to placebo, but specific comparisons with semaglutide were not highlighted.


While both tirzepatide and semaglutide have similar safety profiles, tirzepatide, particularly at higher doses, may be associated with a higher incidence of gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea and vomiting compared to semaglutide. Both medications carry serious risks, including pancreatitis, gallbladder disease, renal impairment, and thyroid C-cell tumors. The choice between these medications should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider, considering the patient’s specific health needs, tolerance for potential side effects, and treatment goals. It is important they are used under guidance of a Physician who is experienced in their use and specializes in Weight Management like Dr. Chhabra in Hackensack, New Jersey. If you need more information or to make an appointment call 201 487 8010.