Medication Comparison

Wegovy vs. Zepbound: What You Need to Know

Zepbound and Wegovy offer distinct approaches to weight loss, each with its unique benefits and considerations. Consulting healthcare professionals for personalized guidance is essential for choosing the most suitable option and achieving successful outcomes.


  • Friday, April 5, 2024

Zepbound and Wegovy, two cutting-edge weight loss treatments, have gained significant traction lately. You may have encountered them through TV commercials, celebrity endorsements, or inspiring tales shared on social media. If you're unfamiliar with these medications, we're here to provide a quick overview of each and highlight what sets them apart. For a deeper dive into the topic, you can also explore the linked article.

Introduction to Zepbound

Zepbound (tirzepatide) is a medication developed by Eli Lilly and initially approved for medical use in the United states in November of 2023. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an adjunct to diet and exercise for chronic weight management in adults with obesity.

Like other popular medications Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus, Zepbound works by mimicking GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) hormone receptors, receptors in the gut responsible for feelings of fullness. Unlike these other medications, however, Zepbound is a dual-acting medication, so it also activates GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) receptors. This dual-action is what truly sets Zepbound apart from the competition, and is part of the reason it is so much more effective than traditional options.

Intro to Wegovy

Wegovy (semaglutide) is a medication developed by Novo Nordisk and initially approved for medical use in June 2021. It belongs to the GLP-1 receptor agonist class of medications and mimics the hormone GLP-1. However, Wegovy received FDA approval in June 2021 for the treatment of obesity rather than diabetes and is administered via subcutaneous injection rather than orally. If you read this article, much of this information may sound familiar. That’s because it is! Though Ozempic and Wegovy are FDA approved for different conditions, there is virtually no other difference between them (other than recommended dosage). The relationship between Ozempic and Wegovy is the same as Mounjaro and Zepbound.

What Sets Them Apart?

Though both Zepbound and Wegovy operate as GLP-1 receptor agonists, they differ in their chemical makeup and mechanism of action. Zepbound contains tirzepatide, while Wegovy utilizes semaglutide. Without delving too deeply into scientific jargon, let's take a quick look at research findings, specifically focusing on the average weight loss associated with each medication.

The Research

There are two relevant sets of research studies: the SURMOUNT trials and the STEP trials. The SURMOUNT trials were funded by Eli Lilly for approval of Zepbound, while the STEP trials were funded by Eli Lilly for approval of Wegovy. There are currently two SURMOUNT trials with results, which can be viewed in more detail here. The SURMOUNT 1 trial, which only included non-diabetic individuals, found the average person lost 20.9% of their bodyweight on the highest dose over 72 weeks of treatment. The SURMOUNT 2 trial, which only included diabetic individuals, found the average person lost 14.7% of their body weight at the highest dose over 72 weeks of treatment. There are currently 8 published STEP trials, which ranged between 9.6% to 17.4% of average weight lost. The STEP trials can be viewed in more detail here. According to current research, the average individual on tirzepatide loses more weight than on semaglutide, though only by a few percentage points.

Which One Is Right for Me?

When choosing between Wegovy and Zepbound, the decision often boils down to factors like cost and how well your body tolerates them. At MD Exam, patients typically begin with semaglutide and later transition to tirzepatide for more aggressive weight loss. Our observations align with research, showing that semaglutide tends to have fewer and milder side effects, along with more moderate weight loss and lower expenses. Before starting treatment with either semaglutide or tirzepatide for weight loss, it's crucial to seek guidance from a healthcare professional, such as the medical team at MD Exam. By conducting a thorough questionnaire and reviewing your medical history, we'll design a personalized weight loss plan tailored to your needs. While both medications have shown effectiveness, individual outcomes may vary slightly.

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