How Tirzepatide Works

Tirzepatide is a unique injectable medication for type 2 diabetes because it works through a dual mechanism of action. It targets two key gut hormones involved in blood sugar control: Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP).

GLP-1 is a natural incretin hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels in a few ways:

  • Stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreas after a meal
  • Suppresses the release of glucagon from the pancreas, which helps prevent blood sugar from rising too high
  • Slows down the emptying of stomach contents, which can help you feel fuller for longer and reduce food intake

GIP, another incretin hormone, also helps regulate blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion from the pancreas.

However, its role is less well-understood than GLP-1. Tirzepatide’s dual action on both GLP-1 and GIP receptors leads to several beneficial effects for blood sugar control, including:

While the exact contribution of GIP receptor activation in tirzepatide’s effects is still being investigated, it is believed to play a role in:

Overall, tirzepatide’s dual mechanism of action offers a comprehensive approach to blood sugar control for people with type 2 diabetes.