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What is Mounjaro: common weight loss questions

Dr. Mick Singh Health-X

Reviewed by Mick Singh, MD

What is Mounjaro: Common Weight Loss Questions

Mounjaro, branded under the drug name tirzepatide, represents a groundbreaking approach in the realm of weight loss interventions. Unlike its single-receptor agonist counterparts such as semaglutide in medications like Ozempic and Wegovy, Mounjaro operates as a ‘dual-agonist,’ simultaneously activating two receptors. This distinctive mechanism yields exceptional weight loss outcomes, surpassing the effects of single-agonist treatments.

How does Mounjaro work for weight loss?

The potency of Mounjaro arises from its ability to engage two vital receptors: glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). These receptors play pivotal roles in regulating blood sugar levels and moderating appetite. While medications like Wegovy and Ozempic activate solely the GLP-1 receptor, Mounjaro’s unique composition stimulates both the GLP-1 and GIP receptors, amplifying its weight loss potential.

How much weight can I lose with Mounjaro?

The clinical trial results for Mounjaro have been nothing short of remarkable. Participants administered the highest dosage, 15 milligrams, witnessed astonishing outcomes, experiencing weight reduction of up to an impressive 21% of their body weight. This underscores the unparalleled effectiveness of Mounjaro’s dual-agonist approach in fostering substantial weight loss.

Is Mounjaro approved for weight loss?

Mounjaro is not yet FDA-approved for weight loss, but providers are prescribing it off-label for this purpose.

What are the side effects of Mounjaro?

Mounjaro has the potential to lead to certain side effects, which include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Other gastrointestinal (GI) related problems

It’s important to note that many of these side effects are temporary and tend to subside within the initial few weeks of use. However, if these effects are notably severe or persist beyond this period, it is recommended to promptly inform your doctor.

Does Mounjaro have any interactions with other medicine?

Generally, there are no safety issues when taking Mounjaro along with the majority of other drugs. It’s crucial to remember that Mounjaro can have an impact on the digestive system, which could perhaps change how your body consumes oral drugs. Your doctor might need to change the dosages of the other medications you’re taking as a result. Based on their observations of how your body takes these medications, they would make these modifications.

Extra care and monitoring are required if you take insulin or any other medications that affect your insulin levels. Combining Mounjaro with such drugs may increase your risk of experiencing low blood sugar. Due to the combined effect of Mounjaro and other drugs that affect blood sugar levels, this danger may become more obvious.

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How often do you take Mounjaro?

Mounjaro is administered on a weekly basis using a prefilled syringe designed for single use. For a month’s supply, you will require four of these syringe pens.

How quickly does Mounjaro work for weight loss?

The amount of time required to achieve a weight loss of at least 5% was found to vary across different treatments. Specifically, individuals taking Mounjaro 5 mg experienced a median time of 16 weeks to reach this weight loss milestone. On the other hand, those using Mounjaro 10 mg and 15 mg observed a slightly shorter median duration of 12 weeks. In comparison, participants who received injectable semaglutide 1 mg as a treatment had a comparatively longer median period of 24 weeks to attain the same level of weight loss.

How to get Mounjaro for weight loss

In the near future, acquiring Mounjaro for weight loss is anticipated to become quite convenient following its approval by the FDA for this specific purpose. This, of course, hinges on meeting the stipulated eligibility criteria:

  • Having a BMI of 30 or higher
  • Possessing a BMI of 27 or greater, coupled with at least one weight-related ailment (such as diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure)

In the meantime, you have a range of options for obtaining Mounjaro for weight loss. One way is to talk with your primary care provider to explore the possibility of them prescribing it to you for off-label use. 

At Health-X, our team of board-certified physicians offer access to cutting-edge prescription weight loss medication (GLP-1) including Mounjaro. Schedule a virtual consultation:

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Davies M, Færch L, Jeppesen OK, Pakseresht A, Pedersen SD, Perreault L, Rosenstock J, Shimomura I, Viljoen A, Wadden TA, Lingvay I; STEP 2 Study Group. Semaglutide 2·4 mg once a week in adults with overweight or obesity, and type 2 diabetes (STEP 2): a randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial. Lancet. 2021 Mar 13;397(10278):971-984. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00213-0. Epub 2021 Mar 2. PMID: 33667417. Referenced from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33667417

Franz MJ. Weight Management: Obesity to Diabetes. Diabetes Spectr. 2017 Aug;30(3):149-153. doi: 10.2337/ds17-0011. PMID: 28848305; PMCID: PMC5556579. Referenced from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5556579

Frías, J. P., Davies, M. J., Rosenstock, J., et al. (2021). Tirzepatide versus semaglutide once weekly in patients with type 2 diabetes. The New England Journal of Medicine, 385(6), 503–515. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2107519. Referenced from: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2107519

Mounjaro™ (tirzepatide) injection Prescribing Information. Eli Lilly & Company; May 2022. https://investor.lilly.com/news-releases/news-release-details/new-analyses-mounjarotm-tirzepatide-injection-treatment-adults

FDA approves Lilly's Mounjaro™ (tirzepatide) injection, the first and only GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes https://investor.lilly.com/news-releases/news-release-details/fda-approves-lillys-mounjarotm-tirzepatide-injection-first-and

Disclaimer: If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The content within the Health-X Knowledge Base is supported by peer-reviewed research and data sourced from reputable medical societies and governmental entities. It is essential to note, however, that these resources do not replace the need for personalized medical guidance, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified medical professional.

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