Mounjaro vs. Ozempic: Which Is Better for Weight Loss?

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In one corner, we’ve got Mounjaro®, and in the other, Ozempic. They’re both once-a-week injectable drugs designed to help patients with type 2 diabetes manage blood sugar. And they’re both prescribed off-label for weight loss. But this still leaves many questions about Mounjaro versus Ozempic.

If you’re weighing out your weight loss options, you might wonder, What’s the difference?


These medications have different active ingredients that work in similar ways. And while there are no strong studies directly comparing the two, it seems like Mounjaro might be more effective for weight loss.

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What’s the Difference Between Mounjaro and Ozempic?

Mounjaro and Ozempic are both diabetes drugs prescribed off-label for weight loss. That means they’re not approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) for weight loss but are often prescribed for it.

So, is Mounjaro the same as Ozempic? Nope. They’re similar, but they have different active ingredients.

(RelatedOzempic For Weight Loss: How It Works, Side Effects & More)

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What Is Ozempic?

Ozempic is one brand name for the drug semaglutide from the pharmaceutical manufacturer Novo Nordisk. It’s FDA-approved to help those with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels.

The medication can also reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (like heart attack) in those with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Ozempic is often prescribed alongside diet and exercise changes. And as mentioned, weight loss is an off-label use.

Other brand names for semaglutide you might have heard of include Wegovy (a higher-dose semaglutide injection FDA-approved for weight loss) and Rybelsus (a tablet form of semaglutide FDA-approved to help type 2 diabetics manage their blood sugar).

How Ozempic Works

How does Ozempic work? Well, semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. It mimics the GLP-1 hormone, which is made in the intestinal tract when you eat.

GLP-1 prompts the body to make more insulin, which lowers blood sugar, and in high levels, it reduces appetite and signals that you feel full.

A few other factors are at play when you’re on Ozempic, but for the most part, weight loss happens because you feel less hungry and eat fewer calories.

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What Is Mounjaro?

Mounjaro is one brand name for the drug tirzepatide from the pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly. It’s also FDA-approved to help those with type 2 diabetes manage blood sugar and prescribed off-label for weight loss.

Zepbound is another brand name for tirzepatide — and this one is FDA-approved for weight loss.

How Mounjaro Works

So, how does Mounjaro work? Tirzepatide works similarly to semaglutide. The difference here is that tirzepatide is a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonist and a GLP-1 receptor agonist.

That means Mounjaro targets two receptors in the body, whereas Ozempic only targets one. The end result is the same, though: a decreased appetite, eating fewer calories and weight loss.

(RelatedOzempic vs Metformin For Weight Loss)

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How Effective Are Mounjaro vs. Ozempic for Weight Loss?

Both Mounjaro and Ozempic are effective for weight loss. Unfortunately, there are currently no strong studies directly comparing the two for weight loss specifically. From what we know, Mounjaro may be more effective for weight loss than Ozempic — and potentially better for blood sugar control too.

Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) Effectiveness for Weight Loss

A 2023 systematic review and meta-analysis looked into 14 trials of tirzepatide on more than 11,000 people with type 2 diabetes. It found that doses of 5 milligrams (mg), 10 milligrams and 15 milligrams led to weight loss.

Tirzepatide has also been shown to be effective in those without diabetes. A 2022 study looked at more than 2,500 people with a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or more or a BMI of 27 or more with at least one weight-related health condition that wasn’t diabetes.

Participants took either 5 milligrams, 10 milligrams or 15 milligrams of tirzepatide or a placebo for 72 weeks, including 20 weeks when their doses gradually increased. All three doses produced substantial weight loss, with higher doses leading to more weight loss.

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Semaglutide (Ozempic) Effectiveness for Weight Loss

Semaglutide is also effective for weight loss.

A 2022 review looked at results from the STEP (Semaglutide Treatment Effect in People with obesity) clinical trial programs.

It found that people taking a 2.4-milligram semaglutide injection had average weight losses of 15 to 17 percent. These participants had excess weight or obesity but not type 2 diabetes.

Clinical Studies on Ozempic vs. Mounjaro

What about studies comparing the two?

A 2022 analysis did an adjusted indirect treatment comparison (meaning the medications’ effects from other studies were compared rather than testing both in one study).

It found tirzepatide in 10-milligram and 15-milligram doses significantly reduced body weight compared to 2 milligrams of semaglutide. But there was no significant difference between the 5-milligram dose of tirzepatide and the 2-milligram dose of semaglutide.

A 2021 study with almost 1,900 participants comparing their effectiveness for diabetes had similar findings. After 40 weeks, people who took tirzepatide had greater reductions in body weight than those who took semaglutide — and the higher the dose, the more weight loss was seen.

Another 2022 review compared studies on the two drugs and concluded, “Considering the dissimilar backgrounds and methods of these studies, a direct comparison of the two medications is still required.”

Time for the final verdict: Is Mounjaro better than Ozempic? Both Ozempic and Mounjaro are effective for weight loss, but Mounjaro may be more effective.

Image Credit: Carolina Rudah/istockphoto.

How to Take Ozempic vs. Mounjaro for Weight Loss

You take Mounjaro and Ozempic the same way. Both drugs are once-a-week subcutaneous (under the skin) injections. You can administer the injection into your stomach, thigh or upper arm, at any time of day, with or without food.

Ozempic vs. Mounjaro Dosage

If you’re prescribed one of these medications for weight loss, your healthcare provider will start you on a lower dose and slowly increase it over time.

For Ozempic, the starting dose is 0.25 milligrams. After four weeks, this increases to 0.5 milligrams. After another four weeks, it can go up to 1 milligram and then up to 2 milligrams four weeks after that.

Mounjaro doses can be much higher. The starting dose is 2.5 milligrams. This goes up to 5 milligrams after four weeks. The dose can then increase in 2.5-milligram increments after at least four weeks, up to a maximum dose of 15 milligrams.

Image Credit: Carolina Rudah/istockphoto.

Mounjaro vs. Ozempic Side Effects and Safety Considerations

Every drug comes with side effects, and Mounjaro and Ozempic are no different. Here’s how they compare.

The most common Ozempic side effects include:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Stomach pain

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

These side effects were reported in five percent or more of people in Ozempic trials.

The most common side effects of Mounjaro include:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Stomach pain

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Decreased appetite

  • Dyspepsia (indigestion)

These side effects were also reported in five percent or more of people in Mounjaro trials.

There’s also a risk of more serious side effects.

For Ozempic, that includes:

  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)

  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you take an insulin secretagogue or insulin

  • Diabetic retinopathy complications (an eye disease)

  • Hypersensitivity reactions like anaphylaxis and angioedema (swelling)

  • Acute gallbladder disease

  • Acute kidney injury

For Mounjaro, serious adverse effects may include:

  • Pancreatitis

  • Hypoglycemia if you take an insulin secretagogue or insulin

  • Diabetic retinopathy complications in those with a history of the disease

  • Hypersensitivity reactions

  • Acute gallbladder disease

  • Acute kidney injury

  • Severe gastrointestinal disease

Both Mounjaro and Ozempic come with black box FDA warnings stating that the active ingredients — tirzepatide and semaglutide, respectively — cause thyroid C-cell tumors in rats. It’s unclear if the drugs cause these tumors or thyroid cancer in humans, though.

Seek medical advice if you notice anything off or worrying.

As you can see, there isn’t much difference when it comes to Ozempic versus Mounjaro side effects.

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Mounjaro vs. Ozempic Cost

How much are these weight loss drugs going to set you back?

  • Mounjaro can cost $1,000 to $1,100 a month.

  • Ozempic can cost $900 to $1,000 a month.

So, there isn’t too much of a cost difference when comparing Ozempic versus Mounjaro.

Mounjaro and Ozempic aren’t usually covered by insurance, and the cost can rack up if you take the drugs for a long period.

Weight loss doesn’t have to break the bank, though. Our comprehensive weight loss programs start at $79 a month if you’re looking for a more affordable option.

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Can You Take Ozempic and Mounjaro Together?

It’s unclear if you can take Ozempic and Mounjaro together, as the duo haven’t been studied in combination.

Taking Ozempic and Mounjaro together may increase your risk of side effects. You should only take both drugs if a healthcare provider prescribes both and has assessed their safety for you.

Can You Switch Between Ozempic and Mounjaro?

You might be able to switch between Ozempic and Mounjaro if one of the drugs isn’t working for you and a healthcare provider thinks you’re a good candidate for the other.

However, you may have to get started on a lower dose of the second drug instead of simply switching over with the same dose you were on. This will give your body time to get used to the new drug.

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What Are the Alternatives to Mounjaro and Ozempic for Weight Loss?

There are many alternatives to Mounjaro and Ozempic for weight loss, including other injectables, non-injectable weight loss medications and drug-free interventions.

Here are your options.

Other weight loss injections include:

  • Zepbound, which has the same active ingredient as Mounjaro

  • Wegovy, the higher-dose version of Ozempic

  • Saxenda (liraglutide)

  • Victoza (liraglutide)

Weight loss medications that don’t involve a needle include:

  • Rybelsus, which has the same active ingredient as Ozempic

  • Metformin

  • Contrave (naltrexone-bupropion)

  • Qsymia (phentermine-topiramate)

  • Xenical (orlistat)

  • Topamax (topiramate)

Beyond medications, diet and exercise plans and behavioral change tools can help if you’ve decided to lose weight.

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Which Is Better for Weight Loss: Ozempic or Mounjaro?

When exploring weight loss drugs, Ozempic and Mounjaro are two similar options that are both effective off-label treatments.

Here’s what you need to know about Ozempic versus Mounjaro for weight loss:

  • The main difference between Ozempic and Mounjaro is their active ingredients. They’re both FDA-approved diabetes medications prescribed off-label for weight loss. But Ozempic is a brand name for semaglutide, whereas Mounjaro is a brand name for tirzepatide.

  • Mounjaro may be more effective for weight loss than Ozempic. The key word here is may. There aren’t any strong studies on Ozempic compared to Mounjaro directly, but the research we have so far is favoring Mounjaro.

  • Side effects and costs are similar. If you’re looking for deciding factors here, you’re out of luck. The drugs cost about the same and can cause very similar side effects.

A healthcare provider can talk through your personal circumstances and help you decide which is better for weight loss, Ozempic or Mounjaro.

But you should also know that these two drugs aren’t the only contenders for weight management. Other weight loss treatments are available, including many that don’t require weekly injection pens.

This article originally appeared on Forhers.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org

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