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

This article covers two FDA-approved weight loss medications – Mounjaro and Ozempic – covering the differences and similarities with help from a medical toxicology physician.

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With as much as seventy percent of the American population dealing with obesity and being overweight, there is a very big need for different diet plans, exercise regimens and weight loss medications that can help people get their life back. Having a BMI that is above what a healthy threshold is for your gender can put you at risk of things like diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol.

There are many weight loss medications available to help you boost your metabolism, control your cravings and aid in dropping pounds fast. I’m going to compare two commonly used medications in this article: Mounjaro and Ozempic.

These are both semaglutide medications that can make a big impact on your weight loss journey, but it can be challenging to figure out which one to use.

I’m going to do a brief overview of both of them. Then, I’ll look at the different side effects and risks that may be associated with their use, and overall safety. Speaking of safety, I had the pleasure of speaking with Medical Toxicology Physician Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD, who is the head medical director at National Capital Poison Center to get her thoughts on Ozempic and Mounjaro.

Comparison Table of Ozempic Vs. Mounjaro

VsOzempicMounjaro
Active ingredient:semaglutidetirzepatide
Used for:those with type 2 diabetesimprove glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus
Type:injectioninjection
Injection frequency:once weeklyonce weekly
Injection method:Injection under the skin (subcutaneous injection) using a pre-filled Ozempic PenSubcutaneous injection
Must be prescribed by doctor:YesYes
FDA-approved:YesYes

There are a few telehealth weight loss programs that offer medications like Ozempic and Mounjaro. I will list them below with a link to get more more information about them. My advice is to research them all before choosing.

Weight Loss ProgramWebsite
Form Health – learn moreformhealth.co
Found – learn morejoinfound.com
Calibrate – learn morejoincalibrate.com
Fella Health (for men) – learn morefellahealth.com
Next Medical (nextmed) – learn morejoinnextmed.com
Alfie (for men) – learn morejoinalfie.com

Overview of Mounjaro

Mounjaro is a medication that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Manufactured by Eli Lilly and Co. Mounjaro is designed to mimic two different forms of incretin hormones that are naturally produced in the body. Mounjaro falls into the category of a GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) receptor agonist medication. Most people use this drug to control their intake of food while increasing the amount of energy that they use. Not only can this product help you lose weight, but it can also help you control your blood glucose levels. It was actually originally designed as a type 2 diabetes medication, and it’s intended to be used with a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen. You also need to be under the supervision of a doctor in order to use Mounjaro.

ozempic weight loss medication

Mounjaro Dosage

A doctor can prescribe Mounjaro as an injectable medication that is placed subcutaneously in the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm once weekly. The doses that are currently available include:

  • 2.5 mg/0.5 mL
  • 5 mg/0.5 mL
  • 7.5 mg/0.5 mL
  • 10 mg/0.5 mL
  • 12.5 mg/0.5 mL
  • 15 mg/0.5 mL single-dose pens

It’s important that you take a missed dose as soon as you realize, within 96 hours after your missed administration. If you’ve missed four days or more, you’ll need to skip that dose and wait until your next one.

Overview of Ozempic

Another FDA approved medication, Ozempic is manufactured by Novo Nordisk, Inc. It was also originally developed as a medication for adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus as a method of lowering blood sugar levels with complementary diet and exercise changes. Ozempic can reduce a person’s risk of major cardiovascular events such as spikes in high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.

Ozempic contains the active ingredient semaglutide as well; considered to be a GLP-1 agonist. This is a human hormone-based drug that impacts different areas of the body. Your body will produce more insulin by way of your pancreas, helping promote lower blood sugar amounts after you’ve eaten a meal. It may also boost the growth of cells that are located in the pancreas, whose role is to produce insulin.

mounjaro weight loss medication

Ozempic Dosage

Ozempic is also an injectable medication that is administered subcutaneously with a pre-filled pen. Used once per week, Ozempic is not insulin, though it can be used along with insulin. You must be under the supervision of a doctor when using Ozempic. Novo Nordisk currently manufactures a weight loss medication called Wegovy, which is a higher-dose version of Ozempic.

Comparing Common Side Effects of Mounjaro and Ozempic

Side effects are something that everyone should pay close attention to when considering a new medication of any kind. A number of clinical trials were done on Mounjaro and Ozempic, determining that the two most common side effects of this medication are nausea and GI upset in the form of diarrhea, constipation or indigestion.

There are more serious side effects that you should watch out for when you first start one of these medications or you’ve been taking them for a long time.

Mounjaro Side Effects

Mounjaro side effects include:

  • Thyroid tumors and thyroid cancer
  • Pancreatic inflammation
  • Bouts of low blood sugar
  • Allergic reaction
  • Kidney problems
  • Vision changes
  • Gallbladder disease

Ozempic Side Effects

Ozempic side effects include:

  • Thyroid tumors, including cancerous tumors
  • Kidney complications, including kidney failure
  • Allergic reaction
  • Vision changes
  • Pancreatic inflammation
  • Bouts of low blood sugar

Are There Interactions to be Concerned With?

According to Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD, both Mounjaro and Ozempic have the potential to interact negatively with antibiotics that are used for a variety of bacterial infections. This includes the medication gatifloxacin. Also, you should not use Mounjaro or Ozempic if you are taking Bexarotene, which is a medication that is used to treat skin cancer.

She also goes on to say the following, which I feel is super important to know if you're considering taking either medication:

“Both Ozempic and Mounjaro are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help control blood sugars in adults with type 2 diabetes. These drugs generally safe to use in the intended populations, but they are associated with side effects including gastrointestinal disturbances, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. People who have sensitive stomachs, or those with underlying gastrointestinal disease, may experience unwanted side effects when using these drugs, and should therefore use them with caution. These drugs are intended for use only in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus; they are not FDA-approved as weight loss drugs for the general public, and should not be used by people who have type 1 diabetes mellitus.”

Comparing the Cost of Mounjaro versus Ozempic

The price that you pay for any kind of weight loss medication will vary based on where you obtain your medication and whether or not insurance covers it. The average cost of four weeks of Mounjaro treatments cost approximately $975. Purchasing 2 mg/1.5 ml pre-filled Ozempic pens costs on average, $899 for 1.5 milliliters.

Which is Better for Weight Loss: Mounjaro or Ozempic?

While these two medications are similar in many regards, you will have to select one of them to use as part of your weight loss journey. Clinical trials comparing Mounjaro and Ozempic have determined that Mounjaro is more effective when it comes to controlling blood glucose levels and boosting weight loss in obese patients. Mounjaro mirrors the function of two of the incretin hormones that are used in blood sugar control (GLP1 and GIP). This is the only drug in its class that has the ability to activate both of these receptors. Ozempic only contains a GLP1 agonist.

A randomized study of diabetics included the administration of 15 milligrams of Mounjaro or a placebo to people who had a BMI between 32 and 34 (which is within the obese range). The participants that took the actual medication experienced an average of 1.6 percent lower A1c levels than the placebo group. These levels decreased further when Mounjaro was used along with a long-acting insulin medication. Upon comparing Mounjaro to Ozempic, A1c levels dropped 0.5 percent more when Mounjaro was used. People using Mounjaro lost an average of 12 pounds compared to Ozempic users.

Final Thoughts on Ozempic Vs. Mounjaro

Because both of these medications use the same effects to help a person lose weight (and / or control their type 2 diabetes), it may seem like there’s no real reason to choose one drug over another. In fact, there are some differences in their composition that can affect the body in different ways. Because Mounjaro can impact both GLP1 and GIP, many people may find that it’s much more effective for their situation. However, Ozempic has worked for many people in the past, and it’s likely it will continue to be a popular weight loss and type 2 diabetes medication.

It’s incredibly important that you’re working with an experienced medical professional when you are interested in trying Ozempic of Mounjaro. Both of these medications are prescription-based, and you will have to be monitored by a doctor in order to use them. Regular check-ins will ensure that you’re not developing any long-term effects from your weight loss medication. Your doctor may also adjust your dose based on any side effects that you’re experiencing, or if there is a lack of results that you’re concerned with.

You should not use Ozempic if you:

There are certain people who should not use Ozempic for weight loss purposes. Avoid taking this medication if you:

  • Have a known allergy to semaglutide, dulaglutide or liraglutide medications
  • Have a known allergy to any of the other ingredients in Ozempic
  • Have a history of thyroid cancer in your family, specifically medullary thyroid carcinoma
  • Have been diagnosed with an endocrine system condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2
  • Have been diagnosed with pancreatitis
  • Have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes
  • Are currently under 18 years of age

Talk to your doctor before using Ozempic if you:

  • Have been diagnosed with any medical issues relating to your kidneys and / or pancreas
  • Have been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy
  • Are pregnant or intend to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Are using topical steroid medications

You should not use Mounjaro if you:

While Mounjaro is generally safe for most people to use under the supervision of a doctor, you should stay away from this medication if you:

  • Have a known allergy to the ingredient tirzepatide
  • Have a known allergy to any of the other ingredients used in the formulation of Mounjaro

Talk to your doctor before using Mounjaro if you:

  • Are taking any other prescription medications that have the potential to interact with Mounjaro
  • Have been diagnosed with pancreas or kidney problems in the past
  • Have medically diagnosed issues with your stomach
  • Have been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy
  • Are pregnant or intend to become pregnant in the near future
  • Are taking birth control; Your doctor may recommend that you switch to another form of birth control for the first four weeks of using Mounjaro
  • Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed in the near future. Studies are inconclusive in regard to whether or not Mounjaro can pass into a mother’s breast milk.
  • Are using topical steroid medications

How Do I Get Started?

You can source your weight loss medication a number of ways. The first thing that you want to do is have a conversation with a medical professional about your interest in taking a drug like Mounjaro or Ozempic. This can be your primary care physician that you see on a regular basis, but there are also online weight loss programs and websites that help you obtain these medications quickly and affordably.

You still have to go through the process of being screened by a medical professional, but this can all be done from the comfort of your home. Just make sure that you’re working with a trusted and reputable weight loss prescription medication program that has positive reviews from many different clients. Also ensure that your medication is coming from a registered pharmacy that you can trust with the quality of your products.

Keep in mind, the results that your experience may be different from someone else. It can sometimes take a little bit of time to take the dosage of your medication right, so it accomplishes what it’s supposed to. You may also need to change to a different medication if the original one that you signed up for isn’t working. Let the doctor you’re working with know what’s going on, and they can provide you with appropriate recommendations moving forward.

Photo of author

Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD

Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD, earned her masters degree in Nutrition and Foods from the University of Georgia. She's a Registered Dietitian at Morrison Healthcare and has a strong passion in helping people improve their wellness!

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