Mounjaro/ Zepbound vs Ozempic for Weight Loss
Are Mounjaro/Zepbound and Ozempic the Same Drugs?
Mounjaro/Zepbound and Ozempic are both potent medications for weight loss. While they act on similar systems in the human body, they are not the same thing. Continue reading to discover the differences between these drugs as they relate to losing weight.
Are Mounjaro and Ozempic in the Same Drug Class?
Both Zepbound/Mounjaro and Ozempic are in the class of drugs referred to as incretin mimetics. A mimetic is a substance that mimics or copies the actions of another substance. When we ingest nutriments, our digestive system releases incretins into our bloodstream. There are 2 primary incretin hormones – GIP and GLP-1. GIP binds to the GIP receptor and GLP-1 binds to the GLP-1 receptor. These are called receptor agonists. GIP and GLP-1 stimulate insulin secretion. Incretin mimetics lower blood glucose levels by mimicking the action of natural incretin hormones. Incretins are also vital to the treatment of obesity through glucose homeostasis and the perpetuation of energy balance. Zepbound is the newly FDA approved version of the tirzepatide, Mounjaro and are exactly the same.
Both drugs treat diabetes and are highly effective. They can both help to reduce the incidence of major cardiovascular events, help regulate blood sugar levels, and help you lose weight.
Is Zepbound/Mounjaro Stronger than Ozempic?
Yes, Zepbound/Mounjaro does provide stronger weight loss results than Ozempic. Zepbound is the most potent weight reduction agent approved by the FDA; in head to head trials, participants lost 25% of starting weight.
Zepbound/Mounjaro are the first and only dual GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonist hormone that controls both insulin and glucagon secretion. GIP stands for glucose dependent insulinotropic polypeptide. GLP-1 is glucagon-like peptide-1. In addition, the GIP hormone controls lipids and fat depositions in the body.
What’s the difference between Ozempic and Zepbound/Mounjaro?
How Does Ozempic Work?
Ozempic works by mimicking incretin and stabilizing insulin secretion. This, in turn, helps blood glucose enter the cells to facilitate energy production. The active ingredient semaglutide also contributes to glycemic control by restricting glucagon release and gluconeogenesis (production of blood sugars in the liver). Ozempic is a glucagon-like peptide-1 agonist and mimics the process of incretin GLP-1.
How Do the Tirzepatides Zepbound/Mounjaro Work?
The Tirzepatides, manufactured by Eli Lilly and are a GLP-1 receptor agonist and a glucose dependent insulinotropic polypeptide receptor. It works by modulating both insulin and glucagon. Since insulin controls the amount of blood sugar entering the cells, and glucagon increases blood sugar, it is dual-acting. Increasing energy production makes Mounjaro one of the most valuable diabetes medications and weight loss medications. In addition to blood sugar control, it delays gastric emptying which leads to decreased appetite. Also, the GIP hormone has a direct influence on fats and lipids which would positively impact body weight.
To understand the importance of having both GLP-1 and GIP in a weight reduction medication, it’s helpful to review the hormones’ functions. Both hormones are insulinotropic, but they play various roles in different tissues and organs including bone, brain, fat cells, and pancreas.
In the brain, both are involved in appetite control. Incretins seem to be less physiologically active in obese individuals, even those who are not diabetic. GLP-1 reduces appetite and slows gastric emptying. It may also be beneficial in fat metabolism. As with most biological systems, balance is the key to optimum functioning.
What Is Ozempic FDA Approved For?
Ozempic is FDA approved to help regulate glucose levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. It is also used to ameliorate the increased risk of cardiovascular events in adults with type 2 diabetes. It must be prescribed by a healthcare provider.
What Is Wegovy Approved For?
Wegovy has received FDA approval for type 2 diabetes and has been approved for weight loss. A healthcare provider must prescribe it.
What are Zepbound andMounjaro Approved For?
Mounjaro received FDA approval as a medication to treat type 2 diabetes several years ago, Zepbound, the exact same drug with a differnet name was approved in November 2023 for weight loss. They are classified as GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonists.
Which is More Effective for Weight Loss Zepbound/Mounjaro or Ozempic?
Though Mounjaro and Ozempic are both effective weight loss drugs, Mounjaro has been shown in head to head trials to be more effective. The most recent SURMOUNT-1 clinical trials consisted of 2,539 participants with an average starting body weight of 231 pounds. The study length was over 72 weeks.
At the lowest dose of Mounjaro, 5 mg, participants lost 15% of their body weight. At higher doses, 10 mg and 15 mg, participants lost 25% of their body weight. The average weight reduction was 52 lbs. Participants in the placebo group were only able to reduce body weight by 1.3%.
When considering these medications, it is important to assess the effect weight loss drugs have on the digestive tract. Gastrointestinal side effects are lower with Mounjaro than other medications. It is easier for obese patients to control food intake, maintain compliance, and achieve weight loss goals when they do not have the added stress of feeling ill.
Mounjaro helps people lose weight through the following mechanisms:
- Directly reduces appetite and increases metabolism by action in the brain.
- Reduces glucagon secretion which decreases hunger.
- Causes individuals to eat less carbs and fatty food.
- Increases insulin production, but only when blood sugar is high. That makes the risk of low blood sugar minimal.
- Decreases the liver’s production of sugar and increases the uptake of blood glucose by muscle tissue. This, in turn, will improve glycemic control.
- Slows down the speed at which the stomach empties food into the intestine. Feeling satiated for a longer period will help those with a weight related condition.
How long does it take to start losing weight on Zepbound/Mounjaro?
You can start losing weight on these medications in the first week. The medication’s action that leads to weight loss begins shortly after the first injection. Our patients achieve noticeable weight loss after just 2-3 weeks, which increases near the 6 week mark. Patients often sustain substantial weight reductions at 28 weeks. This depends on adherence to a standard dosing schedule, proper diet, and adequate energy expenditure. However, patients’ weight loss results are dependent on starting weight, recent weight loss programs as well as age, race, gender, and varying health conditions including medications.
How much body weight will I lose on Zepbound?Mounjaro?
The average loss in body weight in Mounjaro drug trials was 52 lbs., or 25%. Our patients have experienced similar results. A higher dose produces more significant weight loss.
How long does it take to start losing weight on Ozempic?
You can start losing weight on Ozempic in 1-2 weeks. On average, patients report seeing noticeable weight loss after 3-4 weeks, increasing at 6-8 weeks.
How quickly do you lose weight on Ozempic?
You can lose about 2 lbs per week when you start on Ozempic. This and other GLP-1 drugs do not provide rapid weight reduction at the very beginning. Once your dose is increased to 2.4mg, fat loss occurs more quickly. Ozempic provides a consistent reduction in body mass index as you continue on the treatment.
How much weight will I lose on Ozempic?
Clinical trials show you can lose 15-20% of your body weight on Ozempic. Many patients report losing 10% of their starting weight on average after only 8 weeks.
Zepbounnd/Mounjaro vs Ozempic Cost
Ozempic & Wegovy Cost
Wegovy is FDA approved for weight loss. However, insurance coverage varies. Some insurance company determinations depend upon starting weight, your endocrine system condition, or whether or not you have high blood pressure or are at risk for heart disease. The average price per month is $1600 for Wegovy.
Ozempic is not FDA approved for weight loss and costs approximately $995 for a 30-day supply.
Zepbound, just approved for weight loss will be listed at about $1000/month. Mounjaro retails for approximately $1200 per month. Eli Lilly does have some coupons available.
Are the doses of Zepbound/Mounjaro and Ozempic the same?
The doses of Mounjaro and Ozempic are not the same. Zepbound and Mounjaro dosing ranges from 2.5mg to 15mg, while Ozempic dosing ranges from 0.25mg to 2.4mg.
To mitigate the chance of severe allergic reactions or serious side effects, 2.5 mg is the starter dose. A dose is taken once weekly. Doses are increased each week as follows: 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 12.5 mg, and 15 mg. The maximum recommended dose is 15 mg. The weekly subcutaneous injection can be given in the upper arm, thigh, or stomach. Injection sites should be rotated each week.
Ozempic treatment begins with a dosage of 0.25mg per week for 4 weeks. Just as with other drugs, the dosage schedule for Mounjaro and Ozempic can vary according to the needs of each patient. All patients taking GLP-1 drugs need to be monitored by a medical professional who will analyze their current medical condition and their family history. The injections follow a weekly dosing schedule as they are gradually increased to the maximum dose of 2.4mg .
Can you alternate Ozempic and Mounjaro?
There hasn’t been enough research to recommend alternating between Mounjaro and Ozempic. Both drugs have an elimination half-life of 5-7 days and can take 4-5 weeks to completely clear your body. Because they both act on the same biological systems, it’s recommended that you stop one and wait at least 35 days before taking the other. Always consult your health-care provider before making any changes medications you may be taking.
What are the side effects of Zepbound/Mounjaro compared to Ozempic?
Side effects of Zepbound and Mounjaro are similar to Ozempic and can include the following:
- GI side effects including nausea, diarrhea, decreased appetite, vomiting, constipation, indigestion, and stomach pain
- Low blood sugar
- Allergic reactions
- Gallbladder problems
- Blurred vision
- Kidney problems
- High blood pressure
- Possible thyroid tumors or thyroid cancer*
*In animal studies, thyroid cancer (thyroid tumors) has developed with the use of Mounjaro and Ozempic. Mounjaro is contraindicated if you or any family member have had medullary thyroid carcinoma.
The most common side effects of Ozempic are similar to Mounjaro’s side effects. In addition, lower blood sugar levels could occur; symptoms include confusion, hunger, fatigue, and irritability. Though kidney problems can occur, kidney failure is rare. The most common side effects of both medications are nausea, constipation/diarrhea, upset stomach, and indigestion.
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