Comparing Mounjaro vs Ozempic for Weight Loss in 2023

James Wong • NiHowdy Founder
Reviewed October 1, 2023 • 28 min read

The battle against weight gain and the struggle to manage diabetes is a challenge faced by millions worldwide. But what if there were medications that could help you on this journey? Enter Mounjaro vs Ozempic, two promising contenders in the world of weight loss and diabetes management. These medications offer the potential to improve blood sugar control and promote weight loss, but how do they compare? In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the differences between Mounjaro and Ozempic, examining their mechanisms of action, efficacy, safety, FDA approval status, insurance coverage, ideal candidates, and how to obtain them. So, let’s embark on this journey and explore the potential benefits these medications can offer.

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✨ Short Summary

  • Mounjaro and Ozempic are medications with different mechanisms of action, efficacy, and safety profiles that offer potential benefits for weight loss and diabetes management.
  • Ideal candidates for Ozempic include adults with type 2 diabetes who are unable to control their blood sugar levels through diet/exercise alone or those overweight/obese (BMI 27+).
  • A board certified physician must be consulted in order to obtain a prescription for Ozempic or Mounjaro.

Understanding Mounjaro and Ozempic

Both Mounjaro and Ozempic are medications classified as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists, utilized in the management of type 2 diabetes. Patients have reported weight loss while following a calorie-controlled diet while using either of these medications.

Understanding the distinctions between these two medications is essential for individuals seeking a suitable treatment for their health concerns. With their unique mechanisms of action, efficacy, and safety profiles, Mounjaro and Ozempic offer distinct options for those striving to achieve better blood sugar control and weight management.

What is Mounjaro?

Mounjaro is a subcutaneous injection medication that is approved to treat type 2 diabetes. While being fast-tracked for review to treat obesity and weight loss, its mechanism of action, efficacy, and safety remain unknown. While the potential benefits of Mounjaro are fascinating, it is crucial to keep in mind that its pending fast-track status for weight loss as a medication makes it challenging to accurately evaluate its pros and cons.

It is important to consider the potential risks associated with Mounjaro, as well as the potential risks associated with the mountain.

What is Ozempic?

On the other hand, Ozempic is an established weight loss medication containing semaglutide, a GLP-1 receptor agonist that can encourage weight loss. It is primarily indicated for the management of type 2 diabetes, but individuals considering Ozempic should inform their healthcare provider if they have a personal or family history of thyroid cancer before starting the medication.

Ozempic works by stimulating the release of insulin from the pancreas and augmenting the amount of glucagon-like peptide in the body, thereby assisting with weight loss by diminishing appetite and enhancing blood sugar control.

Comparing the Mechanisms of Action

Both Mounjaro and Ozempic have similar mechanisms of action acting on GLP-1 receptors. Both Mounjaro and Ozempic operate by slowing down the digestion process, prolonging a feeling of satiety, and acting as a hormone that the body naturally produces to regulate blood sugar levels. Ultimately this leads to weight loss in many people. Mounjaro is believed to exhibit analogous physiological effects, although a comprehensive understanding of its therapeutic profile awaits regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Both Mounjaro and Ozempic share similarities in how they influence insulin secretion, insulin sensitivity, and the amount of glucagon-like peptide in the body. However, Mounjaro’s hypothetical additional benefit of promoting weight loss through increased satiety sets it apart from Ozempic, which achieves weight loss through reduced appetite.

How Mounjaro works

Mounjaro lowers glucagon levels and enhances insulin sensitivity. Moreover, it curbs appetite by slowing down stomach movement. Many patients experience a prolonged feeling of fullness, which plays a role in promoting weight loss.

How Ozempic works

Ozempic, with its active ingredient semaglutide, slows digestion, making individuals feel full for longer periods, and regulates blood sugar levels. It acts as a hormone that the body naturally produces to manage blood sugar levels and may aid in weight loss by suppressing hunger.

When combined with a healthy diet and exercise regimen, Ozempic can facilitate weight loss, offering a viable treatment option for those struggling with blood sugar control and weight management.

Efficacy and Safety

At present, there hasn’t been a direct comparative study between Mounjaro and Ozempic, making it challenging to determine which medication has a more significant impact on weight loss. It’s important to mention that Mounjaro does not possess FDA approval for weight loss, while semaglutide, marketed under the brand WeGovy, does have this approval. Semaglutide is also marketed under the Ozempic brand.

Mounjaro’s efficacy and safety

At present, since Mounjaro does not have FDA approval specifically for this purpose, most physicians may not be able to prescribe this medication to you solely for weight loss. However, studies have indicated that patients taking Mounjaro for the management of type 2 diabetes have experienced significant weight loss.

Ozempic’s efficacy and safety

Research findings indicate that individuals who have used Ozempic for three months typically achieve a weight loss of 5.9% of their body weight, and this figure increases to 10.9% after six months.

Additionally, research has demonstrated that Ozempic has effectively lowered A1c levels, with a reduction of 1.4% at the 0.5mg dose and a 1.6% reduction at the 1mg dose.

The most frequently reported side effects of Ozempic include gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, and constipation.

Some potential serious side effects of Ozempic include acute kidney injury, severe allergic reactions, pancreatitis, and diabetic retinopathy complications. 

It may take up to eight weeks or longer for Ozempic to reach its full effect. 

Patients considering Ozempic should discuss these factors with their healthcare provider to determine if the medication is a suitable option for their needs.

FDA Approval and Off-label Use

It is important to be aware of the FDA approval status for Mounjaro and Ozempic in relation to weight loss and diabetes management. Currently, Mounjaro is awaiting FDA approval, while Ozempic only has received FDA approval for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Ozempic, also referred to as semaglutide, is marketed under the brand WeGovy, which has received FDA approval for weight loss.

Ozempic is not explicitly endorsed for weight loss, making its utilization for this purpose an off-label use. Off-label use entails the usage of a medication for a purpose that has not received FDA approval but has been prescribed by a healthcare professional.

If Mounjaro is prescribed for uses not specified in its FDA approval, it is less likely that insurance companies will provide coverage for this medication.

Mounjaro’s FDA approval

Mounjaro submitted a fast-track application to the FDA in October 2022. The earliest possible approval could be expected in 2024.

Mounjaro is FDA-approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes but is not specifically indicated for weight loss.

Ozempic’s FDA approval

Ozempic has received FDA approval as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, while semaglutide, marketed under the brand Wegovy, is approved specifically for weight loss. If you are contemplating its use, it is advisable to consult with your healthcare provider.

Insurance Coverage and Costs

Comparing insurance coverage and costs for Mounjaro and Ozempic is essential when considering these medications for weight loss and diabetes management. While Mounjaro’s insurance coverage and costs cannot be determined as it is a hypothetical medication, Ozempic’s coverage and costs depend on factors such as dosage, insurance, and pharmacy.

Insurance may cover Ozempic for diabetes management, but coverage for off-label weight loss use is not guaranteed.

Mounjaro’s insurance coverage and costs

As a hypothetical medication, the scope of Mounjaro’s insurance coverage and associated costs cannot be determined. However, factors such as insurance coverage and pharmacy would influence Mounjaro’s cost if it were to become available.

It’s important to exercise caution when evaluating health claims related to Mounjaro’s insurance coverage and expenses because it lacks FDA approval specifically for weight loss.

Ozempic’s Health Insurance Coverage and Costs

While insurance may potentially provide coverage for Ozempic when used for diabetes management, coverage for weight loss purposes has been inconsistent with most insurers. The medication’s cost will vary based on the prescribed dosage, the type of insurance, and the chosen pharmacy.

Regrettably, the majority of health insurance providers do not offer coverage for medications used off-label. However, the manufacturers of Ozempic offer a savings card for diabetes treatment, which can be used by individuals with insurance coverage for Ozempic.

Coupons are presently unavailable for individuals using Ozempic exclusively for weight loss purposes. However, special discounts are offered to customers who opt for a treatment plan that includes Ozempic injections, which can be accessed through various medical practices and online services as part of their weight loss program.

Who Should Consider Mounjaro or Ozempic?

At present, Mounjaro does not have FDA approval specifically for weight loss, and it is unlikely to receive insurance coverage for off-label use. However, if you are willing to cover the cost out of pocket and your doctor is comfortable prescribing Mounjaro for weight loss, it may be a viable option to explore.

Conversely, suitable candidates for Ozempics are typically adults dealing with type 2 diabetes that remains unmanageable through diet and exercise alone, especially those who are overweight or obese, possessing a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or higher.

Ideal candidates for Mounjaro

At the moment, the majority of individuals using Mounjaro have type 2 diabetes. While awaiting FDA approval for weight loss, Mounjaro has demonstrated the potential for weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes.

In the future, there could be studies that directly compare Mounjaro to Ozempic to assess which medication might result in more substantial weight loss for individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Ideal candidates for Ozempic

Adults with type 2 diabetes who are unable to control their blood sugar levels with diet and exercise alone, as well as those who are overweight or obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or higher, are considered ideal candidates for Ozempics, especially for chronic weight management purposes.

It is essential to note that Ozempic is not specifically approved for weight loss by the FDA, so its use for this purpose would be considered off-label. However, healthcare professionals may prescribe Ozempic off-label for individuals with obesity or overweight who may benefit from its weight loss properties.

How to Obtain Mounjaro or Ozempic

Obtaining a prescription for Mounjaro or Ozempic requires consultation with a board-certified doctor who will assess your condition to decide if either medication is suitable for you.

While it is possible to receive an off-label prescription for weight loss with Mounjaro, it’s important to recognize that insurance coverage for this purpose may not be guaranteed. Ozempic can be prescribed by licensed healthcare professionals for type 2 diabetes management and off-label weight loss use.

Obtaining a Mounjaro prescription

Some healthcare providers may consider prescribing Mounjaro off-label for the purpose of weight loss, but it’s important to note that individual circumstances and medical cases can vary. Insurance coverage for weight loss alone is not assured, with a higher likelihood of coverage when prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Obtaining an Ozempic prescription

Licensed healthcare professionals can prescribe Ozempic for the management of type 2 diabetes, and in some cases, it may be prescribed off-label for weight loss purposes. To obtain a prescription for Ozempic, it is advisable to consult with a board-certified physician who will assess your individual health status and determine if Ozempic is an appropriate choice for your needs.

Summary

Mounjaro and Ozempic can assist patients in managing type 2 diabetes, and weight loss may be an associated benefit. Neither of these medications has received FDA approval specifically for weight loss. However, Semaglutide, an active ingredient in Ozempic, is also available under the brand name Wegovy, which does have FDA approval for weight loss.

If your doctor prescribes either of these medications for off-label use, it is unlikely that your insurance will cover them unless you have type 2 diabetes. It’s essential to have a conversation with your healthcare provider to determine which medication is the most suitable choice for your specific weight loss journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better Ozempic or Mounjaro for weight loss?

There hasn’t been a direct comparison study to determine the relative effectiveness of these drugs for weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes.

In clinical trials, Mounjaro patients experienced an average weight loss ranging from 7.7 kg (17 lb) to 11.4 kg (25 lb), while patients on Ozempic lost an average of 5.9 kg (13 lb). It’s important to consider that these clinical trials had varying variables and involved different patient populations, making it challenging to make a direct comparison.

Notably, Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) achieved a remarkable 26.6% weight loss over the course of 84 weeks.

Can I switch from Ozempic to Mounjaro?

Transitioning from Ozempic to Mounjaro is indeed feasible, but it is crucial to have a discussion with your healthcare provider and pharmacist. They will need to assess equivalent dosing and collaborate with you to establish the appropriate injection frequency.

How quickly do you lose weight on Mounjaro?

Mounjaro treatments can result in an average of 15-30 lbs weight loss over a period of 6-12 months. Not only this, it also brings metabolic improvements, reduced waistlines, balanced blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

These results are achieved through a combination of diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. The diet consists of a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate meal plan that is tailored to the individual’s needs. Exercise is an exercise.

Can I ask my doctor to prescribe Ozempic for weight loss?

Ozempic is not approved by the FDA for weight loss, however some healthcare professionals may prescribe it off-label due to its potential effectiveness. Off-label prescribing means that doctors are using their medical judgement and discretion when prescribing a drug for a purpose other than what the FDA has approved it for.

What is the main difference between Mounjaro and Ozempic?

Both Mounjaro and Ozempic are GLP-1 agonists and have demonstrated effectiveness in treating significant weight loss in individuals with type 2 diabetes. However, individual responses may vary, with one person experiencing more substantial weight loss with Mounjaro than with Ozempic. The response depends on factors such as dosage and individual differences.

Moreover, tolerance levels can vary, with some individuals tolerating Ozempic better than Mounjaro, and vice versa. It is essential to have a discussion with your healthcare provider and pharmacist to determine which medication is the most suitable choice for your specific needs.

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