Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is a prescription drug used to help manage blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. Mounjaro comes as an injection that’s given under your skin.
This medication has some limitations of use. To learn more, see “What is Mounjaro used for?” below.
Mounjaro is a brand-name medication. It contains the active ingredient tirzepatide. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) A generic version of the drug isn’t currently available.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that causes high blood sugar. Having high blood sugar levels over time can raise your risk of other conditions, such as heart attack, kidney problems, vision problems, or nerve conditions. It’s important to manage your blood sugar levels to lower your risk of these conditions.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes may include:
- feeling thirsty
- urinating more often than usual
- fatigue (low energy)
- blurry vision
- wounds that are slow to heal
Mounjaro treats type 2 diabetes by lowering your blood sugar. It does this in multiple ways:
- by helping your body release more insulin (a hormone that decreases your blood sugar levels)
- by slowing sugar production in your liver
- by slowing the emptying of food from your stomach, which can make you feel full for longer
Mounjaro has two limitations of use:
Like most drugs, Mounjaro may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Mounjaro may cause. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.
Keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:
- other health conditions you have
- other medications you take
Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Mounjaro. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects. In addition to the information below, you can also refer to this article for details about Mounjaro’s side effects.
Mild side effects
Here’s a list of some of the mild side effects that Mounjaro can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Mounjaro’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects of Mounjaro that have been reported include:
- nausea and vomiting
- decreased appetite
- abdominal pain
- injection site reactions
- mild allergic reaction*
Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Mounjaro can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Mounjaro, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
Serious side effects of Mounjaro that have been reported include:
- pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas)
- gallbladder problems
- hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- severe digestive side effects, such as severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, which may lead to dehydration and kidney problems
- boxed warning: risk of thyroid cancer*
- severe allergic reaction†
* For more information, see the “What should be considered before using Mounjaro?” section.
† To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.
Some people may have an allergic reaction to Mounjaro.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
A more severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis, is rare but possible.
Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:
- swelling under your skin (usually in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet)
- swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause trouble breathing
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Mounjaro. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.
Whether you have health insurance or not, cost may be a factor when you’re considering Mounjaro. What you’ll pay for Mounjaro may depend on several things, such as your treatment plan, which form of Mounjaro you use, and the pharmacy you use.
If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. A Mounjaro Savings Card may also be available.
To save money on your Mounjaro prescription, explore the Optum Perks coupons below. You can also visit Optum Perks* to get price estimates of what you’d pay for Mounjaro when using coupons from the site.
* Optum Perks is a sister site of Healthline. Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with any insurance copays or benefits.
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Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Mounjaro.
Does Mounjaro cause body aches?
No, Mounjaro shouldn’t cause body aches. This wasn’t a side effect reported in studies of Mounjaro.
This drug may raise your risk of pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas). Symptoms of pancreatitis may include back pain or abdominal pain that doesn’t go away. In some cases, you may also experience vomiting.
If you have any symptoms of pancreatitis during your Mounjaro treatment, contact your doctor or go to the hospital right away. This is a serious side effect that can be life threatening in some cases.
Abdominal pain could also be a symptom of gallbladder problems, which is a side effect of Mounjaro. This is also a serious condition that needs immediate treatment. Other symptoms of gallbladder problems include fever or nausea and vomiting.
If you develop body aches or pain during your Mounjaro treatment, contact your doctor right away. They can determine what may be causing your symptoms and the best way to treat them. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.
Is Mounjaro used for weight loss?
Mounjaro is not approved for use as a weight-loss drug. But because the drug is prescribed along with exercise and a balanced diet, some people may lose weight during their Mounjaro treatment.
Your doctor may also prescribe Mounjaro off-label for weight management. (Off-label use of a drug is when your doctor prescribes a medication for a different use than what it was approved for.)
In studies, some people using Mounjaro reported weight loss. This may be due to the drug working to slow down your digestion, which can help you feel full for a longer time. In addition, this drug can cause nausea or decreased appetite, which can lead to weight loss.
Mounjaro contains the active ingredient tirzepatide. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) Another drug, Zepbound, also contains the same active ingredient and is approved for weight loss. It’s prescribed along with exercise and a balanced diet. Your doctor can advise you on whether Zepbound may be a suitable alternative to Mounjaro for weight loss.
If you have questions about weight loss with Mounjaro, talk with your doctor.
Is Mounjaro insulin?
No, Mounjaro is not insulin. It’s a type of drug called a dual glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. Mounjaro is the first GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonist drug.
Although Mounjaro and insulin have different effects on the body, Mounjaro does increase how sensitive your body is to insulin. Mounjaro also signals your pancreas to make more insulin after you eat. For details about how Mounjaro works, you can see this article.
Mounjaro is often prescribed with insulin for type 2 diabetes treatment. You can see examples of insulin that may be prescribed with Mounjaro in the “Using Mounjaro with other drugs” section under “How is Mounjaro used?” below.
If you have questions about how Mounjaro compares with insulin, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Mounjaro that’s right for you. Below are commonly used dosages, but always use the dosage your doctor prescribes.
Form and strengths
Mounjaro comes as a liquid solution that’s given as an injection under your skin using single-dose, prefilled pens.
Mounjaro is available in the following strengths:
- 2.5 milligrams (mg) per 0.5 milliliter (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
You’ll inject Mounjaro once per week. Your doctor will likely have you start treatment with a 2.5-mg dose of Mounjaro. After 4 weeks of treatment, they’ll increase your dose to 5 mg per week. Starting with a lower dose helps your body get used to the medication.
If your current dose of Mounjaro isn’t managing your blood sugar well enough, your doctor may increase your dose even more. This will be done after another period of 4 weeks, and in increments of 2.5 mg, if needed. 15 mg per week is the maximum dosage.
For details about Mounjaro’s dosage, you can refer to this article.
Questions about Mounjaro’s dosing
Below are some common questions about Mounjaro’s dosing.
- What if I miss a dose of Mounjaro? If you miss your dose of Mounjaro, take it as soon as you remember, as long as it’s within 4 days of when the dose was due. Then continue with your regular dosing schedule. But if more than 4 days have passed since you missed your dose, skip your missed dose and take your next dose on its usual day. Then, continue with your regular dosing schedule. (You should take your Mounjaro doses at least 72 hours apart.)
- Will I need to use Mounjaro long term? Yes, you’ll likely use Mounjaro long term. This drug helps manage type 2 diabetes, which is a long-term condition. So, if Mounjaro works for you, your doctor will likely recommend using it long-term.
- How long does Mounjaro take to work? Mounjaro begins working right after you inject your first dose, but it may take some time before you see a change in your blood sugar level. Some people start seeing an effect within a few weeks of starting treatment. If you have questions about when you can expect to see results with Mounjaro, talk with your doctor.
Your doctor will explain how to use Mounjaro. They’ll also explain how much to inject and how often. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Mounjaro comes as a liquid solution in a single-use prefilled pen. You’ll inject Mounjaro under your skin once weekly. You can take your dose with or without food.
Mounjaro can be injected into your abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. (If you want to inject the drug into your upper arm, you’ll need someone else to give you the injection.) You should rotate the areas where you inject the drug to help prevent skin irritation at the injection site.
Before you start your Mounjaro treatment, your doctor or pharmacist can show you how to inject the drug. For step-by-step instructions or a video on how to use Mounjaro, see the drug manufacturer’s website.
It’s important to note that if you take insulin along with Mounjaro, you can inject your doses into the same area of your body, such as your thigh. But try to use different injection sites that are a few inches apart to avoid injection-site reactions, such as pain or irritation. Also, you should never mix insulin with Mounjaro in the same syringe.
If you have questions about the administration of Mounjaro, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Accessible medication containers and labels
Certain pharmacies may provide medication labels that:
- have large print
- use braille
- contain a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text into audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a pharmacy that offers these options if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
Using Mounjaro with other drugs
Your doctor may prescribe other drugs along with Mounjaro to help manage your blood sugar levels. Examples of these drugs include:
- metformin (Fortamet, Glumetza)
- insulin, such as:
- glimepiride (Amaryl)
- rosiglitazone (Avandia)
- linagliptin (Tradjenta)
- canagliflozin (Invokana)
It’s important to note that using Mounjaro with other diabetes treatments, especially insulin, can increase your risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This can be serious or even life threatening if not treated quickly. So your doctor may monitor your blood sugar levels more often if you use Mounjaro with other treatments. In some cases, your doctor may decrease the doses of your other diabetes medications to help prevent low blood sugar.
Questions about taking Mounjaro
Below are some common questions about using Mounjaro.
- Should I take Mounjaro with food? You can take your dose of Mounjaro with or without food.
- Is there a best time of day to take Mounjaro? No. You’ll inject Mounjaro once per week and can do this at whatever time of day works best for you. Just be sure to inject Mounjaro on the same day each week.
Questions for your doctor
You may have questions about Mounjaro and your treatment plan. It’s important to discuss all your concerns with your doctor.
Here are a few tips that might help guide your discussion:
- Before your appointment, write down questions such as:
- How will Mounjaro affect my body, mood, or lifestyle?
- Bring someone with you to your appointment if doing so will help you feel more comfortable.
- If you don’t understand something related to your condition or treatment, ask your doctor to explain it to you.
Remember, your doctor and other healthcare professionals are available to help you. And they want you to get the best care possible. So don’t be afraid to ask questions or offer feedback on your treatment.
Some important things to discuss with your doctor when considering treatment with Mounjaro include:
- your overall health
- any medical conditions you may have
Additionally, tell your doctor if you’re taking any medications. This is important since certain medications can interfere with Mounjaro.
These and other considerations to discuss with your doctor are described below.
Taking medications, vaccines, foods, and other things with a certain drug can affect how the drug works. These effects are called interactions.
Before using Mounjaro, be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take (including prescription and over-the-counter types). Also describe any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions these items may cause with Mounjaro.
Interactions with drugs or supplements
Mounjaro can interact with several types of drugs. These drugs include:
- insulins, such as:
- sulfonylureas, such as:
- glipizide (Glucotrol XL)
- glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase)
- warfarin (Jantoven)
- birth control pills such as ethinyl estradiol/norethindrone (Junel)
This list does not contain all types of drugs that may interact with Mounjaro. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about these interactions and any others that can occur with Mounjaro.
Mounjaro has a
Risk of thyroid cancer. Using Mounjaro may raise the risk of developing thyroid cancer. In studies, animals given Mounjaro had an increased risk of thyroid cancer. But it’s not known if Mounjaro could cause thyroid cancer, specifically medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), in humans.
If you or a family member has a history of MTC or if you have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2), tell your doctor before using Mounjaro. Due to the associated risks, they’ll likely recommend a different treatment option for you.
During your Mounjaro treatment, you should watch for symptoms of thyroid cancer. These symptoms may include:
Your doctor may also recommend that you have certain blood tests or ultrasounds done to check your thyroid throughout your treatment.
If you have questions about the risk of thyroid cancer with Mounjaro, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Mounjaro may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions. These are known as drug-condition interactions. Other factors may also affect whether Mounjaro is a good treatment option for you.
Talk with your doctor about your health history before you use Mounjaro. Factors to consider include those described below.
Pancreatitis. Mounjaro can cause pancreatitis. If you’ve had this condition before, your risk of developing pancreatitis with Mounjaro may be higher. Before using Mounjaro, talk with your doctor about whether Mounjaro is safe for you to use.
Kidney problems. Mounjaro can cause digestive problems that lead to dehydration and kidney problems. If you already have kidney problems, using Mounjaro could worsen your condition. Before using this drug, talk with your doctor. If they prescribe Mounjaro, your doctor may monitor your kidney closely during your treatment.
Diabetic retinopathy. If you have a vision problem called diabetic retinopathy, using Mounjaro could make it worse. If you have this condition, talk with your doctor before starting your Mounjaro treatment. Your doctor may monitor your vision more closely during your treatment.
Severe digestion problems. Before starting treatment with Mounjaro, tell your doctor if you have any severe digestion problems, such as gastroparesis. Mounjaro has not been studied in people who have severe digestive problems, so your doctor will likely recommend a different treatment option for you.
Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Mounjaro or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Mounjaro for you. Ask them about other medications that might be better options.
Mounjaro and alcohol
It should be safe to drink alcohol during your Mounjaro treatment. But combining Mounjaro with alcohol could increase the risk of certain side effects of the drug or make them worse.
Drinking alcohol can also cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hide symptoms of this condition in people with diabetes. This can be dangerous if not treated quickly. For this reason, drinking alcohol with Mounjaro could be risky.
If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about how much may be safe to drink with your condition and treatment plan.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Your doctor will likely recommend that you do not use Mounjaro during pregnancy. It’s possible that Mounjaro may cause harm to a fetus.
It’s important to note that untreated diabetes during pregnancy can cause problems with fetal development (commonly known as birth defects) or pregnancy loss. If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about the best treatment option for your condition.
Your doctor will also likely recommend that you don’t use Mounjaro while breastfeeding. It’s not known if the drug may pass into breast milk or what effects it could have on a child who is breastfed. If you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor before using Mounjaro.
Do not inject more Mounjaro than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to serious side effects.
What to do in case you use too much Mounjaro
Call your doctor if you think you’ve injected too much Mounjaro. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room.
Before you start treatment with Mounjaro, you may have questions for your doctor. Examples of questions that you may want to ask include:
- Will any of my other medications interact with Mounjaro?
- Do I have a higher risk of side effects from Mounjaro because of other medications I take?
- What should I do if I become pregnant during my Mounjaro treatment?
To learn more about Mounjaro, see these articles:
- Dosage for Mounjaro: What You Need to Know
- Mounjaro and Cost: What You Need to Know
- Mounjaro for Weight Loss
- Mounjaro Interactions: Alcohol, Medications, and Others
- Side Effects of Mounjaro: What You Need to Know
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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.