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Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is a prescription drug that may be prescribed off-label for weight loss. The drug isn’t approved for this use, but it may be helpful for weight loss.
Mounjaro comes as a solution inside a single-use injection pen. It’s given as an injection under your skin.
The active ingredient in Mounjaro is tirzepatide. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) Mounjaro is not currently available as a generic drug.
Note: Using Mounjaro for weight loss is an off-label use. With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for. Mounjaro is approved to treat type 2 diabetes. To learn more about Mounjaro and its approved use, see this in-depth article.
Keep reading for answers to frequently asked questions about using Mounjaro for weight loss.
Is Mounjaro approved for weight loss?
No, Mounjaro is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used for weight loss. However, it’s possible the FDA may approve this drug for weight loss. This could happen after more studies of Mounjaro for weight loss have been completed.
The FDA has agreed to use a
If you have questions about the possible FDA approval of Mounjaro for weight loss, talk with your doctor.
Note: A drug called Zepbound is FDA-approved to help with weight loss and weight management. Zepbound and Mounjaro have the same active drug, tirzepatide. Your doctor might prescribe Zepbound instead of Mounjaro for weight loss. If you’re interested in taking Zepbound, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Will I experience a certain amount of weight loss each week with Mounjaro?
There isn’t a specific amount of weight loss that’s expected each week with Mounjaro. Weight loss results with this drug can differ for each person who uses it.
To learn more about what to expect when using Mounjaro for weight loss, talk with your doctor. They can advise you on how soon you may see results with Mounjaro.
For weight loss, how does Mounjaro compare with Ozempic?
Studies have not specifically compared Mounjaro with Ozempic when they’re used for weight loss. But one study did compare the effects of Mounjaro and Ozempic on body weight when used to treat type 2 diabetes. In this study, people using Mounjaro lost more weight than people using Ozempic.
Keep in mind that more studies are needed to understand how these drugs compare as weight-loss treatments.
Is treatment with Mounjaro for weight loss long term?
It’s not known whether Mounjaro may be used long term for weight loss. The drug’s long-term effects on weight loss are being studied.
For example, one study is looking at whether weight loss from Mounjaro is maintained after the drug is stopped. The same study also looks at how well Mounjaro helps maintain weight loss if the drug is continued for up to 2 years. The results of this study could help doctors understand whether treatment with Mounjaro should be long term.
To learn more about how long you may use Mounjaro for weight loss, talk with your doctor.
The price of Mounjaro depends on several factors, including your treatment plan, your health insurance coverage (if you have it) and the pharmacy you use.
Also, keep in mind that Mounjaro’s price may be different for an off-label use than for an approved use. For example, some health insurance plans may not cover Mounjaro when it’s prescribed off-label, and some coupons may not be available with off-label use.
To learn about the price of Mounjaro, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also see this article.
How to get Mounjaro for weight loss
If you’d like to use Mounjaro off-label for weight loss, talk with your doctor. If they determine that Mounjaro is right for you, they can provide a prescription.
Another way you can purchase Mounjaro is by using a reputable telehealth service, such as:
- Ro Body, which can help you with weight management or other health conditions
- Calibrate, which focuses on helping people manage their weight
A licensed telehealth professional will evaluate your health. If they determine that Mounjaro may be a good choice for you, they may provide an electronic prescription. You can then order the medication from a licensed pharmacy. The services also include coaching and other support to help you manage your weight.
If you do get a prescription for Mounjaro through Calibrate or Ro Body, we encourage you to tell your doctor. It’s important that they know about all medications you use.
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Retail price refers to the manufacturer’s published list price and is up to date as of 3/2023. Retail and discounted prices are U.S.-only and can vary based on region and pharmacy. We cannot guarantee that the discounted price listed here will exactly match the price at your pharmacy. Please contact your pharmacy for the exact price.
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Below are common dosages of Mounjaro when prescribed off-label* for weight loss. Be sure to follow the dosage and instructions your doctor has provided.
* With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.
What is the usual dosage for Mounjaro?
To start, your doctor will typically prescribe a low dosage of Mounjaro. For example, a likely starting dosage is 2.5 milligrams (mg) injected once weekly for 4 weeks. Then, your doctor will likely increase your Mounjaro dose by 2.5 mg every 4 weeks until they reach a dose that helps with weight loss.
Your exact dosage will depend on how well the drug works to help you lose weight. If you have questions about your Mounjaro dosage, talk with your doctor.
Besides off-label use for weight loss, Mounjaro is approved for treating type 2 diabetes. The dosage you take for weight loss may be different than the dosage for the drug’s approved use. To learn more, talk with your doctor.
How do you use Mounjaro?
Mounjaro comes as a solution in a single-use injection pen. You’ll inject the drug under the skin of your thigh or abdomen. Or you can have a caregiver inject the drug under the skin of your outer upper arm.
If you have questions about how to use Mounjaro, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Best place to inject Mounjaro for weight loss
Each of the injection sites for Mounjaro (your thigh, abdomen, or upper arm) are thought to be equally effective. Be sure to inject Mounjaro only in these areas. Also, you should:
- Use a different injection site for each dose of Mounjaro. For example, if you inject the drug in your thigh, next week you should use a different place on your thigh or inject the drug into your abdomen instead. Do not inject Mounjaro into the exact same spot more than once.
- Avoid injecting Mounjaro in areas where your skin is thickened, tender, bruised, hardened, scarred, or damaged. Also do not inject into areas where your skin has lumps or pits.
How often should I use Mounjaro?
You’ll inject Mounjaro once weekly, usually on the same day each week. You can inject the drug any time of day.
Your doctor will decide whether it’s safe for you to use Mounjaro for weight loss. A doctor may prescribe Mounjaro off-label for weight loss in adults with either:
- a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher (obesity), or
- a BMI of 27 or higher (which is considered overweight) and at least one health condition related to weight, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or obstructive sleep apnea
This is because tirzepatide (the active drug in Mounjaro) was shown to help with weight loss in adults meeting either of these qualifications in studies. Mounjaro is also prescribed along with exercise and a balanced diet, which can help with weight management.
How does Mounjaro work?
Mounjaro belongs to a group of drugs called glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. The drug mimics the GIP and GLP-1 hormones found naturally in your body.
Mounjaro treats type 2 diabetes by lowering your blood sugar. It does this in several ways:
- lowering the amount of sugar released into your blood
- raising the amount of insulin your body makes after eating
- slowing the time it takes food to pass through your stomach, which keeps your blood sugar from increasing sharply after eating
When used for weight loss, Mounjaro also helps reduce your appetite. This can decrease the calories you consume, which may lead to weight loss. Also, keep in mind that Mounjaro is prescribed along with exercise and a balanced diet, and these factors can also help you lose weight.
Studies of Mounjaro for type 2 diabetes showed that using the drug (along with a balanced diet and exercise) can lead to weight loss. But these studies did not specifically look at Mounjaro as a weight-loss medication.
Another study looked at the use of Mounjaro for weight loss in people without diabetes. The study included adults with either:
- a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher (obesity)
- a BMI of 27 or higher (which is considered overweight) and at least one health condition related to weight
To learn more about how effective Mounjaro may be for weight loss, talk with your doctor.
If you have questions about the drug’s possible side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also learn more from the side effect article on Mounjaro or from Mounjaro’s prescribing information.
What are Mounjaro’s mild side effects?
Some people may have mild side effects with Mounjaro. These include:
- mild increase in heart rate
- mild digestive problems, such as heartburn, abdominal pain, and diarrhea
- injection site reactions, such as skin discoloration or pain
In many cases, mild side effects from the drug can be temporary. Some side effects may be easy to manage, too. But if side effects last for a longer time, or if they bother you or become severe, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
What are Mounjaro’s serious side effects?
Using Mounjaro may lead to serious side effects, although these are rare. Examples of these side effects include:
- low blood sugar
- sudden pancreatitis (inflammation of your pancreas)
- sudden gallbladder disease, which may include cholecystitis (swelling of your gallbladder) or gallstones
- severe digestive problems, such as severe vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea that may lead to dehydration and kidney problems
- risk of thyroid cancer*
- allergic reaction
Call your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects while using Mounjaro. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
* Mounjaro has a
Before using Mounjaro off-label* for weight loss, there’s some important information to keep in mind. The drug may not be safe for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. Some of these are mentioned below.
* With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.
Boxed warning: Risk of thyroid cancer
This drug has a
It’s important to note that animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans. It isn’t known for certain whether Mounjaro increases the risk of thyroid cancer in humans.
But due to this risk, your doctor likely will not prescribe Mounjaro if you or a family member has medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). MTC is a type of thyroid cancer.
Your doctor will likely also avoid prescribing Mounjaro if you have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN2). MEN2 is a rare genetic (inherited) condition that may lead to thyroid cancer.
While you’re using Mounjaro, your doctor will monitor you for symptoms of thyroid cancer. And tell them right away if you have any symptoms of thyroid cancer, such as a hoarse voice, lump in your throat, or neck pain.
If you have symptoms of thyroid cancer, your doctor may test you for cancer.
What other warnings should I know about?
In addition to its boxed warning, Mounjaro has other warnings. If any of the following medical conditions or other health factors apply to you, talk with your doctor before using Mounjaro.
- if you’ve had pancreatitis in the past
- if you have diabetic retinopathy
- if you have a kidney problem, such as kidney failure
- if you have a digestive problem, such as gastroparesis
- if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning on either
- if you’ve had an allergic reaction to the drug or any of its ingredients
If you have questions about using Mounjaro off-label for weight loss, talk with your doctor. They can help determine if Mounjaro might be a good fit for you.
Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- How soon will I see results with Mounjaro?
- Will I use other weight-loss medications with Mounjaro?
- Do other medications I take mean that Mounjaro is unsafe for me to use for weight loss?
To learn more about Mounjaro, see these articles:
- All About Mounjaro
- Dosage for Mounjaro: What You Need to Know
- How Much Does Mounjaro Cost? Discounts and Savings Tips
- 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.