Ozempic (semaglutide) and Mounjaro (tirzepatide) are prescription drugs used in adults with type 2 diabetes. Both drugs are injected once per week. Ozempic and Mounjaro are not available as generic drugs.
This article explains the main ways that Ozempic and Mounjaro are alike and different. For more information about these drugs, including details about their uses, see the in-depth articles on Ozempic and Mounjaro.
See the list below to find out whether Ozempic or Mounjaro is available as a generic. (A generic drug contains an exact copy of the active ingredient* in a brand-name medication.)
- Available as a generic: no
- Active ingredient: semaglutide
- Available as a generic: no
- Active ingredient: tirzepatide
* An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.
Get answers to some frequently asked questions about Ozempic and Mounjaro.
How do Ozempic and Mounjaro compare with other similar drugs, such as Trulicity or Wegovy?
Ozempic (semaglutide), Mounjaro (tirzepatide), and Trulicity (dulaglutide) are all used to help manage blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. Ozempic and Trulicity are also used to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke in adults with type 2 diabetes and heart disease. And research is ongoing to determine whether Mounjaro may be effective for this use.
Ozempic and Trulicity belong to the same group of drugs, called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. Mounjaro belongs to a similar group of drugs, called GLP-1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonists. These medications have many similar side effects.
Wegovy contains the same active drug (semaglutide) as Ozempic, but Wegovy is not used for type 2 diabetes. Instead, it’s used to help with long-term weight management in people with overweight or obesity. Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Trulicity aren’t approved for weight loss. But these medications reduce appetite, and many people who take them lose weight. So doctors may sometimes prescribe these drugs off-label* for weight loss.
In addition, a new medication called Zepbound contains the same active drug (tirzepatide) as Mounjaro. But Zepbound is not used for type 2 diabetes. Instead, like Wegovy, it’s approved to help with long-term weight management in people with obesity or who are overweight.
Your doctor can tell you more about how these medications compare. They can also help determine which one of these treatments is a better option for you.
* With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.
Is Ozempic a better treatment option than Mounjaro or vice versa?
Ozempic and Mounjaro are both used to help lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. Studies of Ozempic and Mounjaro have shown that both drugs are effective for this use. Studies also show that Mounjaro may be more effective than Ozempic for managing blood sugar levels.
Ozempic is prescribed to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in adults with type 2 diabetes who also have heart disease. It’s not known whether Mounjaro is effective for this use.
Ozempic and Mounjaro also have some other differences. For example, they belong to different drug classes. Although they can cause similar side effects, side effects may be more common with Mounjaro. Because of this, one of them may be a better choice for you, depending on your specific health factors.
If you’re considering treatment with Ozempic or Mounjaro, talk with your doctor about your health history. Ask whether one of these drugs may be a better option for you.
See the table below for details on the uses of each drug.
|helps lower blood sugar levels, along with diet and exercise, in adults with type 2 diabetes||✓||✓|
|helps prevent certain risks, such as heart attack and stroke, in adults with type 2 diabetes and heart disease||✓|
In addition to its approved uses for type 2 diabetes, doctors may prescribe Ozempic and Mounjaro off-label for weight loss. (With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.) To learn more about each drug’s off-label use for weight loss, see these articles on Ozempic and Mounjaro.
To learn more about using Ozempic or Mounjaro for type 2 diabetes or weight loss, talk with your doctor.
Below is an overview of the dosage and how you’ll take Ozempic and Mounjaro for managing blood sugar levels with type 2 diabetes.
Dosage for type 2 diabetes
|Ozempic for type 2 diabetes||Mounjaro for type 2 diabetes|
|Forms||liquid solution for injection* in prefilled pens containing multiple doses||liquid solution for injection* in prefilled pens and vials containing a single dose|
|Strengths||• 2 mg/3 mL|
• 4 mg/3 mL
• 8 mg/3 mL
|• 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
|Dose||depends on the treatment plan your doctor prescribes for you||depends on the treatment plan your doctor prescribes for you|
|How often to take||once per week||once per week|
* Ozempic and Mounjaro are both given by injection. Your doctor will show you or a caregiver how to give the injection under the skin of your thigh, stomach, or upper arm.
Ozempic and Mounjaro may cause side effects ranging from mild to serious.
Mild side effects
Ozempic and Mounjaro may cause mild side effects. Examples of mild side effects that have been reported with both drugs include:
- nausea and vomiting
- abdominal pain
- indigestion (upset stomach)
- acid reflux
- injection site reactions
- reduced appetite
This list may not include all mild side effects of these drugs. For more information on mild side effects of the two drugs, see the Ozempic prescribing information and Mounjaro prescribing information.
Serious side effects
In addition to the mild side effects described above, serious side effects may occur in people using Ozempic or Mounjaro. Serious side effects that have been reported with both these drugs include:
- severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that may lead to dehydration and kidney problems
- gallbladder problems, such as gallstones
- pancreatitis (swelling in your pancreas)
- low blood sugar (mainly in people also taking insulin or certain other diabetes medications)
- risk of thyroid cancer*
- allergic reaction
To learn about your specific risk of serious side effects with Ozempic or Mounjaro, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* Ozempic and Mounjaro have a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To learn more, see the “What are the warnings of Ozempic and Mounjaro?” section below.
You may wonder how effective Ozempic or Mounjaro are for your condition.
Ozempic and Mounjaro are both used, along with diet and exercise, to help manage blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. Studies of Ozempic and Mounjaro have shown that both drugs are effective for this use. In addition, the American Diabetes Association includes both drugs in its treatment recommendations for managing blood sugar levels with type 2 diabetes.
Studies show that Mounjaro may be more effective than Ozempic for managing blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. These studies also show that Mounjaro may be more effective for helping people with type 2 diabetes lose weight. And weight loss may be beneficial for some people with type 2 diabetes.
It’s important to note that your results from Ozempic or Mounjaro may differ from those seen in studies. Talk with your doctor about whether one of these drugs is right for you.
Whether you have health insurance or not, cost may be a factor when you’re considering these drugs. Visit Optum Perks* to get price estimates for Ozempic and Mounjaro when you use coupons from the site. It’s important to note that Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with insurance copays or benefits.
Keep in mind that what you’ll pay for either drug will depend on your treatment plan, health insurance, and the pharmacy you use.
Ozempic and Mounjaro are both brand-name drugs. Generic forms of these drugs are not available at this time. You’ll usually pay more for brand-name drugs than for generics.
* Optum Perks is a sister site of Healthline.
Ozempic and Mounjaro may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. These may be referred to as warnings.
The two drugs share many of the same warnings, but they also have different ones. Some of these warnings are mentioned below. Before you start using Ozempic or Mounjaro, be sure to talk with your doctor to see if these warnings apply to you.
Boxed warning: Risk of thyroid cancer
Ozempic and Mounjaro both have a boxed warning for the risk of thyroid cancer. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.
But due to this possible risk, your doctor will likely not prescribe either of these drugs if you or a family member has had a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid cancer. Also, your doctor will likely not prescribe these drugs if you have a condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). This condition can raise your risk of thyroid cancer.
If you take Ozempic or Mounjaro, see your doctor right away if you develop possible symptoms of thyroid cancer, such as:
- trouble breathing or swallowing
- hoarseness that doesn’t get better
- a swelling or lump in your neck
In addition to boxed warnings, Ozempic and Mounjaro have other warnings.
Before using Ozempic or Mounjaro, talk with your doctor if any of the following conditions or health factors apply to you.
- Warnings for Mounjaro:
- if you have severe disease affecting your stomach or intestines
- Warnings for both Ozempic and Mounjaro:
- if you’ve had an allergic reaction to either drug, or any of its ingredients, or similar drugs (GLP-1 receptor agonists)
- if you have kidney problems
- if you have diabetic retinopathy
- if you take insulin or other diabetes drugs called sulfonylureas, such as glipizide (Glucotrol XL)
- if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant
- if you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed
- if you have a history of pancreatitis
The short answer: It’s possible.
Details: Both Ozempic and Mounjaro are used to help manage blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. These drugs work in a similar way, so it’s possible to switch from one to the other. But keep in mind that if you have type 2 diabetes and heart disease, taking Ozempic also reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke. Mounjaro isn’t approved for this use.
If you do switch from Ozempic to Mounjaro or vice versa, you’ll usually start the new drug the week after stopping your previous drug. Your doctor will likely prescribe a low dosage of the new drug to begin with. Then if needed, they’ll increase your dose every 4 weeks until you reach the dosage that’s right for you.
Reminder: You should not switch drugs or stop your current treatment unless your doctor recommends it.
Ozempic and Mounjaro are similar drugs that are very effective for managing blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.
If you have any questions about these drugs, talk with your doctor. They can recommend the best treatment option for you. Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor include:
- If I have high blood pressure, would Ozempic or Mounjaro be a better option for me?
- Can either of these drugs interact with other medications I take?
- How common are side effects with these drugs?
To learn more about Ozempic or Mounjaro, see these articles:
- Ozempic: Overview, Off-Label Use for Weight Loss, How It Works, and More
- All About Mounjaro
- Side Effects of Ozempic: Examples and Treatment Options
- Side Effects of Mounjaro: What You Need to Know
- Mounjaro for Weight Loss
- Ozempic: How it’s Used for Weight Loss
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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.