Many people are turning to the popular drug Mounjaro as a new way to manage their health, especially for weight control and diabetes management. However, there are concerns about its possible side effects, including hair loss. In a clinical trial for Mounjaro’s effects on weight loss, nearly 6% of people taking the highest dose reported alopecia – a general term for hair loss. 

Losing hair while on medication can add unnecessary stress and worry, making the situation even more challenging to handle. Therefore, it is important to understand the connection between Mounjaro and hair loss, manage expectations, and find the right approach to deal with it. 

In this article, you will learn about Mounjaro and its potential link to hair loss. We will explore what Mounjaro is, how it works, and what research says about its side effects, including ways to prevent hair loss when using Mounjaro.

Key Takeaways:

  • Clinical studies indicate a connection between taking Mounjaro (tirzepatide) and experiencing hair loss, with a reported rate of 4.9% to 5.7% among users, compared to 0.9% in a placebo group. This suggests a potential side effect not listed in the official medication guide but observed in practical use.
  • Hair loss associated with Mounjaro is often temporary, likely due to the body’s response to significant weight loss. This type of hair loss, known as telogen effluvium, usually resolves as the body adjusts to new weight levels.
  • Rapid weight loss, a common outcome for users of Mounjaro and similar medications, can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle, leading to temporary hair shedding. This is not unique to Mounjaro but is a common effect of substantial weight reduction.
  • Individuals experiencing hair loss while on weight loss drugs like Mounjaro are advised to ensure adequate intake of essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamins A, B, and C to support hair health and potentially reduce hair loss.
  • If experiencing hair loss while taking Mounjaro, consulting healthcare providers is crucial. They can help assess whether the hair loss is directly related to medication use or other underlying causes and suggest appropriate interventions.
  • While not officially approved for weight loss, Mounjaro is used off-label. Its effectiveness in weight management for adults with type 2 diabetes is noted, acting as a dual agonist to GIP and GLP-1 receptors to regulate blood sugar levels.

What is Mounjaro (Tirzepatide)?

Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is a prescription medication approved for treating adults with type 2 diabetes. A proper diet and exercise regimen improves blood sugar (glucose) levels. Mounjaro is unique as it is the first and only medication that acts as a dual agonist to the glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptors. This mechanism of action involves directly activating GIP and GLP-1 pathways to regulate blood sugar levels.

Mounjaro is available in various dosages: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 12.5 mg, and 15 mg per 0.5 mL injection. It is administered subcutaneously (under the skin). However, it is not recommended for children under 18 as its safety and efficacy have not been established. Also, it should not be used by people with type 1 diabetes or those who have had pancreatitis.

The medication comes with warnings about potential side effects, such as:

  • Thyroid tumors
  • Pancreatitis
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Serious allergic reactions
  • Kidney problems
  • Severe stomach problems
  • Vision changes
  • Gallbladder problems 

The most common side effects reported include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • decreased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion
  • Stomach pain

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Does Mounjaro Cause Hair Loss?

Mounjaro is a medication not approved for weight loss, but some people use it for its off-label weight loss effects. However, it has been reported that some users have experienced hair loss (alopecia) while taking Mounjaro. Although hair loss is not mentioned as a side effect in the medication’s package insert, clinical studies have shown that people who took Mounjaro in doses ranging from 5mg to 15mg had a hair loss rate of 4.9% to 5.7%, compared to the placebo group’s 0.9%.

Patch of hair missing on head

However, no concrete evidence links Mounjaro directly to hair loss. Rapid weight loss can lead to temporary hair shedding (telogen effluvium), caused by a normal hair growth cycle disturbance. Hair follicles can be pushed into a resting phase, causing hair loss when the body experiences a sudden change, such as significant weight loss. This may result in hair loss in some individuals who use Mounjaro for weight loss.

Mounjaro is an off-label medication used for weight loss, but it has been associated with hair loss, also known as alopecia, in some users. Although hair loss is not listed as an adverse effect in the package insert, clinical studies have shown that 4.9% to 5.7% of people who used a 5 mg to 15 mg dose of Mounjaro experienced hair loss, compared to 0.9% of those who used the placebo. 

Despite the lack of direct evidence, many people have expressed their concerns about hair loss related to Mounjaro on social media platforms like TikTok and Subreddit forums. Eli Lilly, the US pharmaceutical company that produces Mounjaro, has stated that the reported hair loss is usually temporary. “Hair loss is a side effect that has been associated with significant weight loss in many previous clinical trials for obesity treatment,” the company said, according to NBC News.

If you are taking Mounjaro and experiencing hair loss or other side effects, it is crucial to speak with your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action.

How Common Is Hair Loss When Taking Other Weight Loss Drugs? 

Hair loss is common during rapid weight loss, but weight loss drugs do not necessarily cause it. Instead, it is more likely to result from how quickly the weight loss occurs. People who undergo bariatric surgery are often informed beforehand that hair loss could be a side effect of significant weight loss in a short period. Although hair loss is not listed as a side effect of weight loss drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy, some individuals have reported hair loss as they lose weight. 

In Wegovy’s clinical trials, 3% of people who took the medication reported hair loss, slightly higher than the 1% of placebo participants who experienced the same. However, experts suggest that hair loss during this time is likely due to the drastic weight loss that occurs as a result of these drugs rather than being directly caused by the medications themselves. 

Nutritional deficiencies and malnutrition can also contribute to hair loss, with iron deficiency a common culprit. Therefore, it is important for individuals taking weight loss drugs to ensure they receive essential nutrients such as iron and B vitamins.

Health Note

If you have recently started experiencing hair loss, you should visit a clinician to evaluate all possible causes, including underlying causes like thyroid dysfunction, iron deficiency, and Vitamin D deficiency.

Is Hair Loss Permanent?

Temporary hair loss caused by weight loss or stress, which may be associated with using Mounjaro, is generally not permanent. When your body adjusts to a new weight, it typically resumes its normal functions, including the natural hair growth cycle. 

Patients who have undergone weight loss surgery are often advised that they may experience temporary hair loss within the first three months post-surgery. However, hair loss usually subsides once your weight stabilizes and restoration occurs, indicating that the hair loss associated with Mounjaro is not permanent.

How Can I Prevent Hair Loss While Using Mounjaro?

To prevent hair loss while using Mounjaro, it’s important to follow a comprehensive approach that includes dietary and lifestyle adjustments and adherence to the medication guidelines. Here are some strategies:

  • Follow a Nutritional and Exercise Plan: Work with your healthcare provider to create a plan that complements your treatment with Mounjaro. A balanced diet and regular exercise can help manage weight healthily and may reduce the risk of hair loss.
  • Take Nutritional Supplements: Consider supplements that support hair health, such as zinc, Vitamins A, B, and C, and iron. It’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any supplements to ensure they’re appropriate for your needs and won’t interfere with your treatment.
  • Include Protein in Your Diet: Protein is essential for hair growth. Incorporate sufficient protein into your meals and snacks, following the guidelines recommended by your healthcare consultant.
  • Adhere to the Medication Guidelines: Stick to the prescribed dosage and schedule for taking Mounjaro. Changing your medication intake without guidance can affect your weight loss results and potentially worsen hair loss.
  • Consult with Your Healthcare Provider: If you’re concerned about hair loss, speak with your primary care physician. They can help determine if the hair loss is related to Mounjaro or another factor and advise on the best action.

Remember

While Mounjaro and other weight loss drugs can lead to significant weight loss, your body may temporarily respond by conserving resources, affecting hair growth. However, this hair loss is often temporary, and you can minimize its impact with proper management and adjustments.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is a medication associated with hair loss. However, the medication’s package insert does not list it as a side effect. While there is no direct evidence linking Mounjaro to hair loss, some users have reported alopecia as a side effect.

However, it is essential to note that rapid weight loss can also cause temporary hair shedding, a common side effect of weight loss treatments. If you are concerned about hair loss while taking Mounjaro, it is best to speak with your healthcare provider to discuss potential solutions.

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FAQs On Mounjaro And Hair Loss

Are there reported side effects of hair loss with Mounjaro?

Few user reports mention hair loss as a side effect of Mounjaro. Still, it is not widely recognized as a common adverse reaction in the clinical data available.

Can changes in diet or lifestyle help with hair loss from these medications?

A balanced diet, adequate protein intake, stress reduction, and proper hair care help manage hair loss. Consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Should I stop taking my medication if I experience hair loss?

Do not stop or alter your medication without consulting your healthcare provider. They can help determine the cause of hair loss and the best course of action.

Are there long-term side effects of Mounjaro?

Some patients have reported experiencing several long-term side effects of Mounjaro, including vomiting that persists for weeks despite treatment. It is advisable for anyone experiencing side effects lasting longer than a few days to speak to their doctor to discuss treatment options.