The rise of weight loss drugs over the past few years has garnered significant public interest. While for many, “Ozempic” comes to mind, there are a multitude of medications on the market indicated for weight loss. Many of these have robust safety and efficacy profiles, adding to the arsenal of weight management strategies available to you. Exploring these other options can help you and your provider select a medication that is right for you. Two such weight loss medications include Wegovy (semaglutide) and Mounjaro (tirzepatide). This article will discuss these medications, including their similarities and differences.

What is Mounjaro?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Mounjaro (tirzepatide), a drug manufactured by Eli Lilly, for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The Mounjaro label indicates it should be taken adjunct to exercise and diet to control blood sugar levels.

Mechanism

Mounjaro is the brand name for the active ingredient tirzepatide. Tirzapetide functions in the body as a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist and a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) agonist. By mimicking the body’s endogenous GIP and GLP-1 incretin hormones, tirzepatide exerts dual pharmacologic activity at both receptors. As a GLP-1 agonist, tirzepatide activates pancreatic insulin secretion and slows gastric emptying. By slowing gastric emptying, GLP-1 agonists delay the rate at which food contents move through the body. When emptying is slowed, your appetite becomes suppressed. On the other hand, GIP helps support weight loss by causing satiety within the hypothalamus.

Efficacy

Because of Mounjaro’s double mechanism, it demonstrated positive results in several clinical trials in both diabetes and weight loss. This series of studies is known as the SURPASS clinical trials, of which there are several completed and ongoing to characterize Mounjaro’s clinical profile.

It is important to note that the studies Mounjaro’s approval was based on evaluating its efficacy in diabetes, and the studies only looked at weight reductions as secondary endpoints. Thus, though trends may be seen about weight, no major conclusions can be made.

These trials also evaluated Mounjaro against placebo as well as other types of medication. Let’s review some of the data:

  • SURPASS-1: Mounjaro caused weight losses of between 6.3 to 8.8 kg
  • SURPASS-2: Mounjaro caused weight losses of 5.5 kg more than semaglutide
  • SURPASS-3: Mounjaro caused average weight losses of 7.5 kg (5 mg), 10.7 kg (10 mg), and 12.9 kg (15 mg) versus an increase in 2.3 kg with degludec
  • SURPASS-4: Mounjaro had more potent weight loss compared with insulin glargine
  • SURPASS-5: Mounjaro lowered patient weight by an average of 10.9 kg versus the placebo group gained an average of 1.7 kg

Based on this data, it is pretty obvious that Mounjaro can be effective in decreasing weight compared with a placebo or insulin. In some cases, it may even be more efficacious than certain doses of semaglutide, which is the active ingredient in Wegovy and Ozempic.

Safety

The most frequently experienced side effects of Mounjaro include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, suppressed appetite, and stomach pain. It also has the following warnings and precautions included in its label: allergic reactions, acute kidney injury, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) when used with insulin, acute gallbladder disease, diabetic retinopathy, thyroid C-cell tumors, and gastrointestinal (GI) disease. Because of these risks, you should always take Mounjaro under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

What is Wegovy?

Wegovy contains the active ingredient semaglutide, which is the same ingredient found in Ozempic. The FDA approved Wegovy in 2021 for weight loss in obese and overweight individuals who have a minimum of one weight-associated condition such as high cholesterol or diabetes. Like Mounjaro, it should also be used in combination with a diet and exercise regimen.

Mechanism

Wegovy is similar to Mounjaro in that it is a GLP-1 agonist. By acting like GLP-1 in the body, it slows gastric emptying, delaying food transit throughout the digestive tract, thus keeping you full for longer. When you are satiated, you eat less food which can help with weight loss.

Efficacy

The effectiveness of semaglutide has been characterized in the STEP trials, which demonstrate potent results in the realm of weight loss. Let’s review the results:

  • STEP 1: Semaglutide 2.4 mg caused a 14.9 percent reduction in body weight versus a reduction of 2.4 percent with a placebo
  • STEP 2: Weight decreases were 9.64, 6.99, and 3.42 percent with semaglutide 2.4 mg, 1.0 mg, and placebo, respectively
  • STEP 3: Semaglutide 2.4 caused 16.0 percent reductions in weight versus 5.7 percent with placebo, each in combination with behavioral therapy
  • STEP 4: Individuals staying on semaglutide had total reductions of 17.4 percent while those switching from semaglutide back to placebo had regains of 6.9 percent

Several other STEP trials have been published and are ongoing, but I think you get the point. These studies support the strong weight loss properties of Wegovy.

Safety

The most frequently experienced side effects with Wegovy include symptoms that are GI-related, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, upset stomach, gas, bloating, heartburn, and burping. There are several ways to help manage these side effects, particularly nausea, including eating slowly, not lying down after eating, eating low-fat bland foods, and more. Additionally, Wegovy can cause fatigue, dizziness, headache, stomach flu, sore throat, or a runny nose.

In addition to these common and more mild effects, Wegovy may cause more serious adverse events including pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), allergy, gallbladder issues, hypoglycemia, elevated heart rate, vision problems, depression, suicidal thoughts, and kidney problems. If you experience any of these, make sure to contact your doctor right away.

Comparing Mounjaro versus Wegovy

Both of these medications, Mounjaro and Wegovy, are safe and effective in inducing weight loss, so which should you take? Before starting any medication, you should consult with a licensed healthcare provider who can select the right treatment for you and monitor you appropriately. If you have either Wegovy or Mounjaro in mind, let them know.

To summarize the differences between the two medications, let’s compare both with a chart:

 MounjaroWegovy
Active ingredientTirzepatideSemaglutide
FDA-approved indicationTreatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus in combination with exercise and dietChronic weight management in combination with exercise and diet for individuals that are obese (BMI of 30 kg/m2 or more) or overweight (BMI of 27 kg/m2 or more) with a minimum of one weight-associated issue (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure)
AgesAdultsAdults and pediatrics 12 and up with a BMI that is at least in the 95th percentile or more for sex and age
MechanismGIP and GLP-1 receptor agonistGLP-1 receptor agonist
Administration

Single dose pen

Injection under the skin into the abdomen, upper arm, or thigh once weekly

Single dose pen

Injection under the skin into the thigh, abdomen, or upper arm once weekly

DosingStarting dose is 2.5 mg, which can be increased to a maximum 15 mg doseStarting dose is 0.25 mg, which can be increased to a maximum dose of 2.4 mg
Mild side effectsNausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, suppressed appetite, and stomach painNausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, upset stomach, gas, bloating, heartburn, burping, fatigue, dizziness, headache, the stomach flu, sore throat, and a runny nose
Serious adverse effectsLow blood sugar, gallbladder issues, kidney problems, thyroid cancer risk, pancreatitis, allergyLow blood sugar, gallbladder issues, kidney problems, thyroid cancer risk, pancreatitis, allergy
Price without insurance~$1,023~$1,349
EfficacyMounjaro is not approved by the FDA for weight management, but the SURPASS studies indicate it can cause weight loss. In SURPASS-2, Mounjaro caused weight losses of 5.5 kg more than semaglutide.Wegovy has been studied and approved for weight management, with efficacy versus placebo as demonstrated in the STEP trials.

As you can see from this side-by-side comparison, there are not that many differences between the two medications, but there are some. Key differences include:

  • The mechanism. Mounjaro has dual action as a GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist, while Wegovy is only a GLP-1 receptor agonist.
  • Efficacy. Studies have shown that Mounjaro may decrease weight more than Wegovy. That being said, every person is different, and just because a study shows something does not mean it will apply to you.
  • Price. Without insurance, Mounjaro is a bit more inexpensive than Wegovy. However, the final cost of your medication will depend on your specific insurance coverage, so take this with a grain of salt.

Accessing Weight Loss Medications: Buying Wegovy and Mounjaro from Canada

In recent years, the quest for effective weight loss solutions has led many Americans to explore international options for medication, particularly from neighboring Canada. This section delves into the availability and cost differences of two prominent weight loss medications, Wegovy and Mounjaro when purchased in Canada as opposed to the United States.

Availability and Cost Differences

  • Wegovy and Mounjaro in the US vs. Canada: In the United States, the cost of healthcare and prescription medications can be prohibitively high for many individuals. This is particularly true for newer, innovative medications like Wegovy (semaglutide) and Mounjaro (tirzepatide), which are not always fully covered by insurance plans. In contrast, Canada’s healthcare system often allows for these medications to be available at significantly lower prices due to different pharmaceutical pricing regulations.
  • Price Comparison: On average, the cost of Wegovy and Mounjaro in Canada can be substantially lower than in the US. This price disparity can make a significant difference for individuals who require long-term medication for weight management but are constrained by budget limitations.

Considering Canadian Pharmacies

  • Why Look to Canada?: For Americans facing high costs or limited access to these medications in their own country, Canadian pharmacies present a viable alternative. The lower prices, coupled with the ease of access through online pharmacies, make Canada an attractive option for purchasing these drugs.
  • Safety and Legitimacy: While considering Canadian pharmacies, it’s crucial to ensure that the pharmacy is legitimate and that the medications are safe and authentic. Prospective buyers should look for pharmacies that are licensed and have positive reviews or ratings. It’s also advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before making any purchases.

Navigating the Purchase Process

  • Prescription Requirements: Just like in the US, a valid prescription is required to purchase Wegovy and Mounjaro from Canadian pharmacies. This means that patients must have a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider.
  • Online Ordering: Many Canadian pharmacies offer an online ordering system, making it convenient for Americans to purchase their medications. These systems typically require the patient to submit their prescription, either electronically or by mail.
  • Shipping and Handling: When ordering from Canada, it’s important to consider the logistics of shipping and handling, especially for medications that may require temperature-controlled shipping conditions. Most reputable pharmacies will provide appropriate packaging to ensure the medication’s efficacy is not compromised during transit.

Legal Considerations

  • Import Regulations: While buying prescription medications from Canada is a common practice, it’s essential to be aware of the legalities involved in importing drugs into the US. Patients should familiarize themselves with FDA regulations regarding personal drug importation to ensure compliance.

Purchasing Wegovy and Mounjaro from Canada can be a cost-effective solution for Americans struggling with the high costs of weight loss medications in the US. However, it’s imperative to approach this option with diligence, ensuring the safety, legality, and reliability of the pharmacy and the medications obtained. As always, consultation with a healthcare provider is recommended before making any changes to medication regimens. If you’re looking to purchase Mounjaro or Wegovy from Canada, Buy Canadian Inslin offers significant savings.

Which should do I choose?

As previously mentioned, if you are looking for a weight loss medication to add to your weight management strategy, it’s important to discuss it first with your doctor. They will be able to review your health history, condition, age, and preferences to select the best option for you. Additionally, they can continue to monitor your treatment for side effects and efficacy and adjust it as needed.

It is also important to note that both these medications are meant to be used in combination with a caloric deficit diet and regular exercise. These two factors make the medication work best and will thus provide you with greater results.

Key Takeaways

  • Rising Interest in Weight Loss Drugs: The article highlights the growing public interest in weight loss medications, with a focus on Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro.
  • Mounjaro’s Unique Mechanism: Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is FDA-approved for type 2 diabetes and works as both a GLP-1 receptor agonist and a GIP agonist, aiding insulin secretion and appetite suppression.
  • Efficacy of Mounjaro: Clinical trials (SURPASS series) show Mounjaro’s effectiveness in weight loss and diabetes management, with significant weight reduction compared to placebo and other drugs.
  • Safety Profile of Mounjaro: Common side effects include gastrointestinal issues, with warnings for potential serious effects like kidney injury and hypoglycemia.
  • Wegovy for Weight Management: Wegovy, containing semaglutide (also in Ozempic), is FDA-approved for chronic weight management in obese or overweight individuals.
  • Wegovy’s Mechanism and Efficacy: As a GLP-1 agonist, Wegovy slows gastric emptying. The STEP trials demonstrate its strong weight loss properties.
  • Side Effects of Wegovy: Common side effects are GI-related, with serious potential risks including pancreatitis and gallbladder issues.
  • Comparing Mounjaro and Wegovy: Both drugs are effective for weight loss, with Mounjaro having a dual-action mechanism and potentially greater efficacy in weight reduction.
  • Cost Considerations: Mounjaro is slightly less expensive than Wegovy, but actual costs depend on individual insurance coverage.
  • Importance of Medical Consultation: The article emphasizes consulting with healthcare providers to choose the right medication and highlights the necessity of combining these drugs with a healthy diet and exercise for optimal results.