What to know and how it compares to similar medications


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Having received a fast-track designation for weight loss by the Food and Drug Administration in October 2022, the diabetes drug Monjaro is believed to be approved for weight loss sometime this year as it has shown promising results in clinical trials.

key facts

Mounjaro (commonly known as tirzepatide) is a weekly injection, which works by controlling blood sugar – it was approved for use in patients with type 2 diabetes by the Food and Drug Administration in May 2022.

Although similar to Ozempic and Wegovy, Mounjaro is an agonist of the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor (a type of medication used to treat diabetes and weight loss), and is also a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), It is the hormone that helps release insulin after eating.

The drug, which is made by Eli Lilly, has gained popularity due to its weight loss benefits, and the hashtag #mounjaro has over 330 million views on TikTok.

A study found during a 72-week trial, participants saw a “significant and sustained reduction in body weight,” by taking monjaro, regardless of the drug dose.

Although it is not FDA-approved for weight loss, some doctors prescribe it for off-label use for weight loss in patients who do not have type 2 diabetes.

On December 15, 2022, the FDA listed Monjaro as one of nearly 200 drugs in short supply, joining Wegovy, Ozempic (semaglutide), and Trulicity (dulaglutide), Eli Lilly’s other prescribed diabetes drug, for use. Off-label for weight loss.

Wedge News

Eli Lilly has announced that it will open a new $1 billion factory in Concord, North Carolina. The plant adds to Eli Lilly’s North Carolina presence. In 2020, the company announced plans to open a $470 million drug manufacturing facility in the state, and on January 24, it committed an additional $450 million to the site.

Side effects

Possible side effects while taking Mounjaro include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, stomach pain, and indigestion. Although most cases of nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting usually occur when the dose is increased, they usually settle over time, according to Eli Lilly. Severe stomach problems, kidney problems, and kidney failure are all serious side effects of monjaro. People with preexisting kidney problems may become dehydrated due to diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, which can worsen kidney problems. To prevent this, Eli Lilly recommends drinking fluids to avoid dehydration. If stomach problems arise, patients should speak to their healthcare providers. Mounjaro might also cause thyroid adenomas, or cancer. If a patient has a family history of a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid cancer, or if they have an endocrine system condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia type II, the NIH’s Monjaro Manual advises against the drug. If the patient has swelling or swelling in the neck, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or shortness of breath, he should consult a doctor.

Cost concerns

Although it has been shown to be effective, some people may struggle to afford Mounjaro. For those who use the drug to treat type 2 diabetes, it costs $1,023.04 per refill (which lasts for 28 days) without insurance, and prices vary based on the insurance plan, according to Eli Lilly. When prescribed for weight loss, it is prescribed in higher doses. Dr. David Rind, chief medical officer of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, predicted that the drug would cost $13,000 annually, and about $1,100 per month, according to NBC News. That’s less than the monthly costs for Wegovy and Saxenda, another weight loss drug, which both cost $1,350 a month. There is a stigma surrounding weight loss medications, even though obesity is a chronic disease and those who suffer from it are expected to take medications for most of their lives like any other chronic disease. For this reason, insurance coverage for weight-loss drugs is inconsistent. For example, Medicare does not cover weight-loss medications, although it does cover counseling and weight-loss surgery for those with a certain BMI. However, if approved, the drug is expected to work well. An analyst at Bank of America told NBC News that annual sales of Monjaro after the weight loss approval could rise to $48 billion.

Effectiveness compared to other weight loss drugs

Saxenda (liraglutide) and Wegovy (semaglutide) are both manufactured by Novo Nordisk. Both are injectable type 2 diabetes medications that are FDA-approved for weight loss. Saxenda is a daily injection and Wegovy, like Mounjaro, is a weekly injection. Mounjaro showed even more promising results, with a clinical trial finding that participants lost up to 22.5% of their body fat. When investigated, Wegovy and Saxenda were less effective, with participants experiencing an average of 15% and 5% reductions in body fat, respectively..

Shortage of supplies

For type 2 diabetics, as a GLP-1 agonist, Mounjaro works in part by lowering hemoglobin A1C (the average amount of sugar in the blood). The three most common GLP-1 agonists (semaglutide, dulaglutide, and tirzepatide) are all in short supply. If people with type 2 diabetes stop taking GLP-1 agonists, their blood sugar will rise, leading to other diabetes complications. With the help of creating new facilities, Eli Lilly told MedPage Today in an emailed statement that he plans to double Lilly’s growing capacity by the end of 2023.“,” To help combat undersupply.


Although there isn’t much research on the long-term effects of Mounjaro, several studies of other GLP-1 agonists have found that weight regain occurred after patients stopped taking the medications. For example, a study found that patients who stopped taking semaglutide experienced an 11.6% increase in weight lost by week 120. Another study found that patients gained two-thirds of their body weight back a year after stopping semaglutide.

Further reading

FDA detects shortage of Eli Lilly’s new diabetes drug Monjaro (Forbes)

A new weight loss drug could become the best-selling drug of all time. Who can afford it? (NBC News)

Next Generation Weight Loss Drug Will Be More Powerful Than Ozempic (Women’s Health)


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