top of page
Search

The Weight Loss Showdown: Mounjaro vs. Wegovy - Pros, Cons, and Everything in Between


Syringe with vile of medicine and a pill sitting on top of weight loss text

Have you been seeing all the chatter around weight loss drugs and wondering what the hype is about?


Maybe you struggle to lose weight and hope that these meds may be able to benefit you?


You’re in the right place because in this blog we want to break down all the latest information on these newer medications for weight loss: Mounjaro vs Wegovy.


Let’s jump right in!


Medical Weight Loss to Lose Weight


Woman holding measuring tape around her abdomen


Medical weight loss is an approach to weight loss that provides more structure and support for losing weight by including medical providers into the care of the patient. 


This usually involves a variety of tools to help weight loss be successful from lifestyle changes, physical activity, mental health resources, stress management, medication and more. 


Read more about What is Medical Weight Loss in our blog.


Medical Weight Loss programs have been seen to be successful and include a variety of tools and components. Focusing on the whole self (compared to just counting calories) is a healthy approach to see lasting change. 



Medications for Weight Loss


There are many medications for weight loss on the market. The two that we are going to discuss in this blog are semaglutide and tirzepatide. 


These medications are typically used for management of Type 2 Diabetes, but have been shown to be very effective for weight loss. The brand names for these two medications used for weight loss are Wegovy or Ozempic (semaglutide) and Mounjaro or Zepbound (tirzepatide).


What are Wegovy and Mounjaro?


Hand filling a syringe from a vile of medicine

Wegovy (semaglutide) and Mounjaro (tirzepatide) are the two medications boasting success for weight loss.


These medications were actually first researched and FDA approved for treatment of Type-2 Diabetes.


Both medications have been researched and are in ongoing research trials. Both of these medications now have FDA approval for weight loss.


How semaglutide (Wegovy) works


Semaglutide is part of a class of medications that are considered glucagon-like peptide receptor agonists (GLP-1). This drug acts like the GLP-1 hormone which is released in the gut in response to eating.  (1; 2)


The GLP-1 receptor tells the body to produce more insulin, which allows for blood sugar (glucose) to enter cells, therefore decreasing glucose levels after eating. This is how it is helping manage type 2 Diabetes for many people. 


In addition to this, GLP-1 also slows down the stomach emptying which signals fullness to the brain, therefore suppressing appetite. 


Many medical providers are using diet and exercise in tandem with GLP-1 medication to help people who are overweight or obese lose weight.


GLP-1 medication has been shown to be effective in lowering A1C, decreasing weight, and protecting against heart attack or stroke (in people with Type 2 Diabetes). (3; 4)


graphic discussing how semaglutide and tirzepatide works

How tirzepatide (Mounjaro) works


Tirzepatide is another class of medication that is successful at managing Type 2 Diabetes. It is also a GLP-1, similar to semaglutide. 


But it also has another mechanism of action - glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP).


The GIP is also active in secreting insulin and signaling fullness to the brain along with slowing gastric emptying. 


It’s like having additional support to help the body decrease blood sugar and decrease hunger (which usually results in decreased calorie consumption). (5)


Better Weight Loss Results: Mounjaro or Wegovy?


Research has been done and is still ongoing.


In a research review, Mounjaro, taken at the maximum dose of 15 milligrams (mg) once per week, was found to cause greater weight loss than Wegovy, taken at the maximum dose of 2.4 mg once per week.


Another review of clinical trials looked at the weight loss effect of these drugs in people without diabetes. This review found Mounjaro (taken at a dose of 10 mg or 15 mg once per week) was more effective for weight loss than Wegovy (taken at a dose of 2.4 mg per week).


Although all GLP-1s (semaglutides) lead to significant weight reduction, tirzepatide was associated with better efficacy outcomes while having a comparable safety profile.


Close to 60% of the participants in this 72-week clinical trial had a 20% or more reduction in body weight while on tirzepatide. 


Compare those tirzepatide results to this 68-week clinical trial of semaglutide and 50% of participants had 15% or more reduction in body weight. 


While continuous trials are still being researched, it seems that more weight loss is happening for those taking tirzepatide (Mounjaro).


Side Effects of Mounjaro vs. Wegovy


person giving self injection in the abdomen

When considering weight loss medications, understanding potential side effects is crucial for making an informed decision. Both Mounjaro and Wegovy have their own sets of potential side effects, which can vary in severity and frequency among different individuals. 


Here, we will delve into the side effects associated with each medication to help you weigh your options.


Side Effects of Mounjaro


Mounjaro, like any medication, can cause side effects. It's important to note that not everyone will experience these, and some may experience effects not listed here. Common side effects include:

  • Nausea and Vomiting: These are some of the most frequently reported side effects, especially during the initial stages of treatment as the body adjusts to the medication.

  • Diarrhea: Some users may experience gastrointestinal discomfort, including diarrhea.

  • Fatigue: Feeling unusually tired or weak is another possible side effect.

  • Dizziness: Some users report feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness, which can affect daily activities.

  • Headache: Headaches are a common side effect, which can range from mild to severe.


Less common but more serious side effects may include:

  • Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar): Especially if Mounjaro is used in conjunction with other medications that lower blood sugar.

  • Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas, which can cause severe abdominal pain.

  • Kidney Problems: Issues with kidney function can occur, particularly in individuals with pre-existing kidney conditions.

  • Allergic Reactions: Although rare, allergic reactions such as rash, itching, or swelling can occur and require immediate medical attention.


Side Effects of Wegovy


Wegovy also has a range of potential side effects, which users should be aware of before starting treatment. Common side effects include:

  • Nausea: Similar to Mounjaro, nausea is one of the most common side effects, particularly as the body adjusts to the medication.

  • Diarrhea: Gastrointestinal issues, including diarrhea, are also reported by Wegovy users.

  • Vomiting: Some individuals may experience vomiting, especially in the early stages of treatment.

  • Constipation: While some users experience diarrhea, others may face constipation.

  • Abdominal Pain: Discomfort or pain in the abdomen can occur.


Less common but potentially serious side effects include:

  • Pancreatitis: Like Mounjaro, Wegovy can also cause inflammation of the pancreas.

  • Gallbladder Problems: Wegovy has been associated with an increased risk of gallbladder issues, including gallstones.

  • Hypoglycemia: Particularly in individuals with type 2 diabetes who are taking other medications to manage blood sugar levels.

  • Kidney Problems: Kidney function issues can arise, especially in those with pre-existing conditions.

  • Allergic Reactions: Severe allergic reactions are rare but possible and necessitate immediate medical intervention.


Comparing Side Effects


Both Mounjaro and Wegovy share several common side effects, including gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Both medications also carry the risk of more serious conditions like pancreatitis and kidney problems.


The decision between Mounjaro and Wegovy should involve a thorough discussion with a healthcare professional, who can help assess individual risk factors and health conditions to determine the most appropriate medication.


Understanding the potential side effects can prepare you for what to expect and aid in making an informed choice about your weight loss treatment.



medical provider sitting with patient discussing care

Is Mounjaro or Wegovy more effective?


So which medication is better? Or which medication should you start taking? 


Both medications can be beneficial and help you be successful in your weight loss attempts. However, early research is showing better weight loss results with Mounjaro (tirzepatide).


The best place to start is by talking with your healthcare provider and figuring out together which medication could be the best for your unique body.


Medical Weight Loss Program


At Idaho Nutrition, we offer an affordable and comprehensive Medical Weight Loss Program to help you reach your weight loss and health goals. 


We are focused on helping you not just lose weight, but create sustainable lifestyle and nutrition changes to give you better long-term success and health benefits. 


Work with our team of Nurse Practitioner and Registered Dietitians to start your weight loss journey today!


graphic discussing 4 reasons we like weight loss medications

Conclusion


Wegovy (semaglutide) and Mounjaro (tirzepatide) are two newer drugs FDA approved and being used for weight loss.


Research has shown these medications to be effective in suppressing hunger and promoting weight loss.


Side effects are similar in both medications, but usually are worse when increasing the dose of medication.


Which medication will be better for you should be discussed with your medical provider, but tirzepatide has shown early promise to potentially provide more weight loss in clinical trials.


Utilizing a comprehensive weight loss program is most beneficial to help you make the nutrition and lifestyle changes needed to aid in long-term success and health outcomes.


Work with us at Idaho Nutrition to get compassionate and comprehensive weight loss care.




35 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page