Obesity and its associated health conditions, notably Type 2 diabetes, present significant challenges in the US. The annual medical costs, which reached nearly $173 billion in 2019, underscore the undeniable burden on both healthcare systems and individuals.

Pharmaceutical companies are continually researching solutions to address these challenges. However, the off-label use of drugs, including those intended for Type 2 diabetes, as weight-loss aids, raises concerns. Moreover, drug shortages aggravate the situation, further complicating access to necessary medications.

Given these challenges, this article focuses on two recently approved medications, Wegovy and Mounjaro. Through a comparative analysis, we aim to assess their effectiveness and distinguish between them to provide clarity amidst the complexities of these medications.

Key Differences Between Wegovy and Mounjaro

ParametersWegovyMounjaro
Cost (manufacturer’s suggested retail price)$1,349.02 per package$1,069.08 per package
Active ingredientSemaglutideTirzepatide
Approved indicationsAdults with obesity or overweight with weight-related conditions, and obese adolescents aged 12-17.Adults with type 2 diabetes
Ease of useWeekly injectionWeekly injection
EffectivenessAfter 104 weeks, patients on a 2.4 mg dose saw an average weight reduction of 35 lbs.After 104 weeks, patients on 5 mg, 10 mg, and 15 mg saw an average weight reduction of 14 lbs, 20 lbs, and 23 lbs, respectively.
Side effectsNausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain, and headache.Nausea, diarrhea, decreased appetite, vomiting, constipation, indigestion, and stomach pain.
Dosage and administrationBegins with a weekly dosage of 0.25 mg, gradually raised to 1.7 mg or 2.4 mg per week within 17 weeks.Begins with a weekly dosage of 2.5 mg, gradually raised to 15 mg per week within 21 weeks.
Weight loss onset4-8 weeks28 weeks

Efficacy in Weight Loss

This part of the discussion centers on the effectiveness of Wegovy and Mounjaro in promoting weight loss.

Wegovy (semaglutide)

The latest study, called the STEP program, looked at how well Wegovy works for weight loss. People in the study were chosen based on their body mass index (BMI) and didn’t include people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, except for STEP 2. The trials administered an experimental dose of 2.4 mg once a week through subcutaneous delivery.

Here’s what they found in the STEP trials:

  • STEP 1: The study lasted for 68 weeks and examined how semaglutide compares to a placebo. Those with diabetes weren’t part of the study, but about 40–45% had prediabetes. On average, those taking semaglutide lost 33.73 lbs, while those on the placebo only lost 5.73 lbs.
  • STEP 2: This trial enrolled participants diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and who were overweight or obese. It compared the standard 1.0 mg dose against the higher 2.4 mg dose and placebos over a span of 68 weeks. During this time, those receiving the higher dose of semaglutide (2.4 mg) saw more significant weight loss, with an average reduction in body weight of 21.38 lbs compared to 5.51 lbs in the standard dose group (1.0 mg) and 2.87 lbs in the placebo group.
  • STEP 3: The participants in this trial were randomly assigned to receive either semaglutide 2.4 mg or a placebo, alongside intensive behavioral therapy aimed at helping them adopt a healthier lifestyle. By week 68, those taking semaglutide experienced a significant average reduction in body weight of 37.04 lbs, compared to 13.67 lbs in the placebo group.
  • STEP 4: In this trial, all participants were initially given semaglutide 2.4 mg for the first 20 weeks. Afterward, they were randomly divided into groups, receiving either semaglutide or a placebo for the remaining 48 weeks. On average, those who stayed on semaglutide lost 15.65 lbs of their starting body weight by week 68, while those who switched to placebo gained 13.45 lbs.
  • STEP 5: The trial compared semaglutide to a placebo, with both groups adhering to a reduced calorie meal plan and increased physical activity for two years. Those assigned to semaglutide saw a notable average weight reduction of 35 lbs by week 104, while the placebo group experienced a reduction of only 6 lbs.

Mounjaro (tirzepatide)

While the primary focus of studies on Mounjaro wasn’t weight loss, its impact on body weight was evaluated as a secondary measure.

The SURPASS phase 3 global clinical development program for tirzepatide involved five global registration trials spanning 40 to 104 weeks. These trials investigated the efficacy and safety of tirzepatide at doses of 5 mg, 10 mg, and 15 mg. Participants received Mounjaro via subcutaneous injection once weekly.

Here are the key findings from these trials:

  • SURPASS-1: In a 40-week study comparing tirzepatide to a placebo among adults with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes who relied solely on diet and exercise, participants experienced average weight reductions of 14 lbs (5 mg), 15 lbs (10 mg), and 17 lbs (15 mg) from their starting weight. In contrast, those on the placebo only saw a 2 lb reduction.
  • SURPASS-2: In another 40-week study comparing tirzepatide to injectable semaglutide among adults with type 2 diabetes who were inadequately controlled with metformin alone, tirzepatide demonstrated superior weight loss outcomes. Participants experienced average weight reductions of 17 lbs (5 mg), 21 lbs (10 mg), and 25 lbs (15 mg) with tirzepatide, compared to 13 lbs with semaglutide.

However, it’s worth noting that the researchers used a semaglutide dose of 1.0 mg for comparison. In the STEP 2 trial, a higher dose of 2.4 mg resulted in an average weight loss of 21 lbs.

  • SURPASS-3: In a 52-week study comparing tirzepatide to insulin degludec among adults with type 2 diabetes receiving metformin treatment with or without an SGLT-2 inhibitor, tirzepatide resulted in weight reductions for participants. On average, those taking tirzepatide experienced weight decreases of 15 lbs (5 mg), 21 lbs (10 mg), and 25 lbs (15 mg), while those on insulin degludec saw an increase in weight by 4 lbs.
  • SURPASS-4: In a 104-week study comparing tirzepatide to insulin glargine among adults with type 2 diabetes who were inadequately controlled with oral antihyperglycemic medications and had increased cardiovascular risk, tirzepatide showed notable weight reductions. On average, participants receiving tirzepatide experienced weight loss of 14 lbs (5 mg), 20 lbs (10 mg), and 23 lbs (15 mg). In contrast, those treated with insulin glargine gained 4 lbs.
  • SURPASS-5: During a 40-week study comparing tirzepatide to placebo in adults with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes already on insulin glargine, with or without metformin, participants treated with tirzepatide experienced notable average weight reductions. Specifically, those receiving tirzepatide witnessed their weight decrease by an average of 12 lbs (5 mg), 17 lbs (10 mg), and 19 lbs (15 mg) from their initial weight, whereas individuals on placebo showed an increase of 4 lbs.

To summarize:

MedicationTrialDurationWeight Reduction
Wegovy
(semaglutide)
STEP 1 (2.4 mg vs. Placebo)68 weeks
  • 2.4 mg: 33.73 lbs
  • Placebo: 5.73 lbs
STEP 2 (2.4 mg vs. 1.0 mg vs. Placebo)68 weeks
  • 2.4 mg: 21.38 lbs
  • 1.0 mg: 5.51 lbs
  • Placebo: 2.87 lbs
STEP 3 (2.4 mg vs. Placebo)  + Behavioral Therapy68 weeks
  • 2.4 mg: 37.04 lbs
  • Placebo: 13.67 lbs
STEP 4 (2.4 mg for 68 weeks)

(2.4 mg for the first 20 weeks, then switched to placebo for the remaining 48 weeks)

68 weeks
  • 2.4 mg: 15.65 lbs
  • Placebo: gained 13.45 lbs
STEP 5 (2.4 mg vs. Placebo)104 weeks
  • 2.4 mg: 35 lbs
  • Placebo: 6 lbs
Mounjaro (tirzepatide)SURPASS-1 (Tirzepatide vs. Placebo)40 weeks
  • 5 mg: 14 lbs
  • 10 mg: 15 lbs
  • 15 mg: 17 lbs
  • Placebo: 2 lbs
SURPASS-2 (Tirzepatide vs. Semaglutide)40 weeks
  • 5 mg: 17 lbs
  • 10 mg: 21 lbs
  • 15 mg: 25 lbs
  • Semaglutide: 13 lbs
SURPASS-3 (Tirzepatide vs. Insulin Degludec)52 weeks
  • 5 mg: 15 lbs
  • 10 mg: 21 lbs
  • 15 mg: 25 lbs
  • Insulin Degludec:  gained 4 lbs
SURPASS-4 (Tirzepatide vs. Insulin Glargine)104 weeks
  • 5 mg: 14 lbs
  • 10 mg: 20 lbs
  • 15 mg: 23 lbs
  • Insulin Glargine: gained 4 lbs
SURPASS-5 (Tirzepatide vs. Placebo)40 weeks
  • 5 mg: 12 lbs
  • 10 mg: 17 lbs
  • 15 mg: 19 lbs
  • Placebo: gained 4 lbs

Side Effects

Elderly man experiencing nausea

Before using Wegovy or Mounjaro for weight loss or diabetes control, individuals should be aware of the potential side effects associated with these medications.

Wegovy

Reported adverse reactions in adult clinical trials, with an incidence of 2% or more in Wegovy-treated patients and occurring more frequently than in placebo-treated patients, include (listed from most to least experienced):

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dyspepsia
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal Distension
  • Eructation
  • Hypoglycemia in T2DM
  • Flatulence
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
  • Gastritis (includes chronic gastritis, gastritis, gastritis erosive, and reflux gastritis)
  • Gastroenteritis Viral
  • Hair Loss

Additionally, below are the adverse reactions noted in 3% or more of pediatric patients treated with 2.4 mg Wegovy. These reactions, listed from most prevalent to least prevalent, were reported more frequently than in those given a placebo, based on a study involving 201 pediatric patients aged 12 years and older.

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nasopharyngitis
  • Dizziness
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Constipation
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
  • Sinusitis
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Ligament sprain
  • Anxiety
  • Hair Loss
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Eructation
  • Influenza
  • Rash
  • Urticaria

Other side effects in adults and/or pediatric patients include:

  • Acute Pancreatitis
  • Acute Gallbladder Disease
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Acute Kidney Injury
  • Retinal Disorders in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes
  • Increase in Heart Rate
  • Hypotension and Syncope
  • Appendicitis
  • Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions
  • Injection Site Reactions
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions (anaphylaxis, angioedema)
  • Dysgeusia
  • Laboratory Abnormalities (increased Amylase and Lipase, and Liver Enzymes)

Users should also be mindful of potential risks or safety considerations associated with Wegovy, including:

  • Risk of Thyroid C-Cell Tumors
  • Diabetic Retinopathy Complications in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes
  • Suicidal Behavior and Ideation

Mounjaro

The following are the side effects linked with Mounjaro usage in the series of placebo-controlled trials. These reactions were observed in at least 5% of patients treated with Mounjaro.

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dyspepsia
  • Abdominal Pain

Other adverse effects involve:

  • Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions (eructation, flatulence, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and abdominal distension)
  • Hypoglycemia (more prevalent when Mounjaro was administered alongside a sulfonylurea)
  • Heart Rate Increase
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions
  • Injection Site Reactions
  • Acute Gallbladder Disease
  • Laboratory Abnormalities (Amylase and Lipase increase)

Additionally, there may be potential risks or safety issues that users should be informed about, such as:

  • Risk of Thyroid C-cell Tumors
  • Pancreatitis
  • Acute Kidney Injury
  • Severe Gastrointestinal Disease (including severe gastroparesis)
  • Diabetic Retinopathy Complications

Key Statistics

Considering two separate studies:

  • 6.8% of Wegovy patients and 1.8% of Mounjaro patients permanently stopped treatment due to adverse reactions.
  • Gastrointestinal reactions resulted in treatment discontinuation for 4.3% of Wegovy patients and 7.0% of Mounjaro patients.

Active Ingredient and Mechanism of Action

Mounjaro contains tirzepatide as its active ingredient, whereas Wegovy contains semaglutide. Despite their different active ingredients, they both function by imitating gut hormones known as incretins.

Incretins play an important role in regulating insulin release from the pancreas and controlling glucose production in the liver. They also slow down the movement of food through the digestive system and influence parts of the brain that regulate appetite.

When a medication replicates an incretin, it can effectively delay stomach emptying and reduce appetite, thereby aiding in the regulation of food consumption and promoting a sense of satiety after meals.

Wegovy falls under the class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) inhibitors. When administered, it mimics the actions of the incretin GLP-1, helping to manage blood sugar levels and promote weight loss.

Similarly, Mounjaro also mimics GLP-1 in the body but additionally replicates another incretin called glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). As a result, Mounjaro belongs to a drug classification known as dual GIP/GLP-1 agonists.

This category of medications has shown promising results in improving blood glucose control, particularly for individuals with Type 2 diabetes, compared to traditional GLP-1 agonists.

Approved Indications

Wegovy and Mounjaro were tested in clinical trials with varying primary endpoints, leading to their distinct approved uses.

Wegovy

Wegovy is prescribed in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for long-term weight management in two distinct populations:

  1. Adults with an initial body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m² or higher (classified as obese) or 27 kg/m² or higher (classified as overweight) with at least one weight-related comorbid condition such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, or dyslipidemia.
  2. Pediatric patients aged 12 years and older with an initial BMI at or above the 95th percentile standardized for age and sex (classified as obese).

It’s important to note that Wegovy should not be used alongside other products containing semaglutide or any other GLP-1 receptor agonist, as the safety and effectiveness of such combinations have not been established. Additionally, Wegovy has not been studied in patients with a history of pancreatitis.

Moreover, Wegovy is contraindicated in patients with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or those diagnosed with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

In specific populations:

  • Pregnancy: Wegovy carries the risk of causing harm to a developing fetus. If pregnancy is detected, discontinue the use of Wegovy immediately. It is also recommended to stop using Wegovy in patients planning to become pregnant at least two months before attempting conception.
  • Geriatric: In a cardiovascular outcomes trial, participants aged 75 years and older showed a higher frequency of hip and pelvis fractures while using Wegovy compared to the placebo group. The Wegovy and placebo groups in this age category reported a greater occurrence of serious adverse reactions than younger adults.

Mounjaro

A box of Mounjaro pens with a 2.5 mg dosage.

Mounjaro is prescribed for adults with type 2 diabetes to help manage blood sugar levels when used alongside diet and exercise. It can be taken alone or in combination with other diabetes medications, like metformin.

Its safety and efficacy have not been established for individuals with a history of pancreatitis or those with type 1 diabetes. Additionally, there is insufficient data to determine the safety and effectiveness of Mounjaro in pediatric patients under 18 years of age.

Furthermore, Mounjaro is contraindicated in individuals with a personal or family history of MTC or MEN 2, as well as those with known hypersensitivity to the medication or any of its components.

Special precautions should be taken in specific populations:

  • Pregnancy: Animal studies suggest potential fetal harm.
  • Females of Reproductive Potential: Women using oral contraceptives should consider switching to a non-oral method or adding a barrier contraceptive for four weeks after starting Mounjaro and after each dose adjustment.

Dosage and Administration

Wegovy and Mounjaro vary in their formulations, routes of administration, and prescribed dosages. Patients are advised to consult their healthcare provider for instructions regarding each medication.

Wegovy

Different dosage strengths of Wegovy pens.The Wegovy pen stands out as the first and only GLP-1 RA designed for chronic weight management, offering once-weekly dosing. With its single-use design, patients administer a preset dose, ensuring accuracy, and dispose of it after each use. This autoinjector includes an integrated needle for seamless administration.

Wegovy is available in clear, colorless solution form, provided in 5 pre-filled, disposable, single-dose pens, each containing varying strengths:

  • 0.25 mg/0.5 mL
  • 0.5 mg/0.5 mL
  • 1 mg/0.5 mL
  • 1.7 mg/0.75 mL
  • 2.4 mg/0.75 mL

The administration of Wegovy is as follows:

Recommended Dosage in Adults

Dosing ScheduleWeeksDosage Strength (once weekly)
Starting Dose1 through 40.25 mg
Dose Escalation5 through 80.5 mg
9 through 121 mg
13 through 161.7 mg
Maintenance Dose17 and onward1.7 mg or 2.4 mg

The 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, and 1 mg once-weekly dosages are for initiation and escalation purposes only and are not approved as maintenance dosages for chronic weight management.

In adults, the recommended maintenance dosage of Wegovy is either 2.4 mg (preferred) or 1.7 mg once weekly, considering treatment response and tolerability.

Recommended Dosage in Pediatric Patients Aged 12 Years and Older

Dosing ScheduleWeeksDosage Strength (once weekly)
Starting Dose1 through 40.25 mg
Dose Escalation5 through 80.5 mg
9 through 121 mg
13 through 161.7 mg
Maintenance Dose17 and onward2.4 mg

Similar to adults, the 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, and 1 mg once-weekly dosages are for initiation and escalation purposes only and are not approved as maintenance dosages for chronic weight management.

If patients cannot tolerate the 2.4 mg once-weekly maintenance dosage, it may be reduced to 1.7 mg once weekly. Discontinuation is necessary if the patient cannot tolerate the 1.7 mg once-weekly dosage.

Mounjaro

Mounjaro is the first and only approved treatment within a distinct medication class for type 2 diabetes. It is available in pre-filled single-dose pens with clear, colorless to slightly yellow solutions, offered in various strengths:

  • 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

Here’s how Mounjaro is administered:

Dosing ScheduleWeeksDosage Strength (once weekly)
Starting Dose1 through 42.5 mg
Dose Escalation5 through 85 mg
9 through 127.5 mg
13 through 1610 mg
17 through 2012.5 mg
Maintenance Dose21 and onward15 mg

The 2.5 mg once-weekly dosage doesn’t affect the blood glucose, but it helps the body get used to the medication.

Cost

Mounjaro’s list price is $1,069.08 per package, while Wegovy’s is $1,349.02 per package. Individuals’ out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on their prescription drug insurance plans and the pharmacy they buy from. Commercially insured patients may be eligible for either the Mounjaro Savings Card program or the Wegovy Savings Offer.

For those who do not qualify for either program, purchasing medication from Canadian pharmacies like Pharma Giant presents an alternative solution.

At Pharma Giant, customers can save up to 90% on prescription medications, including Mounjaro. Additionally, customers can benefit from additional discounts and promotions, particularly when ordering larger quantities.

New customers can take advantage of the coupon code FIRST10, which provides a 10% discount on their initial order. Pharma Giant also ensures convenient service with expedited delivery, typically within 3-5 business days.

Weight Loss Onset

The onset of action of Wegovy versus Mounjaro varies based on individual response, health conditions, and treatment goals.

Both medications effectively manage weight and improve blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients. However, their slightly different mechanisms of action may impact their speed of action.

Wegovy

Wegovy requires time to take effect, typically reaching a steady state in the body after 4-5 weeks. This state ensures consistent levels of the drug in the body, preventing fluctuations.

Clinical trials have shown that weight loss begins almost immediately following Wegovy. On average, patients using semaglutide experience a 5% reduction in body weight after one month and an 8% reduction after two months.

In another study, adults on Wegovy lost an average of 15% of their body weight after one year, compared to a 2.5% weight loss in those taking a placebo.

Mounjaro

Though not approved for weight management, significant weight loss was observed in adults during 40 and 52-week Phase 3 trials of Mounjaro. Participants experienced an average reduction of 25 lbs. Higher Mounjaro doses led to more substantial weight loss but also increased gastrointestinal side effects.

Smaller Phase 1 studies from the SURPASS program showed notable weight reduction at 28 weeks, with Mounjaro users experiencing greater weight and fat mass reductions compared to those on injectable semaglutide 1 mg and placebo. Specifically, Mounjaro users exhibited more pronounced weight loss.

Wrap-Up

While both medications share the commonality of being administered weekly via subcutaneous injection, their approved indications differ significantly. Mounjaro is used for managing type 2 diabetes, whereas Wegovy is for weight management.

Additionally, they belong to distinct drug classes. Mounjaro falls under the category of GIP/GLP-1 agonists, while Wegovy is classified as a GLP-1 agonist. Their mechanisms differ slightly, with Wegovy mimicking GLP-1 and Mounjaro targeting both GLP-1 and GIP incretins.

Moreover, the active ingredients in these medications differ, with Wegovy containing semaglutide and Mounjaro containing tirzepatide.

Given these differences, individuals should consult healthcare providers to determine the most suitable option based on their health conditions and needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to switch from Wegovy to Mounjaro or vice versa?

Yes. If your healthcare provider decides to transition you from Wegovy to Mounjaro (or vice versa), they will work with you to establish the appropriate dosage. This may involve starting the new medication at a lower dose and then making adjustments gradually based on your individual needs.

Can Wegovy and Mounjaro be used together?

It is not advisable to combine Wegovy and Mounjaro because they function similarly in the body. Using them simultaneously could heighten the likelihood of experiencing adverse effects.

Which is better, Wegovy or Mounjaro?

Mounjaro and Wegovy haven’t been compared directly to each other yet. Head-to-head studies are the best way to see the differences in how two medications work. In the SURPASS-2 trial, tirzepatide was compared to injectable semaglutide in adults with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled with metformin alone. Tirzepatide showed superior weight loss outcomes, with participants experiencing average reductions of 17 lbs (5 mg), 21 lbs (10 mg), and 25 lbs (15 mg) compared to 13 lbs with semaglutide (using a 1.0 mg dose for comparison). In the STEP 2 trial, a higher dose of 2.4 mg of semaglutide resulted in an average weight loss of 21 lbs. An ongoing clinical trial is set to compare Mounjaro and Wegovy for weight loss in people without diabetes, with completion expected in early 2025.

Can Wegovy or Mounjaro interact with other medications?

Yes, both Wegovy and Mounjaro can interact with other medications. According to Drugs.com, Wegovy has a total of 251 drug interactions, two are major, 248 interactions are considered moderate, while one interaction is classified as minor. These drugs include losartan, albuterol, and metformin. On the other hand, Mounjaro has a total of 397 drug interactions, two are major, 394 interactions are considered moderate, and one interaction is classified as minor. These drugs include albuterol, Ozempic (semaglutide), and levothyroxine.

Can you drink alcohol while taking Wegovy or Mounjaro?

Alcohol consumption can impact blood glucose levels in individuals with diabetes, potentially leading to hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia depending on the frequency and quantity consumed. It’s advisable to avoid alcohol if your diabetes is poorly controlled or if you have conditions like high triglycerides, neuropathy, or pancreatitis. For those with well-controlled diabetes, moderate alcohol intake—up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men—typically does not significantly affect blood sugar levels. It’s recommended to consume alcohol with meals and to avoid it on an empty stomach or after exercising to minimize the risk of hypoglycemia.

How long do people stay on Wegovy or Mounjaro?

Both medications are generally intended for long-term use, especially when used to manage chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes or obesity.

How to save on Mounjaro and Wegovy?

Mounjaro and Wegovy are both available as brand-name medications. There are ways to save on your prescription, such as manufacturer copay savings cards. Another option is to purchase medication from Canadian pharmacies like Pharma Giant. At Pharma Giant, you can save up to 90% on prescription medications.

Do Wegovy and Mounjaro have generic versions?

Currently, there are no generic versions of either Mounjaro or Wegovy available. These medications are still under patent protection and are relatively recent introductions to the market.

Is Mounjaro approved to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE)?

Tirzepatide is not currently approved for reducing the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events. However, ongoing research, such as the SURPASS-CVOT study, aims to assess tirzepatide’s cardiovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Do you lose more weight on Wegovy or Mounjaro?

Comparing Wegovy and Mounjaro’s weight loss efficacy is complex due to their distinct indications. In the SURPASS-2 trial, tirzepatide (Mounjaro’s active ingredient) outperformed injectable semaglutide in adults with type 2 diabetes. Tirzepatide led to greater weight loss, with average reductions of 17 lbs (5 mg), 21 lbs (10 mg), and 25 lbs (15 mg) versus 13 lbs with semaglutide (using a 1.0 mg dose for comparison). However, in the STEP 2 trial, a higher semaglutide dose of 2.4 mg resulted in an average weight loss of 21 lbs.

Is Mounjaro covered by Medicare?

Medicare includes Mounjaro under Part D coverage solely when prescribed for diabetes treatment, as approved by the FDA. Your prescribing doctor must deem these medications medically necessary for Medicare to cover them.

Sources

Drugs.com (NA). Drug information. https://www.drugs.com/

Eli Lilly and Company. (2022, May). FDA approves Lilly’s Mounjaro™ (tirzepatide) injection, the first and only GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes. PR Newswire. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fda-approves-lillys-mounjaro-tirzepatide-injection-the-first-and-only-gip-and-glp-1-receptor-agonist-for-the-treatment-of-adults-with-type-2-diabetes-301547339.html

FDA. (2022, May). Highlights Of Prescribing Information of Mounjaro. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2022/215866s000lbl.pdf

FDA. (2023, Jul). Highlights Of Prescribing Information of Wegovy. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2023/215256s007lbl.pdf

Novo Care. (NA). Wegovy Pricing Information. https://www.novocare.com/obesity/products/wegovy/let-us-help/explaining-list-price.html

Novo Medlink. (NA). Wegovy Product Information. https://www.novomedlink.com/obesity/products/treatments/wegovy/efficacy-safety/clinical-trial-5-results.html

Singh, G., et al. (2022, Jan). Wegovy (semaglutide): a new weight loss drug for chronic weight management. NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8717485/

McDermid, E. (2021, Feb). A quick guide to the STEP trials. Medicine Matters. https://diabetes.medicinematters.com/semaglutide/obesity/quick-guide-step-trials/18854832

McDermid, E. (2021, Feb). STEP 1: Semaglutide promotes substantial weight loss in people without diabetes. Medicine Matters. https://diabetes.medicinematters.com/semaglutide/obesity/step-1-semaglutide-promotes-substantial-weight-loss-diabetes/18854658

McDermid, E. (2021, Feb). STEP 3: Semaglutide boosts weight loss during intensive behavioral therapy. Medicine Matters. https://diabetes.medicinematters.com/semaglutide/obesity/step-3-semaglutide-weight-loss-intensive-behavioral-therapy/18898038

McDermid, E. (2021, Mar). STEP 2 shows benefits of higher semaglutide dose in type 2 diabetes. Medicine Matters. https://diabetes.medicinematters.com/semaglutide/obesity/step-2-shows-benefits-higher-semaglutide-dose-in-type-2-diabetes/18924266

McDermid, E. (2021, Mar). STEP 4: Long-term treatment needed for full semaglutide benefit. Medicine Matters. https://diabetes.medicinematters.com/semaglutide/obesity/step-4-long-term-treatment-needed-for-full-semaglutide-benefit/18993192

McDermid, E. (2022, Oct). STEP 5: Sustained semaglutide treatment maintains weight loss. Medicine Matters. https://diabetes.medicinematters.com/semaglutide/obesity/step-5-sustained-semaglutide-maintains-weight-loss-obesity/23587094

McDermid, E. (2020, Oct). A quick guide to the SURPASS and SURMOUNT trials. Medicine Matters. https://diabetes.medicinematters.com/tirzepatide/type-2-diabetes/a-quick-guide-to-the-surpass-and-surmount-trials/18478154

McDermid, E. (2021, Jun). SURPASS-1: Tirzepatide has ‘potent’ glucose-lowering and weight loss efficacy. Medicine Matters. https://diabetes.medicinematters.com/ada-2021/tirzepatide/surpass-1-type-2-weight-loss/19295214

McDermid, E. (2021, Jun). Tirzepatide has efficacy edge over semaglutide in SURPASS-2. Medicine Matters. https://diabetes.medicinematters.com/ada-2021/tirzepatide/type-2-diabetes-obesity/19295210

McDermid, E. (2021, Jun). SURPASS-3: Tirzepatide proves better option than degludec for type 2 diabetes. Medicine Matters. https://diabetes.medicinematters.com/ada-2021/tirzepatide/surpass-3-type-2-diabetes-obesity/19295232

McDermid, E. (2021, Jun). SURPASS-5: Glycemic, weight benefits of tirzepatide in insulin-treated type 2 diabetes. Medicine Matters. https://diabetes.medicinematters.com/ada-2021/tirzepatide/surpass-5-glargine-type-2-diabetes/19297062

McDermid, E. (2021, Oct). Tirzepatide preferable to glargine when OADs fail in SURPASS-4. Medicine Matters. https://diabetes.medicinematters.com/tirzepatide/insulin-glargine/tirzepatide-preferable-to-glargine-when-oads-fail-in-surpass-4/19771588

PRNewswire. (2021, Oct). Tirzepatide results published in The Lancet show superior A1C and body weight reductions compared to insulin glargine in adults with type 2 diabetes with increased cardiovascular risk. Lilly Investors. https://investor.lilly.com/news-releases/news-release-details/tirzepatide-results-published-lancet-show-superior-a1c-and-body