So now I’ve been on Mounjaro for several months, and each time I want to refill my prescription, I have to go to visit the doctor to talk through how I’m feeling, how the side effects — constipation, nausea, some insomnia — are going and how my relationship to food and my body are changing. (Because my doctor is a holistic practitioner, and because I made it very clear I don’t want to be on this for longer than I need to be, this is slightly above and beyond as I understand it.) It’s been an adjustment. Behavior change is not impossible; it’s just really, really hard, and a drug like this is meant to be one tool of many, which for me includes therapy, movement, and mindfulness.
Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro could outpace Ozempic as the most powerful treatment on the market. To develop it, the drug company needed to overhaul long-held but failing practices.
Experts say the apparent effects of a weekly dose of tirzepatide are potentially game changing.
Mounjaro works by mimicking two hormones that are secreted by the small intestine after you eat: glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)...
Both GLP-1 and GIP boost insulin levels to clear sugar from the blood, making them effective for diabetes. But they also circulate in the brain and reduce appetite by affecting how people experience “hunger or fullness or contentment between meals, thoughts of food, and cravings for food,” explained Robert Kushner, an endocrinologist at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
Like semaglutide, Mounjaro mimics the effects of GLP-1, but it also hits receptors for another hormone—GIP. That leads to even more weight loss by further attenuating focus on food and potentially also increasing the activity of a fat-burning enzyme, Tapper said. So-called dual-agonist drugs “offer a step change” in both weight loss and blood-sugar control, he added.
Diabetic participants who were overweight or obese lost up to 15.7% of body weight
Another diabetes drug, called Mounjaro, is now gaining attention, with many people using it off-label to lose weight. Some research has found that Mounjaro may be even more powerful than either Ozempic or Wegovy. One major study comparing these drugs found that taking tirzepatide, the active ingredient in Mounjaro, led to sharper reductions in blood sugar levels and greater weight loss than the other drugs.
There are signs that obesity drugs are improving. A new drug being "fast-tracked" for FDA approval has been shown to help users lose more than a fifth of their body weight.
In studies Lilly submitted to the FDA, the company showed that Mounjaro—which is already approved for treating Type 2 diabetes—can lower body mass among users at its highest dose by up to 15%. While semaglutide targets one molecule, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), involved in insulin secretion, tirzepatide is the first to target two: GLP-1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP).
Body positivity was my salvation from an anti-fat world. Then I was prescribed an injectable weight-loss drug that upended everything.