Woman measuring waistline while wondering about the differences when it comes to Ozempic® vs. Mounjaro®

Understanding Ozempic® vs. Mounjaro® for Weight Loss

Medically reviewed on July 14, 2023 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

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If you’re seeking treatment for Type 2 diabetes, you’ve likely discovered two prescription drugs during your research: Mounjaro® and Ozempic®. Both drugs are prescribed to help people with Type 2 diabetes manage their weight. [1,2]

To that end, you might wonder, “What’s the difference between Mounjaro® and Ozempic® regarding weight management?”

In this guide, everything you need to know about Ozempic® vs. Mounjaro® for weight loss is detailed so that you can better determine which drug may be right for you and your healthcare needs.

What Is Mounjaro®?

Let’s start the Mounjaro® vs. Ozempic® comparison with an in-depth description of Mounjaro®—its active ingredient, approved uses, and potential side effects.

Tirzepatide 101

Mounjaro®’s active ingredient is tirzepatide. Tirzepatide is one of a few drugs known as “glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists,” or GLP-1 agonists. [3]

To understand how GLP-1 drugs like Mounjaro® work, let’s explore how insulin and blood sugar are regulated in people without Type 2 diabetes [4]:

  1. Your body breaks down some of the food and drinks you consume into sugars, and your blood sugar rises.
  2. These blood sugar increases signal the pancreas to release a hormone called insulin.
  3. Insulin signals your cells to accept the sugars in your blood and to use them for cellular energy production—a key process for every cell in your body.

However, people with Type 2 diabetes can develop insulin resistance, a condition in which their cells don’t readily accept sugars for energy production. As a result, their bodies often produce even more insulin to trigger cellular sugar absorption, but this increased insulin production often can’t keep up with steadily rising blood sugar levels. [4]

This is why GLP-1 agonist drugs can be helpful for people with Type 2 diabetes. They attach to GLP-1 receptors in the body, simulating your response to eating and accomplishing two key tasks [5]:

  1. Signaling satiety (making you feel full).
  2. Signaling the pancreas to make additional insulin, which can increase cellular sugar absorption and, thus, lower your blood sugar as your cells use that sugar for fuel.

Since Mounjaro® makes you feel full and helps your body use up its available blood sugar and stored sugars for energy, it can help you lose weight.

Mounjaro® Uses

Currently, Mounjaro® is Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved to help individuals with type 2 diabetes to regulate their insulin and blood sugar levels in combination with an exercise regimen and dietary changes. [3]

It’s important to note that Mounjaro® is approved only for people with type 2 diabetes—not anyone struggling with weight management.

So, why isn’t Mounjaro® approved for general weight loss applications or type 1 diabetes treatment? [6]

  • Type 1 diabetes is a slightly more complex condition, and people living with Type 1 often have more nuanced insulin and blood sugar regulation concerns than people living with Type 2.
  • Healthcare experts generally agree that managing weight with a healthy diet and exercise habits produces more effective long-term results than prescription drug treatments. [7]

People with Type 2 diabetes have a serious health condition, and Mounjaro® was designed—and is prescribed—to help manage that health condition, not just to help people lose weight.

Mounjaro® Side Effects

The most common side effects patients experience while taking Mounjaro® are [8]:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting

What Is Ozempic®?

Now that Mounjaro® has been explored, let’s dive into Ozempic®: another GLP-1 agonist drug. [2]

Semaglutide 101

The active ingredient in Ozempic® is semaglutide. [2] Semaglutide, like tirzepatide, is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor antagonist that [2]:

  • Attaches to GLP-1 receptors
  • Simulates feeling full
  • Signals the pancreas to produce insulin to help decrease blood sugar

Semaglutide and tirzepatide are functionally identical: these drugs perform the same purposes in your body despite having slightly different chemical compositions.

In addition, both semaglutide and tirzepatide (Ozempic® and Mounjaro®, respectively) are drugs that are administered via injection—patients self-administer injections once per week. [8,9]

Ozempic® Uses

Unlike Mounjaro®, Ozempic® is approved for two patient groups [10]:

  • People with Type 2 diabetes who are struggling with blood sugar and insulin management.
  • People with at least one weight-related comorbidity like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or liver disease.

In the Mounjaro® vs. Ozempic® conversation, this distinction is key. While both semaglutide and tirzepatide can help people with Type 2 diabetes manage their weight and control their blood sugar, only the former is approved (and prescribed) for some patients who don’t have Type 2.

But, also like Mounjaro®, Ozempic® is not approved for treatment of Type 1 diabetes.

Ozempic® Side Effects

The Ozempic® weight loss side effects are similar to Mounjaro® and can include [11]:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Many patients also report appetite changes, like [12]:

  • Changes in their palate and desired foods
  • Reduced alcohol consumption
  • Reduced appetite
  • Reduced cravings

Scientists are still studying the relationship between Ozempic® and reduced alcohol consumption—but current studies on rodents and primates suggest that Ozempic® has an impact on dopamine regulation, which is closely tied to eating and drinking behaviors. [13]

As always, you should talk to your healthcare provider about potential side effects before and during your treatment.

See related: Ozempic® Foods to Avoid

Mounjaro® vs. Ozempic®: What’s the Difference?

With a clear picture of Ozempic® and Mounjaro®, their uses, and their side effects, let’s compare Mounjaro® vs. Ozempic® for weight loss and Type 2 diabetes treatment.

Drug Type

Mounjaro® and Ozempic® have distinct active ingredients: tirzepatide and semaglutide, respectively. However, both of these drugs are GLP-1 agonists, which bind to GLP-1 receptors, simulate a feeling of satiety, and signal the pancreas to produce insulin.


Perhaps the most important question you might have about Mounjaro® vs. Ozempic® is, “Which one is more effective?”

There are two effectiveness metrics to consider:

  1. Blood sugar regulation – Healthcare experts measure average blood sugar over time using an A1C test. [14] In a head-to-head clinical trial studying individuals with Type 2 diabetes, Mounjaro® (tirzepatide) produced a greater decrease in A1C than Ozempic® (semaglutide), meaning that the former may be more effective for blood sugar regulation than the latter. [15]
  2. Weight loss – Two separate studies have determined that people taking Mounjaro® (tirzepatide) lost more body weight than those taking Ozempic® (semglutide). [16,17] However, both studies determined that the weight loss difference between the two drugs was relatively small.

It’s also important to note the long-term effectiveness of any weight loss drug. While long-term studies on both drugs are still in the works (since they’re both relatively new to the market), anecdotal reports indicate that: [18]

  • GLP-1 agonist drugs only continue to lower A1C during treatment.
  • Rapid weight gain is a common side effect after treatment ends.

What does this mean for your long-term treatment with either drug?

  • Once you’ve reached an average A1C that you and your healthcare provider are happy with, you must continue making lifestyle choices that support healthy blood sugar levels if you choose to stop taking Ozempic® or Mounjaro®.
  • If you’re taking Ozempic® for weight loss (or if you’re an individual with type 2 taking Mounjaro® and weight loss is one of your goals), you’ll have to continue to make choices that align with your weight management goals after you stop taking either medication.

Everlywell Weight Loss Support

Frequently Asked Questions About Mounjaro® vs. Ozempic®

Do you have more questions about Mounjaro® vs. Ozempic®? Explore the FAQs below for answers to some common queries about GLP-1 drugs.

Are Ozempic® and Mounjaro® Approved for Weight Loss?

No, Ozempic® and Mounjaro® are both approved to treat high blood sugar and insulin regulation concerns in people with Type 2 diabetes. However, only Ozempic® is approved as a treatment in some instances for weight-related health issues that include risk of several comorbidities.

What does that mean for you?

If you’re trying to lose weight with prescription drug treatment:

  • You need to have a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis to qualify for a Mounjaro® prescription.
  • You need to show signs of at least one weight-related comorbidity to qualify for Ozempic®.

But, remember that conditions like high cholesterol and heart disease aren’t always connected to body weight.19 Talk to your healthcare provider about identifying the root causes of your health concerns and treating them with appropriate interventions.

Can You Take Ozempic® and Mounjaro® Together?

Healthcare experts don’t currently recommend combining Ozempic® and Mounjaro® (or taking two of any GLP-1 drugs simultaneously).20 However, your provider may combine one of these drugs with other diabetes management medications like metformin.

Before starting any medication, you should talk to your healthcare provider about your existing prescriptions to prevent adverse combination effects. Your pharmacist can also help you identify potentially dangerous combinations when you fill your prescriptions.

Are Ozempic® and Mounjaro® Covered by Insurance?

While the answer will depend on your specific health insurance policy, there are a few important things to note about paying for Ozempic®, Mounjaro®, and other GLP-1 drugs:

  • Diagnosis is key – Many insurers will only cover some of the costs of a prescription if you have a formal diagnosis for the condition that the prescription treats. For instance, several companies will only cover the cost of Ozempic® for patients diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
  • Ozempic® and Mounjaro® are expensive – A 2023 study determined that participants taking Mounjaro® spent over $980 to lose just 1% of their body weight—and people taking Ozempic® spent over $1,800 to lose 1% of body weight. [17] Simply put, GLP-1 drugs are expensive.

Everlywell: Your Health on Your Terms

If you’re looking to treat Type 2 diabetes or to manage your weight with prescription medications, talk to a healthcare provider about Mounjaro® vs. Ozempic®—either or neither of these drugs may be right for you long-term.

When it comes to finding quality healthcare providers who can offer support on your schedule and help you make informed decisions, trust Everlywell. With our online weight management program, you’ll have access to telehealth consultations with licensed clinicians, at-home lab tests, prescription medications, and more—all from the comfort of your own home.

Reach out today to learn more about how Everlywell can help you reach your healthcare goals.

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  1. Tirzepatide Once Weekly for the Treatment of Obesity. New England Journal of Medicine. 2022;387(3). URL. Accessed June 12, 2023.
  2. MedlinePlus. Semaglutide Injection: MedlinePlus Drug Information. medlineplus.gov. Published August 15, 2022. URL. Accessed June 12, 2023.
  3. Tirzepatide (Mounjaro®) Injection National Drug Monograph August 2022 via Pharmacy Benefits Management Services, Medical Advisory Panel, and VISN Pharmacist Executives FDA Approval Information Description/Mechanism of Action. URL. Accessed June 12, 2023.
  4. CDC. The Insulin Resistance–Diabetes Connection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published August 12, 2019. URL. Accessed June 12, 2023.
  5. Research C for DE and. Medications Containing Semaglutide Marketed for Type 2 Diabetes or Weight Loss. FDA. Published online May 31, 2023. URL. Accessed June 12, 2023.
  6. UCHealth KKM. What is Mounjaro®? And does it work better for weight loss than Ozempic® and Wegovy? UCHealth Today. Published May 15, 2023. Accessed June 18, 2023. URL. Accessed June 12, 2023.
  7. Do Diet Pills Really Work? - UC Davis Medical Center - UC Davis Health System. health.ucdavis.edu. URL. Accessed June 12, 2023.
  8. How to Use, Dosing & Side Effects | Mounjaro® (tirzepatide). URL. Accessed June 12, 2023.
  9. About the Ozempic® Pen | Ozempic® (semaglutide) injection 0.5 mg or 1 mg. www.Ozempic®.com. URL. Accessed June 12, 2023.
  10. FDA Approves New Drug Treatment for Chronic Weight Management, First Since 2014. FDA. Published June 4, 2021. URL. Accessed June 12, 2023.
  11. Frequently Asked Questions | Ozempic® (semaglutide) injection 0.5 mg or 1 mg. www.Ozempic®.com. URL. Accessed June 12, 2023.
  12. Blum D. Some People on Ozempic® Lose the Desire to Drink. Scientists Are Asking Why. The New York Times. Published February 24, 2023. Accessed June 18, 2023. URL. Accessed June 12, 2023.
  13. Kruse Klausen M, Thomsen M, Wortwein G, Fink‐Jensen A. The role of glucagon‐like peptide 1 (GLP‐1) in addictive disorders. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2022;179(4):625-641. URL. Accessed June 12, 2023.
  14. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes Tests. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published 2023. URL. Accessed June 12, 2023.
  15. Tirzepatide versus Semaglutide Once Weekly in Type 2 Diabetes. New England Journal of Medicine. 2022;386(7):e17. URL. Accessed June 12, 2023.
  16. Jung HN, Jung CH. The Upcoming Weekly Tides (Semaglutide vs. Tirzepatide) against Obesity: STEP or SURPASS? Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome. 2022;31(1):28-36. URL. Accessed June 12, 2023.
  17. Azuri J, Hammerman A, Aboalhasan E, Sluckis B, Arbel R. Tirzepatide versus semaglutide for weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A value for money analysis. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. Published online December 27, 2022. URL. Accessed June 12, 2023.
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