Mounjaro vs Ozempic

Mahshid Moghei, PhD Medically reviewed by Mahshid M. on | Written by Matthew Sommers

Mounjaro pen

In recent years, the popularity of medications like Ozempic has soared. Social media feeds are packed with information about Ozempic, news outlets frequently run stories about it, and It has become a common topic of conversation among family and friends. In many ways, Ozempic has become a significant part of pop culture. 

Weight loss is a common goal, and in years past, the prescription options for weight loss support have been fairly limited. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists like Ozempic have brought new, potentially highly effective options to the table. Along with these options come questions — how can we ensure these products are used safely? How much does Ozempic cost? Are there other similar medications? How are these medications similar or different? 

In this article, we’ll focus on Ozempic and Mounjaro, two GLP-1 medications that have each grown in popularity. Let’s take a closer look at their backgrounds and how they compare. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Mounjaro and Ozempic are GLP-1 agonists that help individuals with type 2 diabetes manage blood sugars. 

  • Ozempic has also been approved to help lower the risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke in patients with diabetes. 

  • Neither medication has been specifically approved for weight loss, but clinical data suggest both medications are associated with significant weight loss. 

  • The active ingredients of both medications are also used in other formulations that are specifically approved for weight loss. Semaglutide (generic Ozempic) is also used in Wegovy. Tirzepatide (generic Mounjaro) is also used in Zepbound. 

  • The side effects of each medication are largely similar. An upset stomach is common with both medications, particularly early in therapy.

  • It’s important to discuss your medical history with your providers. Both Mounjaro and Ozempic are associated with potentially higher rates of thyroid tumors and pancreatitis. Individuals with a personal or family history (particularly in the case of thyroid tumors) of these conditions may be advised to avoid these medications. 

Mounjaro and Ozempic Uses

Mounjaro and Ozempic are glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists, which means they can mimic glucagon activity at certain receptors in the body. This results in the regulation of insulin secretion, improved blood sugar control, delayed stomach emptying, and potentially reduced hunger. 

The two medications have been compared head-to-head, and both medications improved blood glucose management for individuals with type 2 diabetes. Mounjaro appeared to result in higher rates of weight loss, although Ozempic was administered at a dose (1 mg) lower than its typical target dose (2 mg). 

Both medications are associated with significant weight loss. It’s important to note that when the active ingredients are studied and ultimately recommended for patients seeking weight loss, they are intended for individuals with:

  • A body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or higher

  • A BMI of 27 kg/m2 AND at least one of the following:

    • High blood pressure

    • High cholesterol

    • Type 2 Diabetes

    • Obstructive sleep apnea

    • A history of cardiovascular disease

Mounjaro Uses

Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is used primarily to manage blood sugars in type 2 diabetes. Poorly managed blood sugars can lead to a variety of complications over time, including higher rates of cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, nerve pain, and changes in vision. Hemoglobin A1c is used to determine blood glucose control over time, and Mounjaro has helped a significant number of patients reach their A1c goals

Mounjaro is not approved specifically for weight loss, but its active ingredient, tirzepatide, has been approved for weight loss under the brand Zepbound. When used for weight loss, tirzepatide has shown body weight reductions of 10% to 20% over the course of 72 weeks (about 16.5 months). The doses used in Mounjaro and Zepbound are identical, with many patients using 10 to 15 mg. 

Ozempic Uses

Like Mounjaro, Ozempic has been used primarily to manage blood sugars in type 2 diabetes. The medication has been effective in lowering A1c and also gained attention for significant weight loss. Weight management is heavily tied to the management of type 2 diabetes, which led to increased use and, ultimately, exploring the use of the medication in broader populations. 

No generic Ozempic is available at this time, but its active ingredient, semaglutide, is also used specifically for weight loss in the brand name Wegovy. When using Ozempic for weight loss, it’s important to note that the doses of semaglutide provided by Ozempic are slightly lower than those provided by Wegovy. In trials, Wegovy was associated with about a 15% reduction in body weight over the course of 68 weeks (about 15.5 months). This was achieved with a target dose of 2.4 mg of semaglutide. 

Ozempic offers a maximum dose of 2 mg, so the effects may be slightly lower. However, it’s important to note that lower doses may be better tolerated for some patients and still result in significant weight loss

Mounjaro and Ozempic Side Effects

The most commonly reported side effects of both Mounjaro and Ozempic are gastrointestinal. These medications slow down stomach emptying, which contributes to higher rates of upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting. These are common reasons the medications are discontinued or continued at doses lower than an initial target. 

Stomach upset can improve over time, and slowly raising the dose can help reduce or avoid these symptoms. Many providers recommend using each dose for several weeks or a month before moving to the next higher dose to improve tolerability. 

Mounjaro Side Effects

The most common side effects reported with Mounjaro include:

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Decreased appetite

  • Vomiting

  • Constipation

  • Indigestion

  • Abdominal pain

Because the medication works partially by slowing down stomach emptying, individuals with a history of gastroparesis should use caution when considering Mounjaro. Gastroparesis is characterized by existing delayed stomach emptying, which can be made worse by GLP-1 medications. 

GLP-1 medications like Mounjaro are associated with higher rates of thyroid tumors. If you or a family member have a history of thyroid tumors, it’s critical to discuss this with your healthcare provider. GLP-1 medications may not be appropriate to use. 

GLP-1 medications have also been associated with higher rates of pancreatitis. Discussing your full medical history with your providers before starting new medications is important. 

Ozempic Side Effects

The most common side effects reported with Ozempic include:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Abdominal pain

  • Constipation

Many of the broader warnings associated with Mounjaro and Ozempic are class effects that should be considered before starting any GLP-1 medication. Ozempic also causes delayed gastric emptying and can cause or contribute to gastroparesis. Ozempic is also associated with higher rates of thyroid tumors and pancreatitis. 

It’s also important to report concerns about persistent nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These can cause dehydration. If dehydration is not appropriately managed, it can lead to serious complications like kidney failure. 

Mounjaro and Ozempic Cost

After working with a healthcare provider and determining the medication is a good fit, many individuals face new challenges. These medications are expensive, and cash prices (particularly in the United States) are regularly over $1,000 per month. This leaves many wondering how to get Ozempic or Mounjaro for a fair price. 

Insurance coverage for Mounjaro and Ozempic can be complicated for several reasons. While these medications are both effective for weight loss, they are not specifically approved for this purpose, which can lead to insurance denials. Prior authorizations are common, and copays are often still difficult to afford even when approved. This is particularly the case for individuals with high deductibles. Pharmacies often offer wildly different cash prices for the same medications, and it can be difficult to find price transparency before your prescription is filled. 

Many individuals use this as an opportunity to find additional options for more affordable drug prices by sourcing personal prescriptions from Canadian pharmacies. PlanetDrugsDirect is a prescription referral service that contracts with licensed Canadian pharmacies to help you find the best value possible for your prescriptions. Medications like Ozempic are offered at lower rates than can be found at many pharmacies in the United States. 

Mounjaro Cost

At the time of writing, the typical Mounjaro price at US pharmacies is about $1,100 per month, depending on the dosage needed over time. Individual pricing is heavily dependent on insurance coverage and your choice of pharmacy. It’s helpful to take the time to research pricing options from multiple pharmacies. 

Ozempic Cost

The typical Ozempic price at US pharmacies is about $1,000 monthly, depending on the dosages needed. Like Mounjaro, your out-of-pocket cost can be heavily influenced by insurance coverage and where you choose to fill your prescription. Significant savings of 20% or more may be available. 


Both Mounjaro and Ozempic are GLP-1 medications that have traditionally been used for type 2 diabetes but have gained much broader attention due to their potential as weight loss medications. They both offer similar beneficial effects, side effects, and warnings for use. For many, a primary difference may be the availability of more affordable options. If you and your healthcare provider have made a joint decision that a GLP-1 medication is right for you, it’s helpful to take the time to research your insurance coverage and find a pharmacy that offers a fair price. 

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The content on this page is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute professional medical advice. Patients should not use the information presented on this page for diagnosing a health-related issue or disease. Before taking any medication or supplements, patients should always consult a physician or qualified healthcare professional for medical advice or information about whether a drug is safe, appropriate or effective.