As the number of people with type 2 diabetes continues to rise, so does the need for effective treatments to help manage the disease and prevent complications.
Two medications that have shown promise in controlling blood sugar levels and promoting weight loss are Mounjaro and Ozempic.
Both are part of a class of drugs called incretin mimetics, and while they have similarities in their mechanisms of action, there are also important differences to consider.
In this article, we will explore Mounjaro Vs Ozempic and compare them for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and weight loss, and what factors you should consider when choosing between them.
Comparing How Mounjaro and Ozempic Work
Mounjaro (tirzepatide) and Ozempic are both medications used to treat type 2 diabetes and aid in weight loss. However, they work differently in the body.
GLP-1 and GIP are naturally occurring hormones that stimulate insulin secretion and help regulate blood sugar levels.
By targeting both receptors, Mounjaro can effectively lower blood sugar levels, reduce food intake, and promote weight loss.
On the other hand, Ozempic works by targeting the GLP-1 receptor only.
By binding to this receptor, Ozempic stimulates insulin secretion, slows down the digestion of food, and reduces appetite. This results in lower blood sugar levels and weight loss.
Both Mounjaro and Ozempic are classified as incretin mimetics, which means they mimic the effects of the natural incretin hormones in the body.
However, Mounjaro has a unique dual-acting mechanism that may make it more effective for some individuals.
Ultimately, the choice between Mounjaro and Ozempic will depend on various factors, including individual patient needs and medical history, as well as cost and insurance coverage.
Is Mounjaro or Ozempic More Effective?
As these two drugs are relatively similar, we will be breaking up the efficacy of Mounjaro and Ozempic into two main categories, weight loss and effect on A1C readings.
Which Is More Effective For Weight Loss?
In clinical studies, Mounjaro and Ozempic have both been shown to be effective at promoting weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes.
In these studies, Mounjaro demonstrated a mean weight loss of -16%, while Ozempic had a mean weight loss of -14.9%. It’s worth noting that the Mounjaro trial lasted for 72 weeks, while the Ozempic trial was 68 weeks long.
While the results of these studies suggest that Mounjaro may have a slight edge over Ozempic when it comes to weight loss, it’s important to remember that individual responses to these medications may vary.
Which Is More Effective at Reducing A1C Readings?
In clinical studies, Mounjaro has shown to be more effective than Ozempic in reducing A1C readings, which is a laboratory test that shows the average amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood over the past 2 to 3 months.
Additionally, the highest studied dose of Mounjaro resulted in a 2.3% reduction in A1C readings. These results suggest that Mounjaro may be a more effective treatment for type 2 diabetes compared to Ozempic.
What is The Difference In Side Effects Between Mounjaro and Ozempic?
Both Mounjaro and Ozempic, being incretin mimetics, can cause gastrointestinal side effects, which are the most common adverse events associated with these medications.
The most frequently reported stomach-related side effects seen in clinical trials were nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, constipation, heartburn, and abdominal pain.
Below we will break down the most common side effects of both Mounjaro and Ozempic and their rate of prevalence.
Mounjaro Side Effects
According to clinical studies, Mounjaro has been associated with various side effects, with 78.9 to 81.8% of participants experiencing at least one adverse event during the treatment period.
This rate was higher compared to the placebo group, where 72% of participants reported adverse events.
The most commonly reported adverse events were gastrointestinal discomfort such as nausea, diarrhea, and constipation.
These side effects were generally mild to moderate in severity and occurred primarily during the dose-escalation period.
Serious adverse events were reported in 6.3% of participants, with a similar percentage in both the Mounjaro and placebo groups.
Among these, approximately 21% were related to Covid-19, which affected participants in all treatment groups.
The incidence of deaths was low, with a total of 11 deaths reported across all treatment groups.
Adjudication-confirmed pancreatitis was reported in four cases, evenly distributed across all groups, including the placebo group. No cases of medullary thyroid cancer were reported.
Overall, the incidence of cholelithiasis (the formation of gallstones) was similar among the Mounjaro and placebo groups.
However, cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder) and acute cholecystitis (sudden inflammation of the gallbladder) were reported more frequently in the tirzepatide groups than in the placebo group, although the incidences were low (less than or equal to 0.6%).
Additionally, some participants reported hair loss from Mounjaro, but these reports are few and far between and most likely caused by weight loss in general.
Ozempic Side Effects
In clinical studies, participants who were treated with Ozempic reported adverse events at a rate similar to those who received a placebo (89.7% and 86.4%, respectively).
However, gastrointestinal disorders were more commonly reported in the Ozempic group (74.2%) compared to the placebo group (47.9%), with symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation being the most frequent.
These events were generally mild-to-moderate in severity, and most resolved without discontinuation of treatment.
Serious adverse events were reported in 9.8% of Ozempic participants and 6.4% of placebo participants, with the difference being mainly due to a higher incidence of serious gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary disorders in the Ozempic group.
About 7% of Ozempic participants discontinued treatment due to adverse events, mainly gastrointestinal issues. However, only one death was reported in each group, and neither was considered related to the treatment.
There were reports of gallbladder-related disorders, such as cholelithiasis, in 2.6% of Ozempic participants and 1.2% of placebo participants.
Mild acute pancreatitis was reported in three Ozempic participants, all of whom recovered during the trial period. There was no significant difference in the incidence of benign and malignant neoplasms between the two groups.
Overall, these findings suggest that Ozempic is generally well-tolerated, although gastrointestinal issues are common side effects.
Comparison of Side Effects
Overall, both drugs have similar rates of gastrointestinal side effects, which are the most common adverse events associated with incretin mimetics.
Serious adverse events were reported at a slightly higher rate for Ozempic, but both drugs had low rates of serious adverse events and deaths attributed to the drug.
Cost Comparison of Mounjaro Vs Ozempic
It is important to note that, as of now, Mounjaro is not yet approved by the FDA for weight loss treatment. Therefore, its uninsured price may not be relevant for this specific indication.
However, for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, the uninsured price for Mounjaro subcutaneous solution (2.5 mg/0.5 mL) is currently around $1,087 for a supply of 2 milliliters.
It is important to note that this price may vary depending on several factors, including the pharmacy and the location. With insurance coverage, the price for Mounjaro can be significantly lower, and may even be as low as $25.
Ozempic, under the brand name Ozempic, is approved by the FDA for both the treatment of type 2 diabetes and weight loss. Without insurance, the cost for a supply of 1.5 milliliters of the 2 mg/1.5 mL solution can be around $995, depending on the pharmacy.
However, for those with insurance coverage, the cost can be much lower. Patients seeking to use Ozempic for weight loss may also be eligible for discounts or coupons, bringing the cost down to as low as $25.
It is important to note that the actual cost may vary depending on a variety of factors such as insurance coverage, pharmacy location, and dosage prescribed.
Mounjaro or Ozempic: Which Is Right For You?
Based on available clinical studies, both Mounjaro and Ozempic are effective drugs for treating type 2 diabetes and aiding in weight loss.
However, studies have shown that Mounjaro may be slightly more effective than Ozempic at reducing weight and lowering A1C readings.
While Ozempic has been approved by the FDA for weight loss, Mounjaro is still awaiting approval for that specific use.
It is important to note that the effectiveness of these drugs may vary from person to person, and the choice of drug should be made based on the individual patient’s needs and medical history, in consultation with their healthcare provider.
Additionally, the cost of the drugs may vary based on the type of insurance coverage a patient has, but generally, the cost of the two drugs is similar.