What is Mounjaro (Tirzepatide)?
Tirzepatide is an exciting new medication in the world of type 2 diabetes treatment and medical weight loss. Sold under the brand name, Mounjaro, it is a unique medication that combines two different molecules into one medication.
Tirzepatide is FDA approved for type 2 diabetes. Currently, it is not FDA approved for weight loss though this is a common side effect of the medication. It is an extremely effective weight loss medication.
Weight loss is not just all will power. It is a complex set of neurobiological chemistry that governs the will and drive to eat and be active. Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) has positive effects on some of these chemical pathways.
Research has shown that in combination with lifestyle coaching, GLP-1s are the most effective and safe long term medication option for weight loss.
Now, Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) is the first and only approved medication that activates both the GIP and GLP-1 receptors in the body, leading to significant reductions in blood sugar as well as weight loss. By acting on two different mechanisms, it appears to have greater effects on blood sugar reductions and weight reduction than GLP 1 agonist medications alone, such as Semaglutide or Liraglutide.
It works in the following ways:
- Decreases food intake through effects on the brain
- Slows stomach emptying
- Increases insulin sensitivity
- Enhances insulin release when you need it
- Reduces glucagon levels
In clinical trials, patients lost, on average, 17 pounds on Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) 5 mg with increasing weight loss at higher doses up to 25 pounds lost on average at Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) 15 mg, the highest dose. These weight loss effects continued through 40 weeks.
Dosing starts at 2.5 mg weekly by a small single dose pen with a no-see needle. After one month, the dose is increased to 5 mg weekly. The dose can be increased as needed for blood sugar control every four weeks by 2.5 mg to a maximum dose of 15 mg weekly.
Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dyspepsia and abdominal pain. Any abdominal pain should be immediately reported to your physician.. These tend to be mild if they occur and often resolve over time.
Although rare, pancreatitis has been observed in patients treated with GLP 1 agonists.
Tirzepatide is not for patients with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer ( a rare form of thyroid cancer) or multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2) and in patients with known hypersensitivity to tirzepatide or any of the components of the medication.
In summary, Tirzepatide is an exciting new FDA approved medication for type 2 diabetes mellitus that has a significant weight loss effect. Insurance coverage is likely limited at this time but the makers of Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) currently offer a co-pay savings card of $25 per month for certain individuals which can be found on their website.
The doctors and nurse practitioners at Keep It Off are excited by this new medication and are available to discuss if this is an appropriate medication for you.