Recent years have seen a huge surge in injectable weight loss drugs. These are mostly diabetes medications that have been repurposed to help people lose weight. Saxenda and Wegovy are the first injectable medications created specifically for weight loss. They both belong to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists.

These drugs support weight loss by slowing down the emptying of your stomach, which can help to reduce appetite. Eli Lilly’s new drug, Mounjaro, builds on this and is the first of these drugs to work on two different pathways to provide significant weight loss effects. Here we weigh up cost, side effects and weight loss results to help you compare Ozempic vs Mounjaro for weight loss.

What is Mounjaro?

Mounjaro is an injectable medication containing the active ingredient tirzepatide. It is primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes, but it is also effective for weight loss. It works on two different pathways to help you lose weight; GLP-1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptors.

Traditional GLP-1 medications help to slow down the emptying of your stomach, helping you feel fuller for longer. Mounjaro does this, but also works on GIP receptors, which stimulate your brain to produce the feeling of fullness. In this way, Mounjaro helps weight loss by acting on both the brain and the digestive system to reduce appetite.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is similar to Mounjaro. Created by Novo Nordisk, it is also an injectable medication that was originally designed to treat adults with type 2 diabetes. Ozempic contains semaglutide, which has also been found to be an effective weight loss drug when combined with diet and exercise. 

However, Ozempic has not been officially approved for weight loss. Instead, the same drug (semaglutide) has been rebranded as Wegovy. Wegovy contains a higher dose of semaglutide, which is more suited to weight loss.

Comparison

 

Mounjaro vs Ozempic

Ozempic is similar to Mounjaro. Created by Novo Nordisk, it is also an injectable medication that was originally designed to treat adults with type 2 diabetes. Ozempic contains semaglutide, which has also been found to be an effective weight loss drug when combined with diet and exercise.

However, Ozempic has not been officially approved for weight loss. Instead, the same drug (semaglutide) has been rebranded as Wegovy. Wegovy contains a higher dose of semaglutide, which is more suited to weight loss.

Mounjaro vs Ozempic for Weight Loss

Both Mounjaro and Ozempic have been found to be effective weight loss treatments. Ozempic contains semaglutide at doses of 0.25mg-1mg. Studies have found that people taking Ozempic at these doses do experience weight loss, however, it is usually recommended that you take semaglutide at higher doses for weight loss.

High-dose semaglutide designed specifically for weight loss is known as Wegovy. Mounjaro has not been reformulated for weight loss, but like Ozempic, it can also be used for this purpose.

Various clinical trials have demonstrated weight loss on Ozempic. The SUSTAIN trials found that over 2 years, people lost an average of 3.6kg on the 0.5mg dose of Ozempic and 4.9kg on the 1mg dose of Ozempic. At the higher dose of 1mg, up to 66% of people lost more than 5% of their body weight compared to up to 11% of people on a placebo.

Mounjaro has been found to deliver even greater weight loss results. One study found that within just one year, 42.3% of people taking tirzepatide (the active ingredient in Mounjaro) had lost at least 15% of their body weight compared to 19.3% of people taking semaglutide (Ozempic and Wegovy).

People taking tirzepatide were actually twice as likely to lose at least 10% of their body weight and three times as likely to lose 15% of their body weight than people on semaglutide. Therefore, Mounjaro is considered to be significantly more effective for weight loss than Ozempic, although head-to-head comparative trials have not yet been done.

Mounjaro vs Ozempic Cost

As of February 2024, Mounjaro is available on private prescription in the UK and costs from £189 with Simple Online Pharmacy while Ozempic, which is not licensed for weight loss in the UK, is approximately £200 a month.

While Mounjaro may seem expensive, it may also help you to achieve your weight loss goals more quickly. Whilst research is still ongoing, initial results suggest that you need to continue these medications after achieving your ideal weight to avoid regaining the weight that you have lost.

Ozempic vs Mounjaro Side Effects

All medications carry a risk of side effects; Ozempic and Wegovy are no exception. Both drugs carry a risk of gastrointestinal side effects such as diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting and other side effects such as gallstones and fatigue. Common side effects of Ozempic also include hair loss, dizziness and headaches.

Alternative Treatments

If you are trying to lose weight, there are many different options available to you. These include other injectable weight loss medications, like Wegovy and Saxenda, as well as drugs like Xenical (orlistat) which help you to stop fat absorption in your intestines.

There are also a range of surgical options, such as a gastric sleeve. These procedures can deliver dramatic weight loss results in a short period of time; however, they are major operations that should not be undertaken lightly. For cosmetic purposes, some people may opt for liposuction, but the health benefits are not comparable to weight-loss surgery.

All weight loss interventions work best when made in conjunction with changes to diet and exercise. Diets that help to reduce your calorie intake, whilst maximising the nutritional value of the foods you consume, can help you lose weight. There are various local support groups that can help you to make these dietary changes.

Regular exercise is also a good way to lose weight. Not only does exercise help burn off energy, it also improves your metabolic rate, helping your body to burn off energy from food more efficiently.

Weight Loss Injections from £159 / Month

Conclusion

Mounjaro has been shown to deliver more weight loss more quickly than Ozempic. In that way, Mounjaro is the better treatment. As well as this, Mounjaro is currently available in the UK for weight loss, whereas Ozempic is not.

When considering weight loss treatment you should make sure to gain an understanding of what options are available to you and pick which will suit you best. Both Ozempic and Mounjaro have a similar side effect profile, but you may respond differently to each drug, so one may be a better fit than the other.