If you’re wondering about the possibility of taking Mounjaro or have recently started on the drug, you’re probably expecting to experience improved blood sugar control and hoping to lose weight. These two outcomes are the primary reasons why people take Mounjaro, but like any drug, Mounjaro may also come with some unintended side effects.

One such potential side effect that has recently received a lot of publicity? Hair loss.

Mounjaro (and other popular injectable antidiabetic/weight loss drugs like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Zepbound) have been in the news (and all over social media) in the last few months because of anecdotal reports that they are causing patients to lose their hair at an alarming rate. But how much truth is there to these claims? And is Mounjaro really to blame?

According to CNN, the FDA is currently looking into reports of hair loss associated with Mounjaro and other similar injectable drugs, but we thought we’d also do a little digging. Below, we’ve presented information we’ve gathered about the potential for hair loss when taking Mounjaro, what to expect if hair loss occurs, and how to be proactive about treating it.

The information on our website (Bisonpharmacy.com) is not intended to constitute or replace medical advice. For further information about Mounjaro and hair loss that considers your medical history and personal circumstances (or any other questions about your use of Mounjaro), speak directly with your doctor or healthcare provider.

Key Takeaways

  • Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is an injectable antidiabetic medication that is also associated with significant weight loss.
  • Research has not shown hair loss to be a common side effect of Mounjaro, but hair loss is listed as a side effect of its sister drug, Zepbound.
  • It’s difficult to determine whether or not hair loss occurs as a direct side effect of tirzepatide or whether it’s associated with the rapid weight loss caused by the drug and/or other underlying health conditions.
  • Hair loss associated with rapid weight loss is not usually permanent, but hair loss related to other causes may be.
  • Hair loss prevention and solutions include maintaining a healthy diet, eliminating harsh chemicals from your hair routine, and avoiding pulling on your hair.
  • If you have questions about tirzepatide and hair loss, speak directly with your doctor or healthcare provider.

What Is Mounjaro?

Mounjaro (active ingredient tirzepatide) is a prescription antidiabetic medication manufactured by Eli Lilly. It was approved by the FDA in 2022 for blood sugar control in adults with Type 2 Diabetes and in 2023 (under the brand name Zepbound) for weight loss and chronic weight management in obese and certain overweight adults.

Mounjaro and Zepbound are both once-weekly injectable medications that are administered subcutaneously into the skin of the thigh, upper arm, or abdomen. They belong to the class of drugs known as dual glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists (GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonist drugs) and are most effective in combination with healthy lifestyle changes including a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Is Mounjaro the Same as Ozempic, Wegovy, or Zepbound?

As noted above, Mounjaro and Zepbound share the same active ingredient and composition. That being said, Mounjaro is marketed for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, while Zepbound is marketed for the treatment of obesity (for patients who are overweight and have at least one weight-related health condition).

Ozempic and Wegovy are similar drugs to Mounjaro, but they have different active ingredients (semaglutide) and mechanisms of action. While both tirzepatide and semaglutide imitate incretin hormones found in the human gut, semaglutide is only a GLP-1 receptor agonist, while tirzepatide binds to both GLP-1 and GIP receptors throughout the body.

Ozempic, like Mounjaro, is indicated for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes in adults, while Wegovy, like Zepbound, is indicated for weight loss and chronic weight management in adults with obesity or who are overweight with one weight-related health condition. Wegovy is also approved for use in pediatric populations over the age of 12 whose weight is at or above the 95th percentile for their age and gender.

Mounjaro, Zepbound, Ozempic, and Wegovy are all associated with weight loss outcomes to varying degrees, and there have been anecdotal reports of all of them causing hair loss as well.

Can Mounjaro Cause Hair Loss?

Hair loss is not listed as one of Mounjaro’s side effects. That being said, it was reported by a small percentage of participants in tirzepatide clinical trials leading to the drug’s approval. Eli Lilly publicly states that “Hair loss is a side effect that has been associated with significant weight loss in many previous clinical trials for obesity treatment” and does not consider the number of patients who experienced hair loss during drug trials to be medically significant.

In contrast, hair loss is listed as a side effect for Zepbound. Let’s take a closer look at why:

What the Studies Say

In a clinical study that looked at tirzepatide for the treatment of obesity, nearly 6% of participants taking the highest dose experienced alopecia (an umbrella term for hair loss due to many different reasons). Based on those findings, Zepbound’s website lists hair loss as a common side effect of the drug.

In case you’re curious, hair loss isn’t listed as a side effect of Ozempic but is listed as an adverse reaction for Wegovy (4% of patients taking 2.4 mg of semaglutide experienced hair loss in comparison to 0% taking the placebo).

Telogen Effluvium: What It Is and What Causes It

Telogen effluvium is hair loss that occurs after the body undergoes metabolic stress or hormonal changes, including but not limited to rapid weight loss. While the average person typically loses anywhere from about 50-150 hairs per day, people experiencing telogen effluvium lose closer to 300 hairs per day.

When a stressful experience sends more hair follicles than usual into a resting and/or shedding phase, hair loss may be noticeable approximately 2-3 months later. This is why, for many people who experience rapid weight loss on Mounjaro, hair loss may become evident roughly 2-3 months into the weight loss journey.

Is the Hair Loss Permanent?

Now for the big question: If you experience hair loss while taking Mounjaro, will the hair loss be permanent?

The answer is: It depends.

If your hair loss is attributable to telogen effluvium, it will likely grow back over time. Telogen effluvium does not usually cause permanent hair loss and will likely begin to reverse once your weight stabilizes and your body adjusts to its new normal. Hair should grow back over a period of 6-12 months.

If, however, your hair loss is the result of a different cause, it won’t necessarily grow back—at least not without intervention. Type 2 Diabetes (the condition Mounjaro is indicated to treat) has, itself, been associated with hair loss, as have many other medical conditions.

If you are experiencing hair loss while on Mounjaro, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the drug is directly causing this symptom. Speak to your doctor or healthcare provider for a more in-depth analysis.

When Hair Loss Usually Starts

As noted above, hair loss associated with taking Mounjaro or Zepbound (as well as Ozempic or Wegovy) usually starts 2-3 months after the onset of rapid weight loss. Weight loss may not begin to be noticeable in the first few weeks of taking the drug, during which time the dose is being increased at regular intervals.

Possible Solutions and Preventions for Hair Loss

Hair loss can occur for many different reasons, but there are some overarching practices that may help you to prevent and solve it. These include:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes hair-growth-promoting foods such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds, oysters, blackberries, salmon, lentils, avocadoes, and more.
  • Avoiding harsh hair products.
  • Avoiding heating and/or pulling on hair (e.g., straightening or curling irons).
  • Avoiding hairstyles that involve pulling the hair back tightly.
  • Avoiding regularly wearing hats.
  • Washing hair less frequently and dry gently.

The Verdict?

To conclude, hair loss has been associated with taking tirzepatide (and semaglutide) medications, but more research is needed to determine whether or not it is directly caused as a side effect of these drugs or by metabolic stress associated with the rapid weight loss they promote. Either way, the number of patients who experienced hair loss during Mounjaro clinical trials was not significant enough to merit the inclusion of this possible side effect in the drug’s prescribing information. Also, the condition is reversible for many patients who experience hair loss while on Mounjaro.

The verdict? While it’s always worth being educated about the potential adverse reactions associated with any drug you are taking, the risk of hair loss while on Mounjaro is relatively small and, for the vast majority of patients, is not a reason to discontinue the use of the drug. As always, discuss any specific concerns with your doctor or healthcare provider.

Looking to source Mounjaro (tirzepatide) or Ozempic (semaglutide) at an affordable price? The dedicated, knowledgeable, and professional team at Bisonpharmacy.com can help. Contact us today to learn more!

About the Author

Ida Edlweiss Gumpal is a licensed Pharmacist and medical writer. She took her internships at Mercury Drug Corporation, Inc., a Hospital internship at De Vera Medical Center, Inc., and a Manufacturing internship at Philmed Laboratories, Inc. She has plans on attending medical school with the goal of specializing in Neurosurgery or Cardiothoracic surgery.