Injectable anti-diabetic medications have taken the world by storm over the past few years. In part, their popularity is due to their convenience and effectiveness in lowering and controlling blood sugar levels in patients with Type 2 Diabetes. But there’s also another reason that demand for GLP-1 agonists like Ozempic (semaglutide) has skyrocketed: This class of drugs is associated with weight loss.
While some GLP-1 receptor agonists, such as Saxenda (liraglutide) and Wegovy (semaglutide), have been officially FDA-approved for weight loss and management in obese and overweight populations, many others are requested and prescribed off-label (for a purpose other than the drug’s intended one), based on the prescribing physician’s belief that they will benefit particular patients. Many Americans hope that these medications will help them to jumpstart their weight loss journeys and, in recent months, demand has exceeded production of some GLP-1 drugs, leading to worldwide shortages of Ozempic, Wegovy, and others.
Mounjaro (tirzepatide) has been the latest injectable anti-diabetic medication to hit the market. A first-in-class drug that mimics two different gut hormones (GLP-1 and GIP), it has also recently been approved for weight loss in obese and overweight populations under the brand name Zepbound. With clinical trial participants losing as much as 26.6% of their initial body weight in an 84-week study that also included intensive lifestyle interventions, it would seem that tirzepatide drugs are leaving many of their competitors in the dust.
But is Mounjaro the right fit for your specific circumstances and health goals?
In this post, we’ve compiled all the relevant information about Mounjaro, how it works, its cost, and what you should know about the possibility of receiving a weight loss prescription for it. For more information about Mounjaro and other weight loss drugs and interventions that may be appropriate for your particular needs, speak directly with your doctor or healthcare provider.
What You Should Know About Mounjaro
- Mounjaro is a once-weekly injectable medication that mimics two different incretin hormones and is FDA-approved for the regulation of blood sugar levels in adults with Type 2 Diabetes.
- It has also recently been approved for weight loss under the brand name Zepbound.
- Mounjaro is a prescription drug and you cannot purchase it without a valid prescription from a board-certified American doctor.
- Mounjaro is not the right option for everyone. If you are interested in tirzepatide drugs for weight loss purposes, speak with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that will meet your health goals and expectations.
What Is Mounjaro?
Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is a name-brand prescription medication manufactured by Eli Lilly. In 2022, it was FDA-approved for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes in adults (lowering A1C levels in combination with diet and exercise). Mounjaro has also been associated with substantial weight loss outcomes in clinical trials and is sometimes prescribed off-label for this purpose.
Like Ozempic, Mounjaro is a once-weekly injectable medication. It comes in pre-filled pens and is injected subcutaneously in rotation into the thigh, upper arm, and abdomen. Mounjaro’s starting dose is 2.5 mg weekly, which is titrated up every four weeks under the supervision of a doctor until an effective maintenance dose of 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 12.5 mg, or 15 mg is reached.
Mounjaro’s most common side effects include gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, and abdominal pain. More serious side effects can include pancreas, gallbladder, or kidney issues, severe allergic reactions, vision changes, and the development of thyroid tumors. For a complete list of potential side effects, warnings, and precautions, see the manufacturer’s prescribing information.
How Does Mounjaro Work?
Mounjaro is known as a dual-agonist drug, and is currently the first and only medication in its class. Like Ozempic, Mounjaro is a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, but it’s also a glucose dependent insulinotropic (GIP) receptor agonist.
In simple terms, tirzepatide (Mounjaro’s active ingredient), mimics GLP-1 and GIP, two incretin hormones naturally produced in the human gut in response to food. It binds to these hormones’ receptor sites and activates GLP-1 and GIP pathways throughout the body. In turn, the following reactions are triggered:
- The pancreas produces and releases more insulin.
- Sugar production is reduced in the liver.
- Insulin sensitivity is increased.
The above reactions directly contribute to lower blood sugar levels. In addition, Mounjaro helps to curb appetite and promote weight loss by:
- Slowing down digestion, so that you feel fuller for longer
- Impacting appetite centers in the brain
- Reducing the production of stomach acid
Appetite, digestion, and blood sugar levels are closely intertwined and Mounjaro affects all three. In combination with a healthy, calorie-deficient diet and regular exercise, it can dramatically improve blood sugar control and weight loss in patients with Type 2 Diabetes.
Is Mounjaro Approved for Weight Loss?
Mounjaro’s active ingredient, tirzepatide, was recently approved for weight loss under the brand name Zepbound. Zepbound is identical to Mounjaro but is marketed for overweight and obese adults with and without Type 2 Diabetes.
Zepbound is indicated for chronic weight management in overweight adults (BMI over 27) with at least one weight-related medical condition or obese adults (BMI over 30). The brand name is the only difference between Mounjaro and Zepbound.
How to Get Mounjaro
The first step towards getting Mounjaro is making an appointment with your doctor or healthcare provider. Mounjaro is not available over-the-counter, so getting a written prescription is the only way to access the drug.
After taking your medical history, health goals, and any other medications you may currently be taking into consideration, your doctor will decide whether or not Mounjaro seems like an appropriate treatment option for you. If your doctor doesn’t feel that a Mounjaro prescription is the right option, they will certainly suggest a treatment plan that they believe will address your blood sugar and/or weight loss concerns and may even prescribe a different medication to meet your needs.
Getting Mounjaro in Person
If you’ve received a Mounjaro prescription and are looking to fill it, purchasing the medication at a local pharmacy is always an option. That being said, in-pharmacy medication prices may vary from location to location and are often more expensive than those available online.
Buying Mounjaro Online
The most affordable and convenient way to purchase Mounjaro is often online. Online pharmacies frequently offer better prices than brick and mortar businesses and can ship medications directly to your door.
To learn more about ordering prescription medications, such as Ozempic and Mounjaro, from Bisonpharmacy.com, reach out to our dedicated team directly by phone or online today!
Can You Get Mounjaro Without Diabetes?
Technically, Mounjaro remains indicated for blood sugar management in adults with Type 2 Diabetes. That being said, Mounjaro is identical to Zepbound, a tirzepatide drug that has been approved for chronic weight management in overweight and obese patients. With this in mind, your healthcare provider may consider writing you an off-label Mounjaro prescription for weight loss if they believe it will benefit you.
Who Qualifies for Mounjaro for Weight Loss?
Tirzepatide isn’t marketed for weight loss under the brand name Mounjaro, but under the name Zepbound you may qualify for the drug for weight loss purposes if:
- Your BMI is 27 or over and you have at least one weight-related medical condition such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or obstructive sleep apnea.
- Your BMI is 30 or over, with or without other weight-related health conditions.
In some cases, Mounjaro may also be prescribed off-label for patients with:
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Sleep apnea
Who Doesn’t Qualify for Mounjaro for Weight Loss?
Patients without Type 2 Diabetes, obesity or overweight, or any of the conditions listed above are unlikely to be prescribed Mounjaro for weight loss. Mounjaro is not prescribed for aesthetic weight loss and it is not recommended to seek out Mounjaro for this purpose.
Other reasons why patients may not be able to take Mounjaro include:
- Under the age of 18
- Pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to become pregnant
- Personal or family history of certain types of thyroid cancer
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Allergic to tirzepatide or any of the other ingredients in Mounjaro
How to Get a Mounjaro Prescription
The best way to get a prescription for Mounjaro is to make an appointment with your doctor or healthcare provider. In some cases, you may also be able to make a virtual or in-person appointment with a physician who specializes in weight loss treatments and can evaluate whether or not Mounjaro may be a suitable medication for you as part of a broader weight management plan.
During your medical appointment you’ll need to be prepared to share:
- Your medical history
- The reasons why you’re interested in trying Mounjaro
- Any prescription or over-the-counter drugs you’re currently taking
- Your weight loss history
How to Get Mounjaro Covered by Insurance
Mounjaro is a new drug and, while some insurance providers and plans do cover it, others may not. The best way to find out if your insurance coverage includes Mounjaro, and in what amount, is to get in touch with your provider directly.
Even if your insurance policy does cover Mounjaro, there is a high likelihood that it will only cover it for its FDA-indicated purpose (blood sugar control for Type 2 Diabetes). Insurance coverage that pays for a drug for an off-label purpose is uncommon, and your doctor may need to contact your insurance provider to explain why it has been deemed medically necessary for you to take Mounjaro off-label. Even then, your provider still may not approve the expenses.
Every insurance policy is different, so do your research carefully to determine whether or not Mounjaro coverage may be available to you based on your particular needs and circumstances. If you are considering taking Zepbound, you will want to ask your insurance company about coverage for this drug as well.
Are Coupons Available for Mounjaro?
Yes, there are some coupons and discounts available for Mounjaro. Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro Savings Card can help patients to pay as little as $25 for a 1-month or 3-month supply of the drug. Unfortunately, not all patients are eligible for this discount. In order to qualify you must:
- Have commercial medical insurance
- Be taking Mounjaro for its FDA-approved purpose
- Not be enrolled in any government-funded health plans
If you don’t meet these eligibility criteria, don’t lose hope. Here are some other possible ways you can save on Mounjaro:
- Compare Mounjaro prices at a variety of pharmacies, including online suppliers. The differences in drug prices can sometimes be substantial.
- Ask your doctor if they can offer any free samples of Mounjaro.
- Check for online coupons that can reduce the price you pay for Mounjaro on a one-time or ongoing basis.
- Find out if your pharmacy offers a discounted price if you order a 90-day supply of Mounjaro instead of purchasing the drug month-to-month.
- Ask your doctor about Mounjaro alternatives that may be more affordable.
- Consider sourcing high-quality Mounjaro from Canada. At Bisonpharmacy.com, many of our clients pay as little as one-third the price they would pay for Mounjaro at a local U.S. pharmacy.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does Mounjaro cost?
Eli Lilly’s list price for Mounjaro is $1,023 for a 4-week supply of the drug, but it often retails for more (commonly up to $1,300 for the same quantity). The price you pay for Mounjaro will depend on where you purchase it from and whether or not you have insurance coverage for your prescription, among other factors.
Are there any alternatives to Mounjaro?
The primary alternative to Mounjaro is Zepbound, which is the exact same drug marketed under a different name for weight loss. If you’re looking to move beyond tirzepatide drugs entirely, one of the options below may be a good fit.
Although Mounjaro is unique in being a dual-agonist drug, other GLP-1 receptor agonists have similar impacts on the body and are often also prescribed for blood sugar regulation and weight loss purposes. Drugs that may be prescribed as an alternative to Mounjaro include:
- Ozempic (semaglutide) – indicated for blood sugar control in adults with Type 2 Diabetes as well as risk reduction for major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with Type 2 Diabetes and established heart disease
- Wegovy (semaglutide) – indicated for chronic weight management in obese adults or teens and overweight adults with at least one weight-related comorbidity (high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.)
- Saxenda (liraglutide) – indicated for chronic weight management in obese adults, obese teens, and overweight adults with at least one weight-related medical condition.
- Trulicity (dulaglutide) – indicated for blood sugar control in adults with Type 2 Diabetes and risk reduction for major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with Type 2 Diabetes
How much does Mounjaro cost without insurance?
Without insurance or other discounts, Mounjaro will roughly cost between $1,000 and $1,300 per month. Ordering Mounjaro from Canada can drastically reduce that number.
To conclude, Mounjaro is a new prescription medication that has quickly gained popularity both for its indicated purpose (blood sugar control in adults with Type 2 Diabetes) and its off-label use (weight loss). Tirzepatide, Mounjaro’s active ingredient, is not currently available in a generic version and the drug’s high monthly cost can be prohibitive for many Americans, particularly those without insurance coverage.
Fortunately, at Bisonpharmacy.com we offer convenient, reliable shipping services that allow you to receive high-quality prescription medications directly to your door for a fraction of the cost you’d pay at your local pharmacy.
Ready to learn more about how to safely and easily order injectable anti-diabetic drugs like Ozempic and Mounjaro from Canada? Speak with our licensed pharmacist or reach out to a member of our service team to start filling your prescriptions today!