Since its approval in May of 2022, the brand-name drug Mounjaro has made major headlines around the globe for its groundbreaking blood sugar control and weight loss outcomes. Like Ozempic and other injectable antidiabetic and weight loss medications before it, it has become an almost instant sensation. With the recent FDA approval of Mounjaro’s active ingredient, tirzepatide, for weight loss under the brand name Zepbound, the medication has gained even more popularity and is in higher demand than ever. It’s hard to access social media or other media platforms without hearing about its benefits.

While Mounjaro is undoubtedly a life-changing drug for many people, it’s not the right medication for everyone. From health issues to side effects to financial concerns, there are many reasons why patients might find themselves looking for an alternative to it. In this post, we’ve put together an overview of some of those reasons and provided information about the classes of drugs and specific drugs within those classes that may represent viable and effective alternatives to Mounjaro.

When deciding to begin a new medication and/or switch away from using Mounjaro, it’s crucial to do so under the guidance of a medical professional. The information below does not constitute or replace medical advice and should only be used as a jumping-off point for a more in-depth conversation with your doctor or healthcare provider.

Key Takeaways

  • Mounjaro is an injectable antidiabetic medication belonging to the class of drugs known as GLP-1/GIP receptor agonists. It is FDA-approved for lowering blood sugar levels in adults with Type 2 Diabetes and promoting weight loss.
  • Patients may seek alternatives to Mounjaro for a variety of reasons, including adverse reactions, financial constraints, inaccessibility/ineffectiveness of the drug, and more.
  • Classes of drugs that may offer suitable alternatives for Mounjaro include GLP-1 agonists (for Diabetes or weight loss), oral Diabetes medications, SGLT2 inhibitors, and DPP4 inhibitors.
  • Specific Mounjaro alternatives may include Ozempic, Trulicity, Wegovy, Victoza, Jardiance, and more. Natural alternatives may also be effective for some patients.
  • Starting a new medication or switching away from Mounjaro should always be done under the guidance and supervision of a medical professional.

What Is Mounjaro?

Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is a brand name, prescription Type 2 Diabetes medication manufactured by Eli Lilly. Like Ozempic, it’s a once-weekly injectable drug that helps to regulate blood sugar levels and promote substantial weight loss in combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Recently, tirzepatide has been FDA-approved for weight loss in obese and certain overweight populations under the brand name Zepbound. Mounjaro and Zepbound have the same composition but are indicated and marketed for different purposes.

How Does Mounjaro Work?

Mounjaro’s drug class is quite complex: Dual glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. This can be shortened to GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonist.

Mounjaro imitates two different hormones that are produced in the body in response to the presence of sugar (food). These hormones, known as GIP and GLP-1, are responsible for triggering a variety of responses in different body systems. When tirzepatide binds to GIP and GLP-1 receptor sites, it activates pathways that stimulate insulin secretion in the pancreas, inhibit sugar release in the liver, slow down the digestive process, impact areas of the brain associated with appetite, influence metabolic responses, and more.

To date, tirzepatide is one of the most effective drugs to hit the market in terms of both blood sugar regulation and weight loss potential.

Mounjaro Side Effects

Like all prescription medications, Mounjaro comes with the risk of certain side effects. While many of the common ones are mild and clear up over time, some can be more serious. Mounjaro side effects include:

Mild Side Effects

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, indigestion, decreased appetite, and injection site reactions

Serious Side Effects

  • Severe allergic reactions, hypoglycemia, or gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Acute kidney injury, gallbladder problems, pancreatitis
  • Vision changes
  • Thyroid tumors


  • A personal or family history of certain types of thyroid cancer
  • Being younger than 18 years of age
  • Having Type 1 Diabetes
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding

For a complete list of potential adverse reactions and contraindications, see Mounjaro’s prescribing information.

Why Might You Need an Alternative to Mounjaro?

Patients may seek alternatives to Mounjaro or Zepbound for a vast range of different reasons. Among some of the most common are the following:

  • They are ineligible to take Mounjaro (see common contraindications above).
  • They have tried Mounjaro but have experienced adverse reactions while on the drug.
  • Mounjaro has not been an effective treatment option for their particular needs or health goals.
  • They are averse to injections.
  • Their insurance doesn’t cover Mounjaro and/or they find the cost of Mounjaro prohibitive.
  • They are not eligible for a Mounjaro prescription or prefer not to be written an off-label prescription.
  • Mounjaro is difficult to access or unavailable in their location.
  • They are concerned about the impacts of taking a long-term drug and prefer an alternative that can be used over a shorter period of time.
  • They are allergic to one or more ingredients in Mounjaro.
  • They prefer more natural treatment options.

Top Mounjaro Alternatives

No matter the reason, if you are seeking Mounjaro alternatives here are some drug classes you’ll want to consider:

GLP-1 Agonists (for Diabetes)

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1 receptor agonists) are a class of drugs similar to GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonists like Mounjaro and Zepbound, but instead of mimicking two separate incretin hormones, they only mimic one (GLP-1). GLP-1 receptor agonist drugs can effectively regulate blood sugar levels in combination with diet and exercise. They are also often used alongside other Diabetes medications, including insulin.

GLP-1 Agonists (for Weight Loss)

Because GLP-1 receptor agonist drugs slow down gastric emptying (the rate at which food leaves the stomach) and target areas of the brain that regulate appetite, they are often associated with appetite suppression and weight loss. Certain GLP-1 agonists have received FDA approval for weight loss, while others can be prescribed off-label for this purpose.

Oral Diabetes Medications

If you’re looking for an oral alternative to injectable antidiabetic medications like Mounjaro, oral drugs such as metformin may offer a suitable solution. Metformin is one of the most common non-insulin drugs prescribed to treat Type 2 Diabetes. It reduces the amount of glucose the liver releases and increases insulin sensitivity in the body’s cells.

SGLT2 Inhibitors

Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitor drugs control blood sugar levels by blocking proteins in the kidney that are responsible for the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. Unlike insulin medications, SGLT2 inhibitors are unlikely to cause hypoglycemia and are also associated with positive outcomes such as weight loss and improved blood pressure.

DPP-4 Inhibitors

Also known as gliptins, DPP-4 inhibitor drugs block dipeptidyl-peptidase IV (DPP-4), an enzyme responsible for breaking down the incretin hormone GLP-1. In this way, they help regulate insulin production in response to food intake and limit the amount of glucose produced in the liver.

What You Can Take in Place of Mounjaro

Now that we’ve covered some of the broad drug classes that can offer effective alternatives to Mounjaro, let’s take a closer look at some specific drugs within those classes:


Ozempic (semaglutide) is a popular injectable GLP-1 receptor agonist drug that is indicated for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes and the reduction of risk associated with major cardiovascular events in patients with Type 2 Diabetes and established heart disease. It is also associated with weight loss but is not FDA-approved for this purpose.

For further information about the similarities and differences between Mounjaro and Ozempic, read our post, “What’s Better for Weight Loss: Ozempic or Mounjaro?”


Trulicity (dulaglutide) is another injectable GLP-1 receptor agonist drug that is approved for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes in patients 10 years old and older. It also reduces the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events in people with Type 2 Diabetes (with or without established heart disease). Like Ozempic, it promotes healthy weight loss in combination with diet and exercise but isn’t approved for this purpose.


If you don’t have Type 2 Diabetes and your main goal in taking Mounjaro (or Zepbound) is to lose weight, Wegovy may be the right alternative for you. Like Ozempic, Wegovy’s active ingredient is semaglutide, but it is prescribed at a higher dose for chronic weight management in obese and certain overweight populations. It has also been approved for use in certain obese adolescents over the age of 12.


Victoza (liraglutide) is yet another injectable GLP-1 receptor agonist medication that helps to control blood sugar levels in patients over the age of 10 who have Type 2 Diabetes. Like Ozempic, it reduces the risk of major cardiovascular events in people who also have established heart disease. (Liraglutide is also the active ingredient in Saxenda, a drug approved for chronic weight management.)


Jardiance (empagliflozin) is an oral SGLT2 inhibitor that is indicated to treat Type 2 Diabetes and reduce the risk of associated heart disease in patients with both conditions. The medication is usually taken once per day.

Other Mounjaro Alternatives

Many possible alternatives to Mounjaro exist, depending on your specific needs and health goals. Your doctor will be your best resource in determining the right one. Some options not listed above could include:

  • Invokana (canagliflozin)
  • Farxiga (dapagliflozin)
  • Rybelsus (semaglutide)
  • Bydureon (exenatide)
  • Adlyxin (lixisenatide)

Natural Alternatives to Mounjaro

If you’re looking for a natural alternative to Mounjaro that will help you reduce your body weight, one of the options below could be a good fit. That being said, keep in mind that most natural supplements do not go through the same rigorous FDA approval process as prescription medications. In addition, just because a treatment is natural doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe, healthy, or the right choice for you.

  • PhenQ – PhenQ is a natural weight loss supplement manufactured by Wolfson Brands. It works to suppress appetite while also burning existing fat and preventing the formation of new fat.
  • Zotrim – Zotrim is a plant-based weight loss supplement that touts itself as helping users to lose excess weight and keep it off over the long term.
  • Berberine – Berberine is a bioactive compound that has long been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines. Among other things, it is reported to reduce the amount of sugar produced in the liver and increase insulin sensitivity. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some people use berberine for weight loss and blood sugar control. More research is needed into this supplement.
  • Other Herbal Supplements – Herbs such as ginseng, fenugreek, ginger, and cayenne pepper are reported to help some people lose weight. As with the other natural supplements listed in this section, more research is needed to confirm their safety and efficacy.

How To Switch to a Mounjaro Alternative

Switching away from Mounjaro and/or starting on a Mounjaro alternative must be done in consultation with a medical professional. If you are interested in learning more about whether or not one of the Mounjaro alternatives listed in this article could be the right fit for your particular needs and circumstances, speak directly with your doctor or healthcare provider.

The Bottom Line

Although Mounjaro may be a miracle drug for many, it’s not the right fit for everyone. People look for alternatives to Mounjaro for a wide variety of different reasons, and—fortunately—there are many options to choose from! Whether you’re seeking an effective solution to help regulate your blood sugar or want to lose weight (or both), your doctor or healthcare provider can help you determine which medication may be the best choice.

At, we help Americans source high-quality prescription drugs conveniently and affordably every day of the year. Ready to order Mounjaro or Ozempic online at a fraction of the price you’d pay at your local pharmacy and have it delivered directly to your door? Reach out directly to our professional and dedicated team today!

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.