What happens when you stop taking Mounjaro?
If you pay attention to trends in the world of weight loss drugs, you’re likely well aware of Mounjaro, a relatively new Type 2 Diabetes medication. Like Ozempic, Trulicity, and other injectable GLP-1 receptor agonists that have come before it, Mounjaro is currently in high demand due to its off-label reputation as a weight loss booster.
Below, we’ve provided an overview of Mounjaro and what patients can expect when they stop taking it. Though accurate and well-researched, none of the information on Bisonpharmacy.com’s website is meant to constitute or replace medical advice. For specific questions about starting and stopping Mounjaro (or any other prescription drug), speak directly with your doctor or healthcare provider.
- Mounjaro is an injectable, anti-diabetic medication that mimics two different incretin hormones. It helps to control blood sugar levels and promotes weight loss in combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
- Mounjaro is classified as a long-term medication that can be taken indefinitely. That being said, many patients may need to stop taking it for various reasons, including side effects or financial limitations.
- Stopping Mounjaro should not cause withdrawal symptoms but may cause blood sugar spikes and weight gain. It is important to plan accordingly with your doctor to minimize negative impacts. Never stop Mounjaro without speaking to your doctor or healthcare provider.
- After stopping Mounjaro, you’ll likely need to make lifestyle changes and/or try alternative medications to maintain optimal blood sugar control and weight loss outcomes.
What Is Mounjaro?
Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is a brand-name prescription drug that was FDA-approved in the spring of 2022 as a treatment for adults with Type 2 Diabetes. Manufactured by Eli Lilly, it’s a first-in-class, dual-agonist medication that mimics two different incretin hormones produced in the human gut.
Like other GLP-1 agonist medications such as Ozempic and Wegovy (semaglutide) and Trulicity (dulaglutide), Mounjaro activates GLP-1 pathways. In addition, it also activates glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) pathways throughout the body.
Mounjaro effectively stimulates insulin production in the pancreas, reduces glucagon production in the liver, and slows down gastric emptying and digestion, thus decreasing appetite and increasing the feeling of satiety (fullness). It’s associated with effective blood sugar control in patients with Type 2 Diabetes, and clinical trials suggest that it’s also associated with remarkable weight loss potential (more than 50% of trial participants taking a weekly 10 or 15 mg dose of the drug lost 20% of their body weight or more over the course of 72 weeks).
While Mounjaro is not currently approved for weight loss, the FDA has granted it a fast-track designation for this purpose, and many healthcare providers are already prescribing it off-label for weight loss in cases where they believe it will benefit their patients.
Like Ozempic, Mounjaro is injected subcutaneously once weekly into the thigh, abdomen, or upper arm. It comes in pre-filled injectable pens and is titrated up from a low starting dose of 2.5 mg to a higher maintenance dose of 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 12.5 mg, or 15 mg over a period of weeks or months.
How Long Do You Have To Stay on Mounjaro?
Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic illness, and Mounjaro is intended to be a long-term treatment option for it. That means that many patients may stay on Mounjaro indefinitely. However, every case is different, and the length of time you’ll stay on Mounjaro will depend on a variety of different factors. These may include:
- Your body’s response to the drug (how effective it is for its intended purpose of blood sugar regulation and/or weight loss)
- Your tolerance of the drug in terms of side effects
- Your overall health and wellness goals
- Your lifestyle habits (exercise and diet)
- Your personal or family history of certain illnesses or conditions
Does Mounjaro Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?
Tirzepatide is not known to be an addictive substance, so withdrawal symptoms are not to be expected when stopping Mounjaro. Nevertheless, stopping the drug will likely have noticeable physiological impacts, so it’s important to prepare accordingly. Below, we’ve outlined some of the common reactions patients can expect:
What Happens When You Stop Taking Mounjaro?
Because Mounjaro is a newly approved drug, existing research on the impacts of stopping it is limited. That being said, all indicators point to the body responding similarly to stopping Mounjaro as to stopping other GLP-1 receptor agonist drugs, such as Ozempic, Wegovy, and Trulicity.
Subsequently, patients can expect some or all of the following responses if they stop taking Mounjaro as prescribed:
Spikes in Blood Sugar
Mounjaro increases insulin secretion and sensitivity and decreases glucagon release. When you stop taking Mounjaro, your blood sugar levels will no longer be regulated by the medication and will naturally rise. In addition, you may experience an increase in appetite (see below), which can also lead to blood sugar spikes, especially if you are not consistently consuming a balanced, blood-sugar-friendly diet.
Increase in Appetite
Mounjaro delays gastric emptying and slows down the speed at which food moves through your digestive tract, which makes you feel fuller for longer. When this effect wears off, you’ll automatically experience an increase in appetite.
Along with an increased appetite often comes weight gain. In a clinical trial examining the impacts of semaglutide withdrawal on weight gain, participants regained an average of two-thirds of the weight they lost one year after stopping the drug. It’s likely that patients will also regain much of the weight lost on Mounjaro within months after they stop taking it, though there are some proactive ways to mitigate this issue (see below).
Side Effects Stop
Depending on the dose of Mounjaro you are on, it may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for side effects from the drug to fully subside. If you are experiencing ongoing or serious side effects from Mounjaro that are impacting your quality of life, stopping the drug should resolve them.
Why People Stop Taking Mounjaro
Despite Mounjaro’s effectiveness in controlling blood sugar levels and promoting weight loss, there are a wide variety of reasons why people may find it necessary or choose to stop taking the drug:
- Cost – The average cost of Mounjaro without insurance coverage is around $1,200 per month. Though some discounts are available for the drug, its price remains prohibitive for many Americans.
- Goals Reached – Some patients may choose to stop taking Mounjaro once they reach their weight loss goal. However, rebound weight gain may also be a consideration in such cases.
- Side Effects – Like all prescription medications, Mounjaro comes with the risk of side effects. The most common (and most likely to clear up over time as the body adjusts to tirzepatide) are gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. More serious side effects may include severe allergic reactions, vision changes, pancreatitis, gallbladder issues, kidney issues, and more.
- Pregnancy – If you become or are trying to become pregnant, your doctor may recommend that you stop taking Mounjaro until you give birth or are finished breastfeeding.
What You Should Do if You Decide To Stop Taking Mounjaro
If you decide to stop taking Mounjaro, the first thing you should do is speak with your healthcare provider. This will allow you to create a proactive plan for managing the blood sugar changes and rebound weight gain you may experience as a result. Unlike many oral medications, Mounjaro doses do not need to be tapered down when quitting. However, you should be prepared for the physical changes that may accompany withdrawal of the drug.
How To Stop Taking Mounjaro Safely
In extreme situations, such as if you are experiencing a life-threatening allergic reaction or other medical emergency associated with Mounjaro, you may need to stop taking the drug before consulting your doctor. In such an event, be sure to reach out to your healthcare provider as soon as possible to determine the safest, healthiest, and most productive course of action. Though you should never take Mounjaro if you believe it is putting you at risk, the safest way to stop Mounjaro is with proper medical advice, preparation, and forethought.
How To Keep Weight Off After Stopping Mounjaro
Losing weight isn’t easy, which is one of the reasons patients turn to drugs like Mounjaro in the first place. The thought of regaining weight may feel incredibly discouraging—but don’t lose hope. There are numerous ways that patients can maintain a healthy weight and even continue to lose weight after stopping Mounjaro. Here are some essential tips:
- Eat small but frequent meals to keep hunger pangs at bay. Ensure each portion is healthy and balanced.
- Maintain a regular exercise routine and keep your fitness habits consistent every day of the week.
- Consider working with a dietician and/or a personal trainer who can tailor your diet and/or exercise plans to your weight loss goals.
- Speak with your doctor about which other weight loss drug or natural treatment may be appropriate for your particular needs, goals, and circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Have To Take Mounjaro Indefinitely?
Mounjaro is a treatment for Type 2 Diabetes, which is a chronic disease. As such, it’s intended to be taken over the long term—indefinitely in many cases. That being said, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to take Mounjaro indefinitely. This article has outlined some of the reasons why patients stop taking Mounjaro, and many more exist. If you are considering stopping Mounjaro, speak with your doctor or healthcare provider.
Can You Just Quit Mounjaro?
You can stop taking Mounjaro at any point in time, but planning properly with your doctor to mitigate the outcomes that may occur is vital. Specifically, you are likely to experience blood sugar spikes and weight gain when you stop Mounjaro, and your healthcare provider can help you to prepare accordingly.
Is Mounjaro the Same as Ozempic and Wegovy?
No. Semaglutide (the active ingredient in Ozempic and Wegovy) and tirzepatide (the active ingredient in Mounjaro) are both classed as GLP-1 receptor agonists, but tirzepatide is additionally classed as a GIP receptor agonist. In simple terms, this means that Mounjaro mimics two different gut hormones to regulate blood sugar control, while Ozempic and Wegovy only mimic one.
Mounjaro and Ozempic are approved for blood sugar control in patients with Type 2 Diabetes, while Wegovy is specifically approved for weight loss purposes. Despite their differences, the three drugs also possess many similarities.
Can I Take Mounjaro for Weight Loss?
As of November 8th 2023, Mounjaro’s main ingredient Tirzepatide was approved by the FDA for weight loss drug under the name Zepbound. You can read our full post on it here.
To conclude, Mounjaro is a new and in-demand injectable Type 2 Diabetes medication manufactured by Eli Lilly. It effectively helps regulate blood sugar levels and is also associated with significant weight loss outcomes, though the FDA has yet to approve it for this purpose.
Like Ozempic, Mounjaro comes with a hefty price tag if it’s not covered by insurance, and many Americans are seeking affordable access to the drug. At Bisonpharmacy.com, we offer exactly that.
If you’ve been prescribed Mounjaro or Ozempic and are looking to source it at an affordable price, consider ordering it from our convenient and reputable prescription referral service. At Bisonpharmacy.com, shipping high-quality medications to Americans is our expertise, and our pharmacist is readily available to offer support and answer any questions you may have along the way.
Ready to invest in your health by ordering Ozempic or Mounjaro? Contact our team at Bisonpharmacy.com today!