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  • Josie Barnes

Ozempic & Mounjaro. Diabetes Drugs for Weight Loss.

Updated: Apr 26

In this blog post, we tell you everything you need to know about Ozempic and Mounjaro. They are two diabetes medications to improve body weight and blood sugar levels for people with Type 2 Diabetes. Mounjaro is new to Australia as comes highly-touted for weight loss, however, it comes with cautions regarding serious side effects.


So, in the article, we tell you exactly what is Ozempic and Mounjaro, what the differences are between them, potential alternatives to them, and where to get Ozempic and Mounjaro.

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What is Ozempic?


Unveiling Ozempic: A Comprehensive Exploration of a Revolutionary Diabetes Medication


Ozempic packet and injection
Ozempic is in short supply in Australia


Introduction:


In the world of diabetes management, the search for effective and innovative treatments remains a priority. Ozempic, a once-weekly injectable medication, has emerged as a groundbreaking solution for individuals grappling with type 2 diabetes. In this article, we will delve into the multifaceted world of Ozempic, exploring its mechanisms, benefits, potential side effects, and the broader impact it has on diabetes care.

Understanding Ozempic:


Ozempic, with its active ingredient semaglutide, belongs to the class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs). Approved by regulatory authorities, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Ozempic has garnered attention for its efficacy in managing blood sugar levels and promoting weight loss in individuals with type 2 diabetes.


How Does Ozempic Work?:


At the core of Ozempic's effectiveness is its unique mechanism of action. As a GLP-1 receptor agonist, Ozempic mimics the action of the natural hormone GLP-1, which is released by the intestine in response to food intake. The key mechanisms include:


Blood Sugar Regulation:

  • Ozempic enhances insulin secretion in response to elevated blood sugar levels. This helps lower blood sugar levels after meals, preventing spikes that are common in individuals with diabetes.


Appetite Regulation:

  • GLP-1 RAs like Ozempic influence the brain's appetite centres, promoting a feeling of fullness and reducing food intake. This can contribute to weight loss, a valuable aspect of diabetes management.


Slowing Gastric Emptying:

  • Ozempic slows down the rate at which the stomach empties, leading to a gradual and sustained release of nutrients into the bloodstream. This helps prevent rapid increases in blood sugar levels after meals.



Benefits of Ozempic:


Blood Sugar Control:

  • Clinical trials have demonstrated Ozempic's ability to effectively lower and maintain blood sugar levels, providing a valuable tool for glycemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes.


Weight Loss:

  • Beyond its glycemic benefits, Ozempic has been associated with weight loss, making it particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes who may also struggle with obesity.


Cardiovascular Benefits:

  • Some studies suggest that Ozempic may have cardiovascular benefits, reducing the risk of cardiovascular events in individuals with type 2 diabetes and pre-existing cardiovascular conditions.


Convenient Once-Weekly Administration:

  • Ozempic stands out for its convenient once-weekly injection, offering a user-friendly alternative for individuals who may find daily medication regimens challenging.



Potential Side Effects:


While Ozempic has demonstrated significant benefits, it is crucial to be aware of potential side effects, which may include (not limited to mood changes):


Gastrointestinal Symptoms:

  • Some users may experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea, especially during the initial stages of treatment. These symptoms are typically transient.


Hypoglycemia:

  • As Ozempic enhances insulin secretion, there is a risk of hypoglycemia, especially when used in combination with other diabetes medications that lower blood sugar.


Injection Site Reactions:

  • Minor reactions at the injection site, such as redness or itching, may occur. Proper injection technique and rotation of injection sites can help mitigate these issues.


Thyroid C-Cell Tumors:

  • While rare, Ozempic has been associated with an increased risk of thyroid C-cell tumours in rodents. The relevance of this finding to humans is still under investigation.


There have been reports of serious allergic reactions to Ozempic but it has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use and it is relatively safe for most people. Diabetes drugs should always be discussed with your Doctor or GP, especially if you have high blood pressure or heart disease. If you experience any side effects (especially including severe pain), you must seek medical help straight away. A woman in Australia died while using Ozempic which is why you must speak with your GP about any drugs for chronic weight management. Never take higher doses of what has been prescribed.


Ozempic Conclusion:

Ozempic is an injectable drug that (made by Novo Nordisk) has undoubtedly marked a significant advancement in the field of diabetes management, offering a holistic approach to glycemic control and weight management. Its once-weekly administration and positive impact on cardiovascular health contribute to its appeal as a comprehensive treatment option for individuals with type 2 diabetes.


However, like any medication, the decision to use Ozempic should be made in consultation with a healthcare professional. Regular monitoring for potential side effects and adjustments to the treatment plan, if necessary, are crucial elements of successful diabetes management and glp-1 agonists play an important part (if you can cope with the weekly injections).


As research continues to unfold the nuances of Ozempic's effects and its place in the evolving landscape of diabetes care, one thing remains clear – the introduction of this medication has provided a renewed sense of hope and empowerment for those navigating the complex journey of living with type 2 diabetes.



What is Mounjaro?


Mounjaro: A Novel Dual GIP/GLP-1 Receptor Agonist for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity



Three viles of mounjaro injections
Mounjaro is a prescription only medication


Introduction:


Mounjaro (tirzepatide), a dual GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonist, has emerged as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Developed by Eli Lilly and Company, Mounjaro has demonstrated remarkable efficacy in clinical trials, surpassing the performance of existing GLP-1 receptor agonists in terms of blood glucose control, weight loss, and cardiovascular risk reduction.


Mounjaro is an injectable prescription medication used in conjunction with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar (glucose) control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Its safety and efficacy have not been established for individuals with a history of pancreatitis or type 1 diabetes, and its use in children under 18 years of age is not recommended.


How does Mounjaro work?


Mounjaro helps your body both regulate blood sugar and decrease how much food that you eat. Mounjaro's mechanism of action lies in its ability to mimic the effects of two incretin hormones, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). These hormones play a crucial role in regulating blood glucose levels and appetite.


Put more simply, Mounjaro helps by:


  • When you blood sugar is high, Mounjaro helps the body release insulin

  • It helps the body remove excess sugar from the blood

  • Mounjaro helps the liver by stopping it making and releasing too much sugar

  • It helps reduce the amount of food eaten

  • Mounjaro helps slow down the time take for food to leave the stomach


Therapeutic Efficacy


Clinical trials have consistently demonstrated Mounjaro's superior efficacy in treating type 2 diabetes. In a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial, Mounjaro significantly outperformed the widely prescribed GLP-1 receptor agonist, dulaglutide, in lowering hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a key measure of long-term blood glucose control. Additionally, Mounjaro achieved these results with a lower frequency of gastrointestinal side effects.


Mounjaro has also exhibited remarkable efficacy in promoting weight loss. A recent study found that Mounjaro induced a substantial reduction in body weight, with over 50% of participants achieving a weight loss of at least 20%. This remarkable effect is attributed to Mounjaro's dual action on both GIP and GLP-1 receptors, which synergistically enhance satiety and reduce appetite.


Furthermore, Mounjaro has demonstrated potential benefits for cardiovascular risk reduction. Studies have shown that Mounjaro can lower blood pressure, improve lipid profiles, and reduce inflammatory markers, all of which contribute to a reduced risk of cardiovascular events.


Safety Profile


The safety profile of Mounjaro is generally favourable. Common side effects include mild gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain. These side effects are typically mild and transient, subsiding with continued treatment.


How to take Mounjaro:


Before commencing Mounjaro therapy, carefully review the accompanying Instructions for Use.


Strict Adherence: Adhere strictly to your healthcare provider's instructions regarding Mounjaro administration.


Subcutaneous Injection: Mounjaro is administered subcutaneously, meaning it is injected beneath the skin. Acceptable injection sites include the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm.


Weekly Dosage: Mounjaro is prescribed for once-weekly administration. The time of day for injection is flexible.


Insulin Compatibility: Refrain from mixing insulin and Mounjaro in the same syringe for injection.


Injection Site Selection: While it is permissible to administer Mounjaro and insulin injections in the same body area, avoid injecting them directly adjacent to each other.


Site Rotation: To prevent potential skin irritation, rotate the injection site with each weekly dose. Avoid using the same site for consecutive injections.


Overdose Management: In the event of a Mounjaro overdose, promptly contact your healthcare provider or seek immediate medical attention.


Conclusion


Mounjaro has emerged as a transformative therapeutic agent for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Its superior efficacy in blood glucose control, weight loss, and potential cardiovascular benefits make it a promising option for patients with these conditions. The favourable safety profile of Mounjaro further enhances its appeal as a treatment option. As Mounjaro continues to be evaluated in clinical trials, its potential impact on the management of diabetes and obesity is expected to grow even further.



What are the differences between Ozempic and Mounjaro?


Ozempic and Mounjaro are both injectable GLP-1 receptor agonists, but they differ in their active ingredients, available doses, mechanisms of action, and FDA-approved indications. Ozempic is manufactured by Novo Nordisk, while Mounjaro is developed by Eli Lilly and Company.


Both medications have received FDA approval for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, Ozempic holds an additional FDA-approved indication for reducing the risk of major cardiovascular events in individuals with type 2 diabetes and established cardiovascular disease.


Ozempic utilises semaglutide as its active ingredient and is available in four dosage strengths: 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg. In contrast, Mounjaro's active ingredient is tirzepatide, offered in a wider range of dosage strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 12.5 mg, and 15 mg.


Both Ozempic and Mounjaro are administered using pen injectors. However, Ozempic pens may contain multiple doses, while Mounjaro pens deliver a single dose per injection. Here is a table summarising the key differences between Ozempic and Mounjaro:



A chart with the differences between diabetes drugs Ozempic and Mounjaro
Differences between Ozempic and Mounjaro

While both Mounjaro and Ozempic are GLP-1 receptor agonists, Mounjaro stands out as the first and only FDA-approved medication that simultaneously activates the glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and GLP-1 receptors. This unique dual-agonist mechanism sets Mounjaro apart from other GLP-1 receptor agonists, potentially offering enhanced therapeutic benefits in treating type 2 diabetes and obesity.


​Where can you buy Mounjaro or Ozempic?


Both of these medications are injections and can only be prescribed by your health care provider. You can only get them via prescription and not over the counter. if you are uncomfortable with injections (and the significant costs), maybe try alternatives.


Cost and Recommended Alternatives to Try


COST Constantly injecting yourself is not for everyone and the costs or Ozempic and Mounjaro are high. On a private prescription, Ozempic was approximately $132/month (or $1584/year) when it was more easily available in Australia - there is currently a big Ozempic shortage.


Currently, the exact cost of Mounjaro pens in Australia remains unconfirmed. However, it is anticipated that Mounjaro vials will likely range from $350 to $700 per month, depending on the prescribed dosage. This price range aligns with other GLP-1 receptor agonists, a class of medications to which Mounjaro belongs.


While this cost may seem higher compared to other available treatments, the complex manufacturing and transport processes associated with Mounjaro's production contribute significantly to its pricing.


Eli Lilly's initial application for Mounjaro's inclusion on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), a government subsidy program that helps reduce medication costs for Australians, was unsuccessful due to not meeting the cost-effectiveness criteria. However, further applications for PBS listing are expected in the future.

As Mounjaro's clinical efficacy and long-term cost-effectiveness continue to be evaluated, its potential inclusion on the PBS remains a possibility, which could make it more affordable for Australian patients.


ALTERNATIVES


If you are uncomfortable with the possible side effects of Mounjaro or Ozempic, worried about getting symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, find that it is too expensive, or just don't really fancy injecting yourself all the time, you need not worry. There are other recommended weight loss supplements that get rave reviews, are less expensive, and don't involve needles. There are also more on the Editor's Choice page.



Which is better? Ozempic or Mounjaro?


Mounjaro Outperforms Ozempic in Real-World Weight Loss Study

In a significant breakthrough for weight management, a large real-world data analysis has revealed that Mounjaro, a GLP-1 receptor agonist manufactured by Eli Lilly, surpasses Ozempic, another popular diabetes treatment from Novo Nordisk, in achieving weight loss among overweight or obese adults.

The study, conducted by Truveta Research, analysed health-care data from approximately 18,000 overweight or obese adults who initiated Mounjaro or Ozempic therapy between May 2022 and September 2023. Notably, nearly 52% of the participants had Type 2 diabetes.


The findings demonstrated a remarkable advantage for Mounjaro in terms of weight loss outcomes. Patients taking Mounjaro were:


  • Three times more likely to lose 15% of their body weight compared to those on Ozempic.

  • 2.6 times more likely to achieve 10% weight loss compared to those on Ozempic.

  • 1.8 times more likely to lose 5% of their body weight compared to those on Ozempic.


These findings align with previous head-to-head clinical trials that have also suggested superior efficacy for Mounjaro in weight loss and blood sugar control among adults with Type 2 diabetes.


With the growing demand for effective weight management solutions, Mounjaro's impressive performance in real-world settings further establishes its position as a promising therapeutic option for individuals seeking to achieve meaningful weight loss.


The findings unequivocally demonstrate Mounjaro's superior weight loss efficacy. Participants taking Mounjaro experienced significantly larger reductions in body weight at specific time points compared to those on Ozempic.


  • At three months: Mounjaro users shed 5.9% of their body weight, while Ozempic users lost 3.6%.

  • At six months: Mounjaro users achieved a weight loss of 10.1%, while Ozempic users lost 5.9%.

  • At one year: Mounjaro users lost an impressive 15.2% of their body weight, while Ozempic users lost 7.9%.


Interestingly, the study also revealed that patients without Type 2 diabetes experienced greater weight loss compared to those with the condition. However, the differences in effectiveness between Mounjaro and Ozempic remained consistent across both populations.


Regarding adverse events, rates of gastrointestinal side effects were comparable between patients taking Mounjaro and Ozempic.


These findings solidify Mounjaro's position as a frontrunner in weight management, providing individuals with a promising therapeutic option to achieve meaningful and sustained weight loss. It seems that Mounjaro is destined to become the king of weight-loss drugs (even though it is not touted as something to specifically do that).


More information and videos


In this section we have some vides about both Ozempic and Mounjaro that may help if you are considering these drugs to help with your diabetes or body mass index. After the videos, we have more information on both Ozempic and Mounjaro if you ned further reading.















Further Reading



The History of Ozempic: A Journey from Concept to Clinical Breakthrough

Introduction

Ozempic (semaglutide), a groundbreaking GLP-1 receptor agonist, has revolutionized the treatment of type 2 diabetes and is rapidly gaining recognition for its potential in weight management. Its journey from concept to clinical breakthrough is a testament to the power of scientific innovation and the relentless pursuit of better healthcare solutions.


The Genesis of Ozempic: Unraveling the GLP-1 Pathway

The story of Ozempic begins with the discovery of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a hormone naturally produced in the intestines. GLP-1 plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion from the pancreas and suppressing appetite.

Novo Nordisk's Pursuit: Developing a Long-acting GLP-1 Analogue

Recognizing the therapeutic potential of GLP-1, Novo Nordisk embarked on a journey to develop a long-acting GLP-1 analogue that could mimic the hormone's effects and provide sustained blood sugar control. Their efforts culminated in the creation of semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic.


Clinical Trials: Demonstrating Ozempic's Efficacy and Safety

Ozempic's journey progressed to clinical trials, where its efficacy and safety were rigorously evaluated in a series of studies involving thousands of participants. These trials demonstrated Ozempic's superior ability to lower blood sugar levels and reduce body weight compared to other diabetes medications. Note, during clinical trials, patients at risk of a heart attack were not used.


Regulatory Approval: A Momentous Milestone

In December 2017, Ozempic received its first regulatory approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. This marked a significant milestone in the fight against diabetes, providing a new and effective treatment option for millions of patients worldwide. Social media erupted once it was given regulatory approval and Ozempic was 'born'. It was still advised that patients with medical conditions such as kidney problems, high cholesterol and inflammation of the pancreas should speak with more than just one GP or Doctor before taking this 'new' drug.


Expanding Indications: Recognising Ozempic's Broader Benefits

As research continued to unveil Ozempic's potential beyond diabetes management, its indications expanded. In 2020, the FDA approved Ozempic to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events (MACE) in patients with type 2 diabetes and established cardiovascular disease.


Weight Management: A New Frontier

Ozempic's remarkable ability to promote weight loss has opened up new avenues for its use. Studies have shown that Ozempic can induce significant and sustained weight loss in individuals with obesity, offering a promising therapeutic option for weight management.


The Future of Ozempic: Continued Innovation and Expanded Reach

The story of Ozempic is far from over. Ongoing research continues to explore the drug's potential in various therapeutic areas, including the prevention of type 2 diabetes, the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and the management of cognitive decline. This class of drugs may help more than just people with disbetes or those with excess weight, the future could be very bright indeed.


The History of Mounjaro: A Chronicle of Innovation and Therapeutic Promise

Introduction

Mounjaro (tirzepatide), a novel dual GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonist, has emerged as a frontrunner in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Its remarkable efficacy and potential to revolutionize these therapeutic areas have captured the attention of the medical community and patients alike. The journey of Mounjaro from concept to clinical breakthrough is a compelling tale of scientific innovation and unwavering commitment to improving human health.


The Genesis of Mounjaro: Unveiling the GIP and GLP-1 Pathways

The story of Mounjaro begins with the discovery of two incretin hormones, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). These hormones play pivotal roles in regulating blood sugar levels and influencing appetite. GIP stimulates insulin secretion and enhances glucose uptake by cells, while GLP-1 inhibits glucagon production, slows gastric emptying, and promotes satiety.


Eli Lilly's Vision: Harnessing the Power of Dual Agonism

Recognising the therapeutic potential of both GIP and GLP-1, Eli Lilly embarked on a journey to develop a dual agonist that could simultaneously activate both receptors. Their efforts materialised in the creation of tirzepatide, the active ingredient in Mounjaro.


Clinical Trials: Establishing Mounjaro's Efficacy and Safety

Mounjaro's efficacy and safety were rigorously evaluated in a comprehensive clinical trial program involving over 8,000 participants. These trials demonstrated Mounjaro's superior ability to lower blood sugar levels, reduce body weight, and improve cardiovascular risk factors compared to existing treatments.


Regulatory Approval: Paving the Way for Broader Access

In May 2022, Mounjaro received its first regulatory approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. This marked a significant milestone in the fight against diabetes, providing a new and potentially transformative therapeutic option for millions of patients worldwide.


Expanding Indications: Recognising Mounjaro's Broader Therapeutic Potential

As research continued to unveil Mounjaro's potential beyond diabetes management, its indications expanded. In June 2023, the FDA approved Mounjaro for chronic weight management in adults with an initial body mass index (BMI) of ≥30 kg/m2.


Weight Management: A New Therapeutic Frontier

Mounjaro's remarkable ability to induce significant and sustained weight loss has opened up a new frontier in weight management. Studies have shown that Mounjaro can achieve clinically meaningful weight loss, surpassing the efficacy of other weight management medications.


The Future of Mounjaro: Continued Innovation and Expanded Reach

The story of Mounjaro is far from over. Ongoing research continues to explore the drug's potential in various therapeutic areas, including the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), the prevention of type 2 diabetes, and the management of cognitive decline.



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