If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’re familiar with the frustration that comes with most dieting efforts. Yes, changes in your exercise regimen and food intake can make a difference and help you lose weight… but for most men, the weight doesn’t stay off. Some people even end up gaining weight overall after years of yo-yo dieting.
That well-known on-again-off-again routine may be changing thanks to recent advances in medical science. A new class of medications, originally approved for treatment of Type 2 diabetes, is drawing attention across the country because of the way it helps with weight loss. These drugs, known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, hit the market with the FDA’s 2017 approval of Ozempic™/semaglutide — but an even newer drug is moving medically assisted weight loss into the fast lane.
This new medication, Mounjaro™/tirzepatide, was approved in 2022 for treatment of Type 2 diabetes, and the FDA is currently studying it (and will probably fast-track it) for treatment of weight loss. With some users raving about Mounjaro™/tirzepatide as the “magic” weight loss solution they’ve been waiting for, it’s definitely worth a look. Keep reading to get your questions answered.
What Is Mounjaro™/Tirzepatide — and Does It Really Work?
Mounjaro™/tirzepatide mimics GLP-1, which is a hormone that your digestive system produces to control your blood sugar. It’s FDA-approved for treatment of Type 2 diabetes, where it’s highly effective at managing blood sugar. When tested for its use with diabetics, Mounjaro™/tirzepatide also showed a marked ability to help people lose weight. Initial test results showed that participants lost an average of 16% of their body weight, around 35 pounds each. Continuing research seems to confirm that Mounjaro™/tirzepatide may be one of the most powerful weight loss drugs ever made available.
How Does Mounjaro™/Tirzepatide Work?
Mounjaro™/tirzepatide activates GLP-1 receptors in your body to regulate your blood sugar in multiple ways. It stimulates the production of insulin to lower blood sugar levels. It also stimulates receptors for glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), a hormone that acts as an appetite suppressant in your hypothalamus. Mounjaro™/tirzepatide is in fact the first approved drug to target these dual hormone receptors, making it extra effective.
As a result, you’re less hungry when you use Mounjaro™/tirzepatide. You feel full more quickly when you’re eating — and consequently, you eat less, leading to weight loss. You also retain that feeling of fullness for a longer time, so you’re less tempted to keep snacking.
In addition, Mounjaro™/tirzepatide slows down the emptying of your stomach as you digest. That also helps you eat smaller portions and feel less hungry over time. Even though you’re eating smaller meals, you feel less hungry. Your food intake decreases naturally, but you don’t feel as if you’re starving yourself. Cravings go away, thanks to the effects of Mounjaro™/tirzepatide on your hypothalamus, so you’re able to make smart nutritional choices.
This is why some of the medications can be dosed just once weekly and why patients benefit from the consistent blood-sugar-lowering and appetite-suppressing effects. While research is ongoing, one popular hypothesis is that GLP-1 agonists cause weight loss primarily because patients who are less hungry eat fewer calories consistently.
Mounjaro™/tirzepatide is an injectable medication that’s self-administered once a week. The dosage tapers up monthly, beginning at 2.5 milligrams per week and capping out at a maximum of 15 milligrams. However, different people respond in varying ways to the dosage levels, and some people will never graduate to the maximum dosage.
What Weight Loss Results Can You Expect With Mounjaro™/Tirzepatide?
After the initial results of Mounjaro™/tirzepatide, researchers have continued to study the drug with an eye to its effects on weight loss. A recent Phase-3 study published in October 2023 indicates that people can expect to lose an average of 26.6% of their body weight, totaling 60 pounds per person, in under two years. These results outstrip the weight loss results seen with similar medications such as Ozempic and Wegovy, and they parallel the results typically seen from bariatric surgery.
Here’s a warning, though: Not everyone sees these dramatic results. About 18% of the people in the recently concluded study didn’t lose even 5% of their body weight. The people in the study averaged 240 pounds at the beginning of the study and had a minimum BMI of 30, so the results may not be as profound for those who start out weighing less.
Factors affecting your own weight loss include your eating habits, your age, your body type and your exercise patterns. Whether you have Type 2 diabetes doesn’t seem to affect the results, however. Weight loss tends to be predictable and steady on the medication over time.
What Are the Other Benefits of Taking Mounjaro™/Tirzepatide?
Mounjaro™/tirzepatide does more than regulate your blood sugar and help you lose weight. It also shows significant cardiovascular benefits. You can expect to see your blood pressure and lipid levels decrease — in some cases, so much that you may have to alter any hypertension or statin medications that you’re taking. Many people find that they sleep better after the weight loss they experience on Mounjaro™/tirzepatide and that they have more energy.
What Are the Side Effects of Mounjaro™/Tirzepatide?
Side effects for Mounjaro™/tirzepatide tend to be mild to moderate and mostly center around digestive issues. Some people experience constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, nausea, stomach pain or vomiting, especially on the higher dosages of the medication. Some people also experience gas or bloating, as well as fatigue. While loss of appetite is another side effect, it’s one that many people trying to lose weight actually welcome. Side effects tend to increase as you ramp up the dosage, leveling out and tapering off once you’ve reached the maximum dosage.
Serious side effects are quite rare. They can include low blood sugar, pancreatitis, gallbladder problems, kidney failure subsequent to dehydration and other stomach problems. Mounjaro™/tirzepatide can also, in extremely rare cases, cause thyroid tumors, and people with pre-existing thyroid issues or a family history of thyroid problems should avoid the medication.
How Does Mounjaro™/Tirzepatide Compare to Ozempic™/Semaglutide?
Like Mounjaro™/tirzepatide, semaglutide, sold under the brand names Ozempic and Wegovy, is also a GLP-1 hormone, though only Mounjaro™/tirzepatide also stimulates GIP receptors. All these medications are delivered via weekly injections.
While the side effects for Ozempic and Wegovy are similar to those of Mounjaro™/tirzepatide, studies show that Mounjaro™/tirzepatide does a better job of controlling blood sugar and helping users to lose weight. In fact, those using Mounjaro™/tirzepatide showed a loss of 4 to 12 pounds more than users of Ozempic and Wegovy.
How Hard Is Mounjaro™/Tirzepatide to Obtain (and How Expensive Is It)?
Here’s the question you’ve been waiting for: How expensive is Mounjaro™/tirzepatide?
Well, it’s not cheap. The list price is $1,023.04 for a month’s supply. (We’ll say it with you: ouch.) But there’s a chance your insurance will cover it. If you’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you may be able to get your monthly prescription for only $25. If the FDA should decide to approve Mounjaro™/tirzepatide for weight loss, some insurance plans may also be willing to cover it for that purpose.
Many people, of course, find that the price is worth it, even if they are paying out of their own pocket. After a lifetime of eating less and exercising more without losing significant weight, the ability to get your hormones aligned to work with your weight loss goals instead of against them can be worth any price.
If your insurance does cover Mounjaro™/tirzepatide, make sure to pay attention to coverage changes and ask ahead of time before you change insurance plans.
In some regions, Mounjaro™/tirzepatide can be hard to get, thanks to temporary supply shortages. As you go up in dosage, you should find it easier to get your prescription filled in a timely manner.
Is Mounjaro™/Tirzepatide Right for You?
If you have Type 2 diabetes and want to lose weight, you should absolutely look into Mounjaro™/tirzepatide. If you’ve had some borderline test results regarding your blood sugar, talk to us at Boston Vitality about whether Mounjaro™/tirzepatide might be available to you as well. If you have a BMI over 30 and you also have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, Mounjaro™/tirzepatide can be very effective as well.
In some cases, we’ll advise you away from Mounjaro™/tirzepatide. If you have a family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma or other thyroid cancers, or if you have a history of multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, you should not take Mounjaro™/tirzepatide. Without these risk factors, any risks of harm are very low.
It’s important to work hand in hand with your doctor when taking Mounjaro™/tirzepatide. If you’ve already been taking medications that affect your blood sugar level, you may need to change the dosages of those meds to keep your glucose levels healthy. In addition, we will want to monitor your cardiovascular health as well as any blood pressure or heart medications you take, as your need for them may decrease rapidly.
At Boston Vitality, we provide the highest quality care for men’s hormone treatments in all of Massachusetts — and that includes Type 2 diabetes and weight loss treatment with the revolutionary new medication Mounjaro™/tirzepatide.
We’ll help you determine whether treatment with Mounjaro™/tirzepatide is the right choice for you and whether you qualify, and we’ll walk alongside you as you start your remarkable weight loss journey. While you’ll self-administer your Mounjaro™/tirzepatide injections, we can teach you how to get started, and we’ll stay on top of your overall health to make sure you’re responding well to the medication as well as keeping an eye on your cardiovascular health during treatment. We can also help you determine whether your Mounjaro™/tirzepatide treatment is covered by insurance, making it eminently affordable and approachable for most men.
We understand how important your health is to you. For many men, weight loss is a vital part of maintaining youthful vigor and energy as you move into your 40s and 50s. We understand at a deep level just how your hormonal system works, and we have the expertise and experience to optimize your hormones at every level so you can feel strong and vital again. Contact us today to learn more about Mounjaro™/tirzepatide and to see whether this new medication is right for you.