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Zepbound vs. Mounjaro: What's the difference?

Updated: Jan 16

On November 8, 2023 the FDA approved Lilly’s Zepbound (tirzepatide) for chronic weight management. This treatment stands out as the first and only approved therapy that activates two incretin hormone receptors, GIP and GLP-1, addressing an underlying cause of excess weight.


Lilly has another tirzepatide drug agent in its portfolio known as Mounjaro, primarily prescribed for managing Type 2 Diabetes. While both Zepbound and Mounjaro share the same injectable form and mechanism of action, the key difference lies in their indications.

To simplify, if a person has type 2 diabetes, their doctor may prescribe Mounjaro. If someone is overweight or obese and has at least one weight-related condition, their doctor may prescribe Zepbound. Here is a table summarizing the key characteristics for Zepbound and Mounjaro:

Zepbound

Mounjaro

Manufacturer

Eli Lilly

Eli Lilly

Generic Name

​Tirzepatide

​​Tirzepatide

Age Limit

18 years or older

​18 years or older

How does this drug work?

​Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist

​Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist

Indication

​Adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults with an initial body mass index (BMI) of:

  • 30 kg/m2 or greater (obesity) or

  • 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbid condition*

Adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Dosage Forms

Prefilled single-use injection pen delivering doses of either 2.5mg/0.5mL, 5mg/0.5mL, 7.5mg/0.5mL, 10mg/0.5mL, 12.5mg/0.5mL, or 15mg/0.5mL

Prefilled single-use injection pen delivering doses of either 2.5mg/0.5mL, 5mg/0.5mL, 7.5mg/0.5mL, 10mg/0.5mL, 12.5mg/0.5mL, or 15mg/0.5mL

Administration

​​Inject subcutaneously once weekly on the same day, at any time, with or without food (rotate injection site with each injection). Start at 2.5 mg, increase every 4 weeks up to 15mg.

​Inject subcutaneously once weekly on the same day, at any time, with or without food (rotate injection site with each injection). Start at 2.5 mg, increase every 4 weeks up to 15mg.

Side Effects

Common side effects (occurred in at least 5% of patients):

  • Stomach/GI discomfort

  • Nausea/Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Injection site reactions

  • Fatigue

  • Hypersensitivity reactions

  • Hair loss


Common side effects (occurred in at least 10% of patients):

  • Stomach/GI discomfort

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Decreased appetite


Warnings

​Serious warnings:

  • Risk of thyroid C-cell tumors, Multiple Endocrine Neoplasm Syndrome Type 2 (MEN 2)

  • Acute pancreatitis

  • Low glucose levels with concomitant use of insulin secretagogues or insulin

  • Hypersensitivity reactions

  • Acute kidney injury

  • Severe gastrointestinal disease

  • Diabetic retinopathy complications

  • Acute gallbladder disease

  • Fetal harm (caution if breastfeeding)

  • Suicidal behavior and ideation


​Serious warnings:

  • Risk of thyroid C-cell tumors, Multiple Endocrine Neoplasm Syndrome Type 2 (MEN 2)

  • Acute pancreatitis

  • Low glucose levels with concomitant use of insulin secretagogues or insulin

  • Hypersensitivity reactions

  • Acute kidney injury

  • Severe gastrointestinal disease

  • Diabetic retinopathy complications

  • Acute gallbladder disease

  • Heart rate increase

  • Fetal harm (caution if breastfeeding)


Ingredients

Active medicinal ingredient: Tirzepatide

Inactive agents: sodium chloride, sodium phosphate dibasic heptahydrate, and water for injection. Hydrochloric acid solution and/or sodium hydroxide solution may have been added to adjust the PH.


Active medicinal ingredient: Tirzepatide

Inactive agents: sodium chloride, sodium phosphate dibasic heptahydrate, and water for injection. Hydrochloric acid solution and/or sodium hydroxide solution may have been added to adjust the PH.

Animal-free

​LIKELY

LIKELY

Certified Animal-Free

NO

NO

*Examples of weight-related comorbid condition: hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, obstructive sleep apnea or cardiovascular disease


Additionally, it is noteworthy to mention Wegovy, manufactured by Novo Nordisk, is another option in the realm of chronic weight management. When considering the most suitable therapeutic option for your specific health needs, it is imperative to engage in a collaborative dialogue with your healthcare provider. Your doctor will assess your health profile and guide you toward the most appropriate choice.

Co-authored by: Trisha Singh

 

Disclaimer: The product and/or information provided on VeganMed is of a general nature and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We do not lab test the products to confirm that they are free from animal ingredients, and it is possible that the formulation and ingredients could have changed. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or product. The information provided in this post is accurate and up to date as of the date it was written. However, please note that circumstances and facts may change over time, and new information may become available that could alter the accuracy or relevance of the content. We encourage readers to verify and cross-reference any information provided here with trusted sources or consult relevant professionals for the most current and accurate updates.


 

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As a reminder, please comment on our FDA Citizen Petition, requesting clear labeling of animal-derived ingredients in medications. Together, we can make a difference.

If you have any further questions about ingredients in your medicines and supplements, feel free to reach out to the VeganMed team!




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