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What is Mounjaro?
Mounjaro, containing the active ingredient tirzepatide, operates as both a GLP-1 and GIP receptor agonist, effectively emulating the actions of these hormones to enhance blood sugar regulation, explains Dr. Sarah Fishman, a board-certified endocrinologist at Northwell Health’s Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. These hormones, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), known as incretins, are produced in response to sugar intake and play a crucial role in managing blood sugar levels.
Furthermore, Mounjaro has demonstrated the potential for considerable weight loss. Although not yet approved by the FDA for this purpose, some healthcare providers are prescribing it off-label. Dr. Leon I. Igel, a board-certified specialist in obesity medicine and endocrinology, as well as the chief medical officer for Intellihealth, an obesity treatment company, acknowledges this practice.
In a clinical trial conducted in 2022, individuals with obesity (without diabetes) received weekly injections of tirzepatide at varying doses—5 milligrams, 10 milligrams, 15 milligrams—or a placebo for a span of 72 weeks. Compared to the control group, which experienced an average 3.1% reduction in body weight, those administered tirzepatide achieved remarkable results: a 15% decrease in body weight with the 5-milligram weekly dose, a 19.5% reduction with the 10-milligram weekly dose, and an impressive 20.9% decrease with the 15-milligram weekly dose.”
How To Get Mounjaro for Weight Loss
According to Dr. Igel, ‘GIP and GLP-1 are hormones linked to satiety that the intestines naturally produce. Mounjaro replicates the effects of these hormones, resulting in an accelerated feeling of fullness after meals and a prolonged sensation of being satiated.’ This mechanism also contributes to a reduction in digestion pace, which in turn aids in managing portion sizes and curbing hunger.
Furthermore, Mounjaro strategically targets key brain areas like the hypothalamus, responsible for appetite regulation and the influence over eating choices. Dr. Igel suggests that this targeted approach could potentially offer an additional layer of support for weight loss efforts.
Mounjaro Side Effects
When evaluating the safety of medications designed for type 2 diabetes and obesity, it becomes imperative to balance the potential side effects of treatment against the consequences of leaving the condition untreated, as emphasized by Dr. Igel. He goes on to highlight that, based on clinical trials, Mounjaro’s risk-to-benefit profile seems to be notably favorable.
Nevertheless, a subset of individuals might experience gastrointestinal side effects, including:
- Reduced appetite
- Stomach pain
Dr. Igel notes, ‘These side effects typically fall within the mild to moderate range of severity and are mostly confined to the period of dose escalation.’
While rare, serious side effects comprise:
- Pancreatitis, characterized by pronounced and persistent abdominal pain accompanied by or without vomiting.
- Hypoglycemia, inducing symptoms such as sweating, headache, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, blurred vision, slurred speech, tremors, elevated heart rate, mood changes, or heightened hunger.
- Severe allergic reactions, potentially causing swelling of the lips, tongue, face, or throat, breathing difficulties, intense rash or itching, dizziness or fainting, and rapid heart rate.
- Kidney failure, which might arise in individuals with pre-existing kidney issues due to dehydration stemming from diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
- Persistent or severe stomach issues.
- Visual alterations, including blurred vision, floaters, and vision loss.
- Gallbladder complications, giving rise to upper abdominal pain, jaundice, pale-colored stool, and fever.
Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Mounjaro, cautions that the drug could lead to thyroid tumors or thyroid cancer. Therefore, individuals should be watchful for symptoms like neck lumps, neck swelling, swallowing difficulties, shortness of breath, or hoarseness.
Specific groups should refrain from taking Mounjaro:
- Those with a personal or familial history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)
- Individuals with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN2)
- Individuals with known allergies to any of Mounjaro’s components
- Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals”