How Does Mounjaro Work for Weight Loss? A Look Into the Type 2 Diabetes Drug

Mounjaro is a type 2 diabetes medication that can target hormones in the body to stimulate weight loss through a loss of appetite.

Eva Hagan - Author

Apr. 18 2024, Published 10:08 a.m. ET

A person holds up a vial of Mounjaro medication in front of the box.
Source: Getty Images

Mounjaro is a type 2 diabetes injectable drug that has become increasingly popular for its weight loss effects. If you are considering taking Mounjaro, please note that this is not medical advice, and you need to consult a doctor before starting any new medication.

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Like Ozempic, another popular type 2 diabetes medication used for weight loss, Mounjaro can reduce appetite and cause many people to lose weight when paired with a healthy lifestyle. However, you may wonder: How does Mounjaro work? Here's a breakdown.

A syringe of Mounjaro medication sits on the counter resting on the box.
Source: Getty Images
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How does Mounjaro work?

Mounjaro is a medication injection made initially for type 2 diabetes patients that helps to lower blood sugar and increases insulin production. Similar to other diabetes medications such as Ozempic, Mounjaro has become a popular drug for weight loss.

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not approve the Mounjaro brand drug for weight loss, Zepbound, another injection weight loss medication, has been approved and contains the same active ingredient as Mounjaro, tripeptide.

According to, Mounjaro works by activating the hormones GLP-1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, which together increase the feeling of fullness. Mounjaro also slows down gastric emptying, or the rate at which food travels through the digestive system, which can cause people to feel full by eating less or for longer.

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However, weight loss results will vary from person to person. Dr. Amanda Velazquez, the director of Obesity Medicine in the Department of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai, told Healthline, "Per the research, on average, an individual can expect to lose 20% total body weight loss in a little over a year of taking Mounjaro in combination with a healthy lifestyle."

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Like Ozempic, the best results on Mounjaro are achieved when the drug is paired with other healthy habits, such as regular exercise and a good diet.

It's important to note that Mounjaro should not be considered a "quick fix." Most people taking Mounjaro are doing so long-term, with possible dosage changes, per Healthline. Doctors should be the only ones to perform a change in dosage, and it's always a good idea to talk with a medical professional to get proper recommendations before asking about a switch.

Like any drug, there are some possible side effects when taking Mounjaro. Besides decreased appetite, some patients may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, and possibly heartburn, per

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A close up of a box of Mounjaro.
Source: Getty Images

Where is the best place to inject Mounjaro for weight loss?

There are several suitable injection sites for Mounjaro, such as your upper arm, thigh, or abdomen. It's recommended to alternate between sites each week to reduce the chance of a reaction, per eMed.

The best injection sites between these are wherever has enough fat, where it is easiest for you to administer, and where will cause the least complications for you. Once injected, the drug is directly pumped into the fat layer under the skin, which helps it absorb in the body. In general, it's a good rule to have someone help you if you are having trouble injecting yourself and avoid areas like the inner thigh and belly button, per the Mayo Clinic.

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