Zepbound vs Mounjaro: What’s the Difference?

whats the difference between zepbound and mounjaro

As the buzz around weight loss medications intensifies, certain names have taken the spotlight. While Ozempic has become almost synonymous with weight loss medication, another contender has stolen the show. 

Mounjaro quickly captured the spotlight following its FDA approval in early 2022. Why? It showed remarkable weight loss results, catapulting it into the forefront of the industry’s attention. 

But, Mounjaro is not FDA-approved for weight loss. Zepbound, on the other hand, is.

What is Zepbound (tirzepatide)?

Zepbound is an FDA-approved weight loss medication with tirzepatide as the active ingredient. It is in an entirely new drug class called dual-agonists. Unlike other GLP-1 receptor agonists, Zepbound also mimics GIP. 

This has made  the Zepbound injection even more effective as a weight loss aid. 

For individuals with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30, or those with a BMI of 27 or higher who also have other chronic weight-related conditions—such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, or dyslipidemia—Zepbound has shown meaningful weight loss and improved overall health outcomes

Mounjaro vs Zepbound: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Both Mounjaro and Zepbound share striking similarities—they both contain the same active ingredient (tirzepatide) and they are both manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. 

They are both administered in weekly injections at identical dose levels, though doctors may prescribe the higher doses for weight loss specifically. These pre-filled, single-dose injector pens come in:

  • 2.5 mg/0.5 mL
  • 5 mg/0.5 mL
  • 7.5 mg/0.5 mL
  • 10 mg/0.5 mL
  • 12.5 mg/0.5 mL
  • 15 mg/0.5 mL


So, what’s the difference? Is Zepbound the same as Mounjaro?

Essentially, yes. 

What is the difference between Zepbound and Mounjaro?

These two medications are virtually indistinguishable, save for one crucial point: their FDA approvals. 

While Mounjaro is FDA-approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, Zepbound is FDA-approved for weight loss. 

This subtle, yet pivotal, difference has profound implications, mostly when it comes to insurance coverage. 

So, while they are essentially the same medication, the accessibility and affordability will be different. 

But, if they’re the same, why does it matter? The popularity of weight loss medications has created a supply chain issue. The demand is higher than the production. 

While both diabetes and obesity could be considered life-threatening conditions, diabetics rely on timely access to effective treatments. Access to Mounjaro could be a literal lifeline for diabetics. 

So, to help ensure that diabetics have access to their life saving medications, there has been a separation in approval. 

Mounjaro vs Zepbound: Mechanism of Action

It is the active ingredient that dictates the medication’s mechanism of action. Since both Mounjaro and Zepbound have the same active ingredient (tirzepatide), their mechanism of action is the same as well. 

Tirzepatide is classified as a dual-agonist, a groundbreaking drug class that impacts two hormones instead of just one. Unlike its predecessors, tirzepatide is not only a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist but also on the glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonist.

For diabetics taking Mounjaro, this can:

  • Enhance insulin secretion
  • Suppress glucagon release

This helps to regulate blood sugar levels and improve glycemic control. This can also be beneficial when trying to lose weight. 

For those looking to lose weight, Zepbound can:

  • Promote satiety (making you feel fuller longer)
  • Delay gastric emptying

These actions work together to reduce food intake and support weight loss efforts. So, while Mounjaro and Zepbound may have different FDA approvals, their shared mechanism of action makes them effective for both. 

Mounjaro vs Zepbound: Safety and Side Effects

Both Mounjaro and Zepbound have the same side effects and safety concerns given their identical active ingredient, tirzepatide. While Zepbound does boast a long list of potential side effects, the majority are nuisance issues. The more serious side effects are relatively infrequent, but worth mentioning. 

Side effects impact these systems:

  • Gastrointestinal. Decreased appetite, nausea, and diarrhea occur in up to 10% of patients on tirzepatide. Severe stomach problems have been reported. It should also be noted that the delayed gastric emptying can impact the absorption rate of oral medications. 
  • Renal.  Acute kidney injury and potential kidney failure have been reported. These issues are likely related to dehydration. The common diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting can cause a loss of fluids, so be sure to stay hydrated. 
  • Dermatological. Injection site irritation and inflammation is very common. But, this issue is easily mitigated. Just rotate the injection site. 
  • Pancreatic. GLP-1 medications often cause inflammation in the pancreas (pancreatitis). If you have severe stomach/abdominal pain that will not go away, or persistent low back pain, you should reach out to your healthcare provider right away. 
  • Hepatobiliary. That’s a fancy way of saying liver, bile ducts, and gallbladder. Gallbladder problems have also been reported. So, persistent pain in the upper stomach, fever, yellowing of the skin and eyes, or clay-colored stools should be reported to your healthcare provider immediately. 
  • Ocular. This is more of an issue for patients who are already diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. Symptoms can temporarily worsen. If you have changes in your vision, you should contact your healthcare provider. 
  • Endocrine. If you are a diabetic taking medicines that can cause low blood sugar such as a sulfonylurea or insulin. Your risk of hypoglycemia can be higher. 

Mounjaro vs Zepbound: Cost Differences

Both medications come with a hefty price tag, typically coming in around $1000 per month without insurance coverage. However, there are options to mitigate the costs. 

Mounjaro is only approved for the treatment of diabetes, so you will be unlikely to receive a Mounjaro prescription for weight loss alone. However, individuals looking for both diabetes management and weight loss can benefit. By switching your diabetes medication to Mounjaro, you will likely have costs covered by insurance. 

Zepbound is a little more complicated. While some insurance companies and plans will cover weight loss medications, others may not extend the same benefits. You will need to check with your insurance provider to see if they offer coverage. 

Mounjaro vs Zepbound: Results

Most of the studies completed have focused on tirzepatide as opposed to a specific brand name. These studies have shown very promising results, though. 

Weight loss studies have been completed at multiple dose levels. One clinical trial found these results after 72 weeks:

  • 15% reduction in body weight with 5 mg weekly
  • 19.5% reduction in body weight with 10 mg weekly
  • 20.9% body weight reduction with 15 mg weekly

The SURMOUNT-3 and -4 studies showed even greater Tirzepatide weight loss. These trials, which included longer studies and additional variables, saw an average 26% weight loss. 

What is Better for Weight Loss: Mounjaro or Zepbound

There is no difference between Zepbound and Moujaro when it comes to weight loss. The crucial distinction lies in their FDA approvals. If you’re not a diabetic and you’re looking to lose weight, Zepbound is your best choice. 

The Zepbound medication offers a targeted solution for individuals looking to shed excess pounds. It can provide excellent results in as little as 6-months. 

Get Zepbound Online with Heally

If you’re ready to take the next step toward achieving your weight loss goals, we can help. With the convenience of online healthcare, getting a weight loss prescription has never been easier. 

Take charge of your health journey today. Book a virtual consultation with Heally to get Zepbound online


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