Is Mounjaro approved for weight loss?
LAST UPDATED: Nov 08, 2023
2 MIN READ
HERE'S WHAT WE'LL COVER
Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is a medication approved by the FDA for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. But now, there’s a version of tirzepatide specifically approved for weight loss. It’s called Zepbound and was approved by the FDA as a weight loss treatment for people with overweight and obesity. We spoke with Dr. Yael Cooperman, M.D., about Mounjaro and Zepbound, and how they differ.
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When will Mounjaro be approved for weight loss?
The active ingredient in Mounjaro, known as tirzepatide, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for weight loss under the brand name Zepbound on November 8th, 2023. It is expected to be available for purchase by the end of 2023.
The approval of Zepbound for weight loss is a blockbuster for patients looking for weight management treatment. While there are many different drugs on the market that fall into the same class, known as GLP-1 agonists, tirzepatide has been shown to be particularly effective. In the SURMOUNT-1 trial, which was sponsored by the drug manufacturer Eli Lilly, weekly doses of tirzepatide resulted in an average weight loss of 15% after 72 weeks of treatment. Participants on the highest dosage examined in the trial lost an average of 20% of their body weight, demonstrating that Zepbound may be the most effective drug in its class for weight loss.
While licensed healthcare professionals can prescribe medications off-label to treat a particular condition even without FDA approval, insurance companies are typically less likely to cover treatment prescribed off-label. In the case of GLP-1 medications like Mounjaro, this is especially problematic because the medications can be expensive to patients without insurance coverage for their treatment. That’s why the approval of tirzepatide for weight loss under the brand name Zepbound is so important.
If you’re interested in Zepbound for weight loss, speak with a healthcare provider who can evaluate your medical history and current health status to understand if Zepbound might be the right treatment for you.
If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Office of the Commissioner. “FDA Approves New Medication for Chronic Weight Management.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, retrieved from www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-new-medication-chronic-weight-management Accessed 8 Nov. 2023.
Jastreboff, A. M., Aronne, L. J., Ahmad, N. N., Wharton, S., Connery, L., Alves, B., Kiyosue, A., Zhang, S., Liu, B., Bunck, M. C., Stefanski, A., & SURMOUNT-1 Investigators (2022). Tirzepatide Once Weekly for the Treatment of Obesity. The New England journal of medicine, 387(3), 205–216. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2206038