What is Mounjaro?
Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is used for type 2 diabetes in adults to decrease blood sugar levels (blood glucose). Mounjaro is a once-weekly injection that should be used together with diet and exercise. In clinical trials, Mounjaro has also been shown to be useful for weight loss, but it is currently not an FDA-approved weight loss drug.
Mounjaro works to lower blood sugar by increasing insulin production, lowering the amount of sugar your liver makes, and also slowing the rate food passes through your body, which makes you feel full longer. It does this by activating the body’s receptors for GIP and GLP-1, which are natural incretin hormones.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition when your blood sugars (HbA1c) become too high because your body does not produce or use insulin normally. Overtime high blood sugars can cause serious health problems including heart disease, vision loss and kidney disease.
Mounjaro is the first GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonist, which means it works on the glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptors and the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptors.
Mounjaro is not for use in people with type 1 diabetes. It is not known if this medicine can be used in people who have had pancreatitis.
How should I use Mounjaro?
You should follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your pharmacist or doctor to explain any part you do not understand. It is important to use this medicine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Mounjaro comes as a pre-filled pen that is injected under the skin (subcutaneously).
Mounjaro is usually given:
- Once a week.
- Can be given with or without meals at any time of the day.
- May be injected into the thigh, abdomen, or upper arm.
- You should rotate the injection site with each dose.
Your doctor will usually start you on a low dose which will be gradually increased, but not more than once every 4 weeks.
You may change the day of the week you use this medicine as long as there is at least three days between doses.
What are the side effects of Mounjaro?
Serious side effects
- Severe stomach problems;
- Changes in your vision;
- Signs of a thyroid tumor symptoms may include include swelling or a lump in your neck, trouble swallowing, a hoarse voice, or if you feel short of breath;
- Gallbladder problem with symptoms including chalky-colored stools, stomach pain after eating, nausea, heartburn, bloating, and severe upper stomach pain that may spread to your back;
- Low blood sugar symptoms may include headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, confusion, irritability, dizziness, fast heart rate, or feeling jittery; or
- Kidney problems with little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath.
Common side effects
- Decreased appetite
- Stomach pain
Miss a dose
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it within 4 days after the missed dose. However, if more than 4 days have passed, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not inject two doses within 3 days of each other.
Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of a thyroid tumor, such as a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath.
In studies with rats, tirzepatide, and medicines that work in the same way caused thyroid tumors, including thyroid cancer. It is not known whether this medicine will cause thyroid tumors, or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in people.
You should not use this medicine if you or you have a family history of a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), or if you have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain tests to check your body’s response to this medicine.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
Birth control pills may not work as well while receiving this medicine. Your doctor may suggest you use another form of birth control for 4 weeks after starting this medicine and for 4 weeks after each dose change.
Store Mounjaro in the refrigerator between 36⁰F to 46⁰F (2⁰C to 8⁰C).
Store the single-dose pens in the original carton until use to protect them from light.
If needed, each single-dose pen can be stored at room temperature up to 86⁰F (30⁰C) for up to 21 days.