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What is better for weight loss – Saxenda, Wegovy or Mounjaro?

What is better for weight loss – Saxenda, Wegovy or Mounjaro?

Rajive Patel NowPatientGreen tick
Updated on 28 Mar 2024

Weight loss is a common goal for many people and sometimes, diet and exercise alone may not be enough to achieve the desired results. In such cases, weight loss medications can be a helpful addition to a comprehensive weight management plan. Three popular brand-name weight loss medications on the market today are Saxenda, Wegovy, and Mounjaro. While these medications may seem similar at first glance, they have distinct differences in terms of efficacy, dosage, and approved uses. In this article, we will explore each medication in detail and discuss which one might be the best option for you.

Meet the GLP-1 agonists

Saxenda, Wegovy, and Mounjaro are all Food and Drug Administration-approved (FDA-approved) medications. They all belong to a class of medications called GLP-1 agonists. (These drugs may also be referred to as incretin mimetics). GLP-1 stands for glucagon-like peptide 1, which is a hormone produced by the intestines. The GLP-1 agonists work by mimicking the effects of the GLP-1 hormone in the body, which include increasing insulin secretion in the pancreas, reducing appetite, slowing down gastric emptying and increasing satiety after eating.

Saxenda contains the active ingredient liraglutide and was the first GLP-1 agonist to be approved by the FDA for the treatment of obesity. This injectable medication is prescribed for individuals who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher or a BMI of 27 or higher, with additional weight-related health conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

Wegovy, or semaglutide manufactured by Novo Nordisk is a newer GLP-1 agonist that was approved by the FDA for chronic weight management. It is a weekly injection, and the dose is gradually increased over time. It should be used in adults who have been overweight or obese for at least 6 months and have at least one weight-related comorbidity.

Mounjaro, also known as tirzepatide is manufactured by Eli Lilly. It is unique compared to the other GLP-1 receptor agonists because it is dual-acting. It works as both a GLP-1 and GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) receptor agonist. While Mounjaro is currently only approved as a diabetes drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, it is being studied for its potential use as a weight loss drug. The FDA has granted them a fast-track designation to accelerate the process. The trials are expected to be finished later in 2023. Health providers can currently prescribe Mounjaro off-label for weight loss if they determine it best fits their patients.

It’s important to note that all these medications should be used in conjunction with healthy lifestyle changes that include a balanced, reduced-calorie diet and regular exercise.

How do Saxenda, Wegovy, and Mounjaro work?

The primary mechanism of action of Saxenda, Wegovy, and Mounjaro is through the activation of GLP-1 receptors. By stimulating these receptors, these medications can increase insulin secretion, decrease appetite, and slow down gastric emptying. This combination of effects helps to reduce calorie intake and promote weight loss.

Saxenda and Wegovy are both approved for chronic weight management and have shown significant weight loss results in clinical trials. Saxenda has been shown to help individuals lose up to 8-10% of their body weight, while Wegovy has demonstrated weight loss of up to 15% or more. Mounjaro, although not yet approved for weight management, has shown promising results in studies, with some patients achieving weight loss of over 20% at higher doses.

Dosage and administration

The dosing and administration of Saxenda, Wegovy, and Mounjaro differ slightly. All three drugs are administered as weekly subcutaneous injections. Injections can be administered in the upper arm, thigh, or stomach. It is also important to rotate the injection site after each shot to ensure proper absorption of the medication and to prevent the development of scar tissue.

Saxenda is a once-daily injection that is typically started at a low dose and gradually increased over time. The maximum recommended dose is 3.0mg per day. Wegovy, on the other hand, is a once-weekly injection that is also started at a low dose and increased over time. The maintenance dose of Wegovy is 2.4mg per week. Mounjaro is also given as a once-weekly injection, starting at a dose of 2.5mg and increasing up to a maximum dose of 15mg.

It is important to note that these medications should be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider and as part of a comprehensive weight management plan. Regular monitoring of weight, blood sugar levels, and other relevant parameters are necessary to ensure the safe and effective use of these medications.

Efficacy and side effects

Saxenda, Wegovy, and Mounjaro have all shown efficacy in promoting weight loss, but there are some differences in the results and side effects associated with each medication.

Saxenda has been extensively studied and has shown significant weight loss results in clinical trials. It has also been shown to improve other metabolic parameters, such as blood sugar control and cholesterol levels. Common side effects of Saxenda include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.

Wegovy, as a higher-dose formulation of semaglutide, has demonstrated even greater weight loss results compared to Saxenda. In addition to weight loss, Wegovy has also been shown to improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. Common side effects of Wegovy are similar to those of Saxenda and include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Mounjaro, although not yet approved for weight management, has shown promising results in clinical trials. It has demonstrated significant weight loss in patients with and without type 2 diabetes. Common side effects of Mounjaro include gastrointestinal symptoms, similar to Saxenda and Wegovy.

It is important to note that individual responses to these medications may vary, and not all individuals will experience the same side effects. It is essential to discuss potential side effects and benefits with a healthcare provider before starting any weight loss medication.

Choosing the right medication for you

When it comes to choosing the right weight loss medication, several factors should be considered, including individual medical history, preferences, and insurance plan coverage. Saxenda, Wegovy, and Mounjaro all have their own unique characteristics and may be more suitable for different individuals based on their specific needs.

Saxenda is a well-established medication that has been on the market for several years. It has a proven track record of effectiveness and is available in a convenient once-daily injection. If daily injections are not a concern and insurance coverage is available, Saxenda may be a suitable option.

Wegovy, as a higher-dose formulation of semaglutide, offers the potential for even greater weight loss compared to Saxenda. It is administered once weekly, which may be more convenient for some individuals. However, insurance coverage for Wegovy may be limited, and the cost may be higher compared to other medications.

Mounjaro, although not yet approved for weight management, has shown promising results in clinical trials. It is a once-weekly injection, similar to Wegovy, and may offer additional benefits due to its dual-action mechanism. However, availability and insurance coverage for Mounjaro are currently limited.

In conclusion, Saxenda, Wegovy, and Mounjaro are all effective for weight reduction by activating GLP-1 receptors in the body. Each medication has its own unique characteristics, including dosing, efficacy, and side effects. The choice of medication should be based on individual factors such as medical history, preferences, and insurance coverage. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most suitable medication for your specific needs.

Additional Information

It is worth noting that weight loss medications should always be used as part of a comprehensive weight management plan, which includes a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and behavioral changes. These medications are not a standalone solution for weight loss but can be a helpful tool when used in conjunction with lifestyle modifications.

It is also important to have realistic expectations when using weight loss medications. While these medications can help facilitate weight loss, individual results may vary. It is essential to set achievable goals and focus on overall health and well-being rather than just the number on the scale.

Remember, weight loss medications should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider. They are not suitable for everyone and may have contraindications or interactions with certain medical conditions or medications. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any weight loss medication.

Conclusion

Saxenda, Wegovy, and Mounjaro are three popular weight loss medications that have shown efficacy in promoting weight loss. Each medication has its own unique characteristics, including dosing, efficacy, and side effects. The choice of medication should be based on individual factors such as medical history, preferences, and insurance coverage. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most suitable medication for your specific needs. Additionally, weight loss medications should always be used as part of a comprehensive weight management plan, including a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Sources

Medical Disclaimer

NowPatient has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that all material is factually accurate, complete, and current. However, the knowledge and experience of a qualified healthcare professional should always be sought after instead of using the information on this page. Before taking any drug, you should always speak to your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

The information provided here about medications is subject to change and is not meant to include all uses, precautions, warnings, directions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or negative effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a particular medication does not imply that the medication or medication combination is appropriate for all patients or for all possible purposes.

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