Which is the BEST: Ozempic, Mounjaro, or Zepbound?

By: Dr. J. Timothy Katzen


THEY ARE EVERYWHERE-- Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Zepbound. Are you curious about the latest, trendy weight loss drugs that seem to be all over social media? You're not alone. Drugs like Ozempic (semaglutide) and Mounjaro (tirzepatide), have gained popularity recently. Zepbound (tirzepatide) also managed to get a spot on the roster in 2023. These drugs are so popular and effective that even, Oprah has recently switched from Weight Watchers to Ozempic.


In choosing the best weight loss medication, it is important to comprehend the subtleties of these powerful drugs. This blog will examine the variations between Mounjaro, Ozempic, and Zepbound. We'll also discuss how they work, who makes them, how they are administered, what medical conditions the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved them for, possible side effects, and contraindications. Finally, we will discuss which medication is best for you

Are you considering using these drugs to aid in your personal weight loss efforts? Are you eager to remain current with medical advancements? This post aims to provide you with a concise and clear summary!


Infographic: The Impact of Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Zepbound on Brain and Body

How do Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Zepbound work?

  1. These medications increase secretion of insulin from the pancreas: When you eat, your intestines naturally release Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). GLP-1 signals the pancreas to produce more insulin. Insulin is a hormone that reduces blood sugar. GLP-1 medicines function similarly to GLP-1.
  2. These medications decrease secretion of glucagon from pancreas: The pancreas secretes another hormone called glucagon. Normally, glucagon stimulates the liver to release glucose. Since GLP-1 medications block glucagon release, they reduce blood sugar.
  3. These medications slow gastrointestinal motility: Mounjaro, Zepbound, and Ozempic also help delay stomach emptying. This helps to regulate how quickly the bloodstream absorbs carbohydrates from your meal. After eating, this slow absorption of nutrients can help avoid sharp rises in blood sugar.
  4. They work on brain to decrease cravings: Mounjaro, Zepbound, and Ozempic work centrally on the brain. These drugs decrease cravings and addiction behaviors.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is an amazing, relatively new weight loss medication. Ozempic is also called semaglutide and is in the semaglutide class of weight loss medications. Ozempic works because it is a GLP-1 receptor agonist. That means Ozempic stimulates the release of GLP-1. Ozempic decreases glucose levels by stimulating insulin secretion and decreasing glucagon secretion. Also, Ozempic slows down GI transit and decreases food cravings.

Who is Ozempic approved for?

Ozempic has FDA approval to control blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetic patients. Ozempic aids in more than just blood sugar regulation. Ozempic also lowers the risk of serious cardiovascular events. Ozempic may decrease heart attacks and strokes in persons with type 2 diabetes who also have a known heart condition. Also, Ozempic has been shown to improve brain function in patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Who makes Ozempic?

Ozempic is manufactured by Novo Nordisk.

How is Ozempic administered?

Ozempic comes in pre-loaded syringes with a dial to change dosages. Sometimes, Ozempic can be created individually for patients by compounding pharmacies. Ozempic is administered as a once-weekly injection and comes in various dosages. Ozempic has a pill form which will hit pharmacies soon.

What is Mounjaro?

Mounjaro is also called tirzepatide and is in the tirzepatide class of weight loss medication. Mounjaro is a GLP-1 agonist like Ozempic. Mounjaro is special in that it also a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptors agonist. Thus, since Mounjaro stimulates both GLP-1 and GIP, Mounjaro is categorized as a dual agonist.

As a GLP-1 agonist, like Ozempic, Mounjaro stimulates the pancreas to generate insulin and inhibits the release of glucagon when blood sugar levels are high. Mounjaro also helps lower blood sugar levels by lowering food intake. Mounjaro assists in appetite management by slowing the emptying of the stomach and encouraging the sensation of fullness after eating.

What is Mounjaro approved for?

In May 2022, the FDA authorized Mounjaro to treat type 2 diabetes. Thus, Mounjaro is recommended for the control of diabetes, not for weight loss.

Who manufactures Mounjaro?

Eli Lilly manufactures Mounjaro.

How is Mounjaro administered?

Like Ozempic, Mounjaro is also given as a weekly injection. The dosage may be adjusted for effect.

What is Zepbound?

Just like Mounjaro, Zepbound is another incredibly powerful weight loss medication. Zepbound is also called tirzepatide and is in the tirzepatide class of weight loss medication. Like Ozempic, Zepbound is a GLP-1 receptor agonist. However, like Mounjaro, Zepbound is a dual agonist because it stimulates both GLP-1 and GIP.

Zepbound stimulates insulin release from the pancreas. Zepbound also decreases the release of glucagon, and thus, decreases glucose levels. Zepbound also helps lower blood sugar levels by lowering food intake.

What is Zepbound approved for?

Zepbound is recommended for the long-term management of weight in adult patients who are obese or overweight and have medical issues related to their weight. This FDA approval makes Zepbound one of the few medications intended exclusively for managing weight rather than diabetes.

Who manufactures Zepbound?

Eli Lilly makes Zepbound.

How is Zepbound administered?

Zepbound comes in the form of a pre-filled pen with a needle. Alternatively, compounding pharmacies can create private bottles and patients can use diabetic needles for administration. Patients inject Zepbound just beneath the skin once a week. The dosage is fixed and is usually not changed.

Infographic: Comparison of Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Zepbound

What distinguishes Mounjaro, Ozempic, and Zepbound from one another?

Tirzepatide is the same chemical used in Zepbound and Mounjaro. However, Eli Lily has positioned Mounjaro as a type 2 diabetic medication. Conversely, Zepbound has been promoted as a weight-loss remedy.

Tirzepatide is sold under two different brand names: Zepbound and Mounjaro. Both medications use slightly different administration devices. Mounjaro comes in an adjustable dosing injectable pen device. Zepbound is dispensed in a fixed dosing injectable pen device. Zepbound and Mounjaro are prescribed at different doses for the treatment of weight loss as opposed to type 2 diabetes.

Ozempic's active ingredient is semaglutide and is different from tirzepatide. Unlike Zepbound and Mounjaro, which are classified as GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonists, Ozempic is classified as only a GLP-1 receptor agonist.

In a head-to-head trial, tirzepatide outperformed semaglutide regarding weight loss results. On average, Zepbound users lost almost 12 pounds more than Ozempic patients.

What medical conditions can improve after taking Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Zepbound?

The following types of medical conditions in over-weight patients can improve:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. Heart disease
  3. Type 2 diabetes
  4. Pre-diabetes
  5. High cholesterol
  6. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  7. Obstructive sleep apnea
  8. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Can anyone take Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Zepbound? Are there any contraindications?

Unfortunately, not everyone can take these amazing, new, proven weight-loss medications. Those who have any of the following conditions or histories should not take these medications:

  1. Pancreatitis: GLP-1 agonists may raise the risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, according to some research.
  2. Thyroid cancers: Patients with a family or personal history of specific thyroid cancers should not take Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Zepbound. Semaglutide and tirzepatide carry a "boxed warning" from the FDA warning about the severe risk of developing thyroid cancers.
  3. Sluggish digestive process: The rate at which food passes through your digestive system is called gastrointestinal (GI) motility. GLP-1 agonists partially function by reducing GI motility. This delayed motility prolongs the feeling of fullness. Unfortunately, reduced GI motility can increase the possibility of gastrointestinal problems.

For these reasons, before considering weight reduction medication, you should discuss your medical history in detail with your doctor. During this discussion, you should mention any allergies or other health issues you could be experiencing. You should also have a thorough discussion regarding the medications or supplements you now take. Ensure to include if you are actively trying to get pregnant, currently pregnant, or nursing a baby.

What are the Side effects of Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Zepbound?

Although substantial data support the effectiveness of these drugs, there are dangers and side effects. The most common side effect of Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Zepbound are nausea, vomiting, hypoglycemia, diarrhea, and constipation, Patients will need their doctor's supervision to track their body's reaction to the medicine over time.


Overall, Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Zepbound are revolutionary, new, FDA-approved weight-loss medications. If you are considering losing weight and are frustrated with diet plans and exercise, you may qualify for these medications. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to learn more? CALL (310) 859-7770 to schedule an appointment and see if you qualify for Ozempic,Mounjaro, or Zepbound. Dr. Katzen and his team will determine which medication is the best for you.

About the authors: Deborah Wong, RD, MPH, is a registered dietician. She specializes in the safest and most effective way to lose weight and is an essential part of Dr. Katzen's nutrition team. Dr. Katzen and this nutrition team assist patients to determine which weight loss medication is best for their weight loss journey.


Scheen, André J. (2023). Dual GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonists: New advances for treating type-2 diabetes. Science Direct.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.