Does Mounjaro Cause Constipation in Weight Loss Patients?

Find out whether Mounjaro causes constipation when taking the medication for weight loss, its potential causes, and how it compares with other GLP-1 medications.

Table of Contents
  • Can Mounjaro Lead to Constipation?
  • What About Mounjaro Causes Constipation?
  • Is Constipation From Mounjaro Preventable?
  • Do Other GLP-1 Medications Cause Constipation?
  • Getting Started on Mounjaro For Weight Loss

Mounjaro, made from the active ingredient tirzepatide, is a relatively new medication approved by the FDA in 2022 for treating type 2 diabetes. Though initially approved for diabetes, Mounjaro is commonly used to help people achieve drastic weight loss results (1).

Mounjaro is part of a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, which help lower blood sugar levels, slow stomach emptying, and target various hormonal pathways to promote weight loss (1). Mounjaro works on the glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptors, making it unique amongst the GLP-1 medications and may theoretically lead to greater weight reduction (1, 2). 

While Mounjaro has been praised for its efficacy, it has potential side effects, as with most medications. Gastrointestinal effects, like nausea, are the most common, which raises questions about the link between Mounjaro and constipation. Here’s a closer look into the explanation and causes behind constipation while taking Mounjaro for weight loss, along with tips on managing this side effect.

Can Mounjaro Cause Constipation?

Mounjaro can lead to constipation in some individuals (1, 3). Constipation is listed as a potential side effect of Mounjaro, especially when starting the medication (1). It's important to remember that not everyone will experience this issue. The occurrence of constipation may vary based on individual health conditions, dietary habits, and hydration levels.

Why Does Mounjaro Cause Constipation?

Constipation from Mounjaro, or any GLP-1 medication, may result from how these drugs affect digestion. GLP-1 receptors are found throughout the gastrointestinal tract. When activated, they can slow gastric emptying, meaning food stays in your stomach longer. While this can be beneficial for controlling appetite and blood sugar levels, it might also lead to constipation. Here are a few factors that might contribute to constipation while on Mounjaro:

  • Slowed gastric emptying: A slower digestion process means food moves more slowly through your system.
  • Changes in fluid absorption: Alterations in how your body absorbs fluids can harden stools, making them more difficult to pass.
  • Diet and hydration: Your diet and water intake play significant roles in maintaining regular bowel movements.

Is Constipation From Mounjaro Preventable?

Most patients on Mounjaro who experience gastrointestinal side effects, such as constipation, report mild to moderate symptoms. Symptoms generally are worse after just starting the medication and while increasing the dose to the target range (1). Symptoms will generally resolve with time as your body gets used to the medication. Though constipation can be an uncomfortable side effect, several strategies may help prevent it:

  • Increase fiber intake: Eating high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, is often recommended as a first-line treatment for constipation and may help regulate bowel movements, though studies are conflicting and more research is needed to be certain (4, 5).
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water may also be beneficial, especially with increased fiber consumption, though again, more research is needed (5).
  • Regular physical activity: Exercise helps increase blood flow and stimulates muscle activity in the intestines (5, 6).
  • Monitor your diet: Keep track of foods that may exacerbate constipation and consider reducing their intake.

Do Other GLP-1 Medications Cause Constipation?

Mounjaro is not alone in this side effect; constipation can occur with other GLP-1 receptor agonists and similar medications used to treat diabetes or to help promote weight loss. If you're experiencing constipation from Mounjaro or any other GLP-1 medication, discussing it with your healthcare provider is crucial. They may suggest ways to mitigate the side effects or consider alternative treatments if necessary.

Understanding the potential side effects of Mounjaro, including constipation, is important for managing your treatment plan effectively. While constipation can be a bothersome side effect, employing preventative measures and maintaining open communication with your healthcare provider can help manage or minimize its impact. Mounjaro has shown significant promise in helping individuals lose weight. With time and the right approaches, overcoming unpleasant side effects like constipation is possible so you can continue on your weight loss journey. 

Getting Started on Mounjaro For Weight Loss

With Mochi Health, unlock a new chapter in your health story. Our comprehensive approach includes GLP-1 medications, expert guidance, and a supportive community, all aimed at helping you achieve your weight loss goals. Membership includes virtual visits with a Mochi provider, appointments with a registered dietitian, and 24/7 support. Wondering about the cost of brand-name medications? It depends on your insurance, but at Mochi Health, we provide compounded options that offer both safety and affordability. With compounded semaglutide for $175/month and tirzepatide for $325/month delivered directly, managing your health has never been more convenient. See if you're eligible and begin your journey today. 

Sources: 

  1. Jastreboff AM, Aronne LJ, Ahmad NN, Wharton S, Connery L, Alves B, Kiyosue A, Zhang S, Liu B, Bunck MC, Stefanski A; SURMOUNT-1 Investigators. Tirzepatide Once Weekly for the Treatment of Obesity. N Engl J Med. 2022 Jul 21;387(3):205-216. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2206038. Epub 2022 Jun 4. PMID: 35658024.
  2. Samms, R. J., Coghlan, M. P., & Sloop, K. W. (2020). How May GIP Enhance the Therapeutic Efficacy of GLP-1?. Trends in endocrinology and metabolism: TEM, 31(6), 410–421. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tem.2020.02.006
  3. Mounjaro® Compared to Other T2D Medicines | Mounjaro® (Tirzepatide), Eli Lilly and Company, mounjaro.lilly.com/what-is-mounjaro/t2d-competitors. 
  4. Anderson, J. W., Baird, P., Davis, R. H., Jr, Ferreri, S., Knudtson, M., Koraym, A., Waters, V., & Williams, C. L. (2009). Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutrition reviews, 67(4), 188–205. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x
  5. Bellini, M., Tonarelli, S., Barracca, F., Rettura, F., Pancetti, A., Ceccarelli, L., Ricchiuti, A., Costa, F., de Bortoli, N., Marchi, S., & Rossi, A. (2021). Chronic Constipation: Is a Nutritional Approach Reasonable?. Nutrients, 13(10), 3386. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34684388/ 
  6. Iovino P., Chiarioni G., Bilancio G., Cirillo M., Mekjavic I.B., Pisot R., Ciacci C. New onset of constipation during long-term physical inactivity: A proof-of-concept study on the immobility-induced bowel changes. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e72608. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072608.

Ready to transform your health?

Unlock access to expert guidance and a weight care plan crafted just for you.