Mounjaro vs Saxenda for Weight Loss

Evaluate the differences between Trizepatide (Mounjaro) and oral liraglutide (Saxenda) in treating obesity. This comparison highlights their similarities and distinct advantages, aiding in choosing the right medication for individual health needs.

Table of Contents
  • Saxenda (liraglutide)
  • Mounjaro (Tirzepatide)
  • Comparing Saxenda and Mounjaro
  • Conclusion
  • Where Can I Find These Medications?
  • References

Obesity is a growing problem in today’s society, and it’s not surprising that there are numerous weight loss medications available on the market. Two of the most popular weight loss medications are Saxenda (liraglutide) and Mounjaro (Tirzepatide). In this blog post, we’ll compare and contrast these two drugs to help you understand which one is right for you.

Saxenda (liraglutide)

Saxenda is an FDA-approved medication used for weight management in adults with obesity or overweight. It is a GLP-1 receptor agonist that works by increasing the secretion of insulin and suppressing the secretion of glucagon. This helps in reducing appetite and promoting weight loss. A trial published in 2015 showed that a daily injection of 3.0mg of Saxenda (liraglutide) along with diet and exercise resulted in a mean loss of about 8.4 kg (~18 lbs) after 52 weeks when compared to the placebo group (1).

Saxenda is injected once a day, and the dosage is gradually increased over several weeks. The maximum dose is 3 mg per day, and the treatment duration depends on the individual's weight loss goals.

The most common side effects of Saxenda include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, headache, dizziness, and abdominal pain. However, these side effects usually subside after a few weeks of treatment. Saxenda is also associated with rare but serious side effects such as pancreatitis, thyroid tumors, and gallbladder disease.

Mounjaro (Tirzepatide)

Mounjaro is a new medication that is currently undergoing approval for its use in weight loss and obesity. It is a GLP-1, GIP, and glucagon triple agonist that works by targeting multiple hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism. Mounjaro has shown promising results in clinical trials, with patients experiencing significant weight loss in over a year when combined with exercise and diet (2).

Mounjaro is administered once a week via a subcutaneous injection. The duration of therapy depends on the patient’s goals, but the greatest effects were studied over a 72-week (~1.4 years) period.

The most common side effects of Mounjaro reported in clinical trials include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, these side effects were mild to moderate and usually resolved within a few days.

Comparing Saxenda and Mounjaro


When comparing the results of the SURMOUNT-1 trial for Mounjaro and the SCALE trial for Saxenda that were mentioned above, there appear to be some differences. Mounjaro seemed to have a more significant effect on weight loss when compared to Saxenda. In addition a larger portion of the participants experienced a %5 or greater change in body weight when taking Mounjaro compared to Saxenda.


Saxenda is injected once a day, whereas Mounjaro is administered once a week. This makes Mounjaro a more convenient option for those who don't want to take daily injections.

Mechanism of action

Saxenda only targets the GLP-1 receptor, whereas Mounjaro targets multiple hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism. This makes Mounjaro potentially more effective than Saxenda in promoting weight loss; however, this is mostly speculation.

Side effects

Both medications can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Saxenda may also cause headaches, dizziness, and tiredness. These side effects are usually mild to moderate in severity and subside over time.

Cost and Coverage

Unfortunately, both of the medications can be very expensive, with Mounjaro costing around $1000 per month and Saxenda costing $1500. Saxenda has been approved for weight loss by the FDA, which may make finding coverage by insurance plans easier. They may also provide coverage if you have a BMI over 27 as well as obesity-related comorbidities such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Therefore, making the medication more affordable.

Mounjaro is currently not approved for weight loss in non-diabetics, which makes finding coverage difficult.


Saxenda and Mounjaro are both promising weight loss medications that work by suppressing appetite and promoting weight loss. However, Mounjaro has the potential to be more effective than Saxenda due to its mechanism of action that targets multiple hormones.

The convenience of Mounjaro's once-a-week administration may also be appealing to those who don't want to take daily injections; however, both medications show efficacy for weight loss. Since Mounjaro is not currently approved for weight loss in non-diabetics by the FDA, this may lead to higher costs when compared to Saxenda. It is important to note that either of these medications should be administered along with diet and exercise to result in maximal benefits.

Where Can I Find These Medications?

If you would like to learn more about GLP-1 medications or want to see if you might be eligible for medication-assisted weight loss, check out Mochi Health, where board-certified obesity medicine physicians can offer expertise in this realm!


  1. Pi-Sunyer X, Astrup A, Fujioka K, Greenway F, Halpern A, Krempf M, Lau DC, le Roux CW, Violante Ortiz R, Jensen CB, Wilding JP; SCALE Obesity and Prediabetes NN8022-1839 Study Group. A Randomized, Controlled Trial of 3.0 mg of Liraglutide in Weight Management. N Engl J Med. 2015 Jul 2;373(1):11-22. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1411892. PMID: 26132939.
  2. 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.

Ready to transform your health?

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