Mounjaro risks and side effects & Safety Information

What Is the Warning on Mounjaro?

FDA Warning: Risk of Thyroid Cancer

This medicine comes with a serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This warning is called a boxed warning, and it’s meant to let doctors and patients know about the drug’s potentially harmful effects. In tests on animals, tirzepatide (the active drug in Mounjaro) was found to cause thyroid cancer, specifically thyroid C-cell tumors.

It’s unclear whether Mounjaro might have the same effect in humans, and no cases of thyroid cancer were reported in people who used the medication in clinical trials. Due to this potential risk, doctors usually won’t prescribe Mounjaro if you or a family member has a history of Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma or a condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2, which can lead to thyroid cancer.

If you experience symptoms like a lump in your neck, painful swallowing, difficulty breathing, or persistent hoarseness while on Mounjaro, inform your doctor immediately. They may pause your Mounjaro treatment, and if thyroid cancer is confirmed, you’ll likely be advised to stop using the drug. If you have any questions or concerns about the risk of thyroid cancer with Mounjaro, discuss them with your doctor immediately.

What Are the Mounjaro Precautions?

  • Pancreatitis: If you’ve had inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) before, it’s unclear if Mounjaro is safe for you. Past pancreatitis may increase your risk of getting it again as a side effect of Mounjaro. Your doctor might suggest a different treatment for you
  • Diabetic Retinopathy: Mounjaro could temporarily worsen a vision problem called diabetic retinopathy. If you have this condition, talk to your doctor. They may recommend watching for any changes in your vision and may advise seeing an eye specialist if the diabetic retinopathy doesn’t improve on its own.
  • Digestive System Problems: It’s unclear if Mounjaro is safe for people with digestive system problems, such as gastroparesis. Having this condition might increase your risk of severe digestive issues with Mounjaro. Your doctor may suggest a different treatment.

Who Should Not Take Mounjaro?

Before you start taking Mounjaro, have a talk with your doctor about your health history. The drug might not be suitable for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

Allergic Reaction in the Past

If you've had an allergic reaction to Mounjaro or any of its active ingredients in the past, your doctor probably will not prescribe it. Ask your doctor about other medications that might be better for you for managing type 2 diabetes.

Patients with Kidney Problems

If you experience severe vomiting and diarrhea with Mounjaro, it could lead to dehydration and potentially cause kidney problems. If you already have kidney issues and your doctor prescribes Mounjaro, they may closely monitor your kidney function.

What Happens If You Take Mounjaro While Pregnancy and Breastfeeding?

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding while taking Mounjaro

If you are considering getting pregnant, it is essential to assess the suitability of Mounjaro for your condition. It is advisable to refrain from using Mounjaro during pregnancy, as its safety profile in pregnant women remains uncertain. Notably, animal studies suggest potential fetal harm associated with tirzepatide, the active ingredient of Mounjaro. So, if you are pregnant, your doctor may probably advise you not to use Mounjaro. 

 

Additionally, if you are breastfeeding or intending to breastfeed, your healthcare provider may advise against the use of Mounjaro (tirzepatide). It is crucial to assess the potential impact of Mounjaro on both you and your child. The safety of using this medication during breastfeeding is unknown, as researchers have not yet investigated its effects on breast milk.

Mounjaro Interactions

Mounjaro may interact with various medications, supplements, and foods, potentially leading to different effects. These interactions can impact this drug’s effectiveness, increasing the chances of severe side effects. The following is a compilation of medications that may interact with Mounjaro.

What Drugs Interact with Mounjaro?

Mounjaro has the potential to slow down gastric emptying, particularly when starting treatment or when your doctor adjusts the dosage. This effect may impact the efficacy of specific medications, including

  • Warfarin: If you are taking medication like warfarin (Jantoven), your doctor may closely monitor you during Mounjaro treatment and may need to make more frequent adjustments to your warfarin dosage.
  • Birth Control Pills: For individuals taking birth control pills, it is likely that their doctor will recommend transitioning to a non-pill form of contraception, such as the patch or vaginal ring. Alternatively, their doctor may suggest incorporating a barrier method of birth control, such as condoms, especially during the initial phase of Mounjaro treatment.

[Note: This list doesn’t include the names of all medications, and it is crucial to consult with your doctor and pharmacist before starting Mounjaro medication. Inform them about all prescribed and over-the-counter drugs, as well as any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you are currently taking. Sharing this information is vital to help prevent potential interactions.

Does Mounjaro Interact with Other Medications?

Some of the diabetes medications that can directly impact your health are:

Insulin/Sulfonylureas: Certain diabetes medicines, like insulin (brands include Admelog, Lyumjev, Humalog, Lantus,  Toujeo, Basaglar) and sulfonylureas (like Amaryl, Glucotrol XL, Diabeta, Glynase), may raise the chance of low blood sugar when taken with Mounjaro. If your doctor prescribes these medications, they might ask you to check your blood sugar often. They can also guide you on recognizing signs of low blood sugar and what steps to take.

Ozempic : While no current research shows any problems when using Ozempic and Mounjaro together, there are still risks. The main concern is the chance of experiencing low blood sugar and an elevated risk of thyroid tumors. If you take both medications, you might have more intense side effects, such as gastrointestinal problems, kidney and liver issues, and more. It’s crucial to be aware of these potential risks and consult with your healthcare provider.

Metformin : Metformin, like Mounjaro, is used to treat type 2 diabetes and can also prevent diabetes in high-risk individuals. However, combining two diabetes drugs is generally not recommended due to the risk of low blood sugar, which can be dangerous, especially for people with type 2 diabetes.

Note: If you need clarification on how different drugs might interact with you, then it is highly advisable to consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dose Maunjaro cause hair lose

When you stop taking Mounjaro or similar medications like Zepbound, which are designed to help qualified individuals manage weight and blood glucose levels, there are several potential outcomes. These medications are typically not recommended for short-term use because discontinuing them can lead to several issues, including:

  • Weight Regain: You may regain the weight you lost while on the medication, as the effects that helped reduce appetite and improve metabolism will no longer be active.
  • Increased Appetite: These medications often work by suppressing appetite, so stopping them might lead to an increase in appetite, making it harder to control caloric intake.
  • Blood Sugar Spikes: For individuals using these medications to manage diabetes, stopping them can result in fluctuations in blood sugar levels, potentially leading to spikes.

If you're considering stopping Mounjaro or a similar medication, it's important to discuss this with your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance on how to do so safely and minimize potential negative effects.

While there are no direct interactions documented between Mounjaro (tirzepatide) and alcohol, combining the two may increase the likelihood of experiencing certain side effects that they share, such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Additionally, consuming alcohol can increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), particularly in individuals with type 2 diabetes, a condition for which Mounjaro is commonly prescribed. Since Mounjaro can also contribute to lowering blood sugar levels, drinking alcohol while on this medication may further elevate the risk of hypoglycemia. If you consume alcohol, it's important to discuss with your doctor how much, if any, is safe for you to drink while undergoing treatment with Mounjaro. Your healthcare provider can provide guidance based on your specific health conditions and the other medications you might be taking.

When taking Mounjaro, it's advisable to limit foods that are high in carbohydrates, particularly refined carbs such as white bread, pasta, and rice. These types of foods can cause rapid increases in blood sugar levels, which might counteract the medication’s benefits for weight management and blood sugar control. Opting for lower-carbohydrate and higher-fiber options can help stabilize blood sugar levels and support your weight loss efforts while on Mounjaro.

Mounjaro (tirzepatide) can potentially affect the absorption of oral contraceptives, which may reduce their effectiveness and increase the risk of unintended pregnancy. This interference primarily relates to gastrointestinal side effects like nausea and vomiting, which can impair the proper absorption of medications taken orally, including birth control pills. If you are using oral contraceptives and are prescribed Mounjaro, it's important to discuss this with your healthcare provider. They may suggest alternative or additional forms of contraception to ensure effective birth control.

According to data from randomized controlled trials, Mounjaro can lead to an average weight loss of about 4% of your body weight after one month of use. By the end of two months, this weight loss could increase to approximately 6% of your body weight. These figures can vary based on individual factors such as diet, exercise, and overall health.