What is your current activity level?
🧍‍♂️Sedentary
🚶 Moderately active
🏃 Very active
This will help us personalize your experience
Blog
>

Saxenda vs Mounjaro: What's the Difference?

Published on
Updated on
Saxenda vs Mounjaro: What's the Difference?

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Saxenda and Mounjaro are similar medications but have subtle differences that can make a big difference in determining which medication is right for you. 
  • Saxenda is a medication doctors prescribe for weight loss, while Mounjaro is a medication that helps people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. 
  • You and your doctor can determine which medication is right for you after reviewing your health goals, medical history, out-of-pocket costs, and personal lifestyle.

Saxenda and Mounjaro are similar because they are both prescription injection medications that are meant to work alongside diet and exercise.

They have similar effects and often cause significant weight loss.

Some differences include their drug classes and what they’re indicated for.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Saxenda for treating obesity, while Mounjaro helps people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar

Read on to learn the similarities and differences between Saxenda and Mounjaro. 

{{splash}}

What is Saxenda?

Saxenda (liraglutide) is a prescription medication doctors prescribe for weight loss to people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater, or 27 or greater with at least one weight-related condition. 

It comes from the class of drugs known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists.

The medication works by mimicking the actions of a natural hormone in your body that helps regulate appetite and digestion.

You take Saxenda through a daily injection, and it’s important to make lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly for optimal results.

What is Mounjaro?

Doctors prescribe Mounjaro (tirzepatide) to people with type 2 diabetes to help them keep their blood sugar in a healthy range.

It belongs to a newer class of medications that combine the actions of GLP-1 receptor agonist medications and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonists.

This medication helps release insulin (a hormone that helps clear sugars out of your bloodstream) when blood sugar levels rise, stops the liver from producing and releasing excess sugar, and reduces appetite. 

You take Mounjaro through a weekly injection.

The medication is designed to work alongside a healthy diet and physical activity.

How is Saxenda Different from Mounjaro?

Saxenda and Mounjaro differ in how they work in your body and what doctors prescribe them for.

They also differ in how much weight you may lose.

Saxenda functions as a GLP-1 receptor agonist and primarily targets appetite regulation for weight loss.

It’s proven to help teens and adults with obesity or those with overweight and weight-related conditions lose weight.

Mounjaro combines the actions of GLP-1 and GIP receptor agonists and offers a dual approach for treating type 2 diabetes by helping control blood sugar levels while also supporting weight loss. 

Another difference is that Saxenda is a daily injection, while Mounjaro is a weekly injection. 

While both medications support weight loss, their weight loss results vary.

During Saxenda’s 52-week clinical trials, about half of the participants lost about 5% of their body weight.

Between 25% – 33% of participants lost more than 10% of their body weight. 

Although Mounjaro is not prescribed for weight loss, it does help those who take it lose weight.

The amount of weight you may lose depends on the dose of the medication. 

During the 72-week clinical trials, participants who took 5mg weekly lost an average of 15% of their body weight.

Those who took 10mg weekly lost an average of 19.5%, and those who took 10mg weekly lost an average of 20.9% of their total body weight. 

Similarities Between Saxenda and Mounjaro

Saxenda and Mounjaro are similar in that they both work as GLP-1 agonists.

GLP-1 is a naturally occurring hormone in your body that is critical in regulating your blood sugar levels.

There are three ways that it works in your body.

  1. GLP-1 stimulates the pancreas to produce more insulin when blood sugar levels are high. Insulin is a hormone that helps cells absorb sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream. 
  1. GLP-1 also tells the pancreas not to produce as much glucagon–a hormone that increases blood sugar levels when it gets too low. 
  1. GLP-1 also affects how quickly food leaves the stomach during digestion. It slows down gastric emptying, which acts as an appetite suppressant. 

These medications mimic the natural functions of GLP-1, which enhances its effects, making them great for managing blood sugar levels and losing excess weight. 

Mounjaro differs a bit from Saxenda in that it also mimics the actions of the GIP-1 hormone which also encourages insulin secretion to help lower blood sugar. 

{{splash}}

Comparison Breakdown: Saxenda vs Mounjaro

Here is a quick breakdown of several similarities and differences between Saxenda and Mounjaro.

Effectiveness

Both Saxenda and Mounjaro are effective as tools for helping people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar when combined with diet and exercise.

However, as discussed before, there are differences in how effective they are for weight loss. 

According to clinical trials, people taking Mounjaro are likely to lose more weight than those taking Saxenda. 

Dosage and Treatment Schedule

The dosage schedule for both medications is structured to help you adjust to the medication with minimal side effects.

Your doctor will start you at a lower dose and gradually increase to the target or maximum dose. 

For Saxenda, treatment starts with a daily dose of 0.6 mg in the first week.

Each week, the dose is incrementally increased with the goal of reaching 3 mg daily by the fifth week. 

Mounjaro follows a once-weekly dosing schedule starting with 2.5 mg for the first four weeks.

At week five, the dose increases to 5 mg weekly injections for four weeks.

If blood sugar control is achieved at this level, your doctor will advise you to continue this dose each week. 

If your blood sugar is still too high, they may gradually increase your dose until it is controlled or you reach the maximum dose of 15 mg once weekly. 

You can take either of the injections with or without food.

The important thing is to take it at the same time each day or week and to rotate your injection sites.

{{splash}}

Potential Side Effects and Risks

Both medications have common side effects that include the digestive system because of how they work in the body.

Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, and decreased appetite.

More severe and less common side effects for both medications include inflammation of the pancreas, gallbladder problems, low blood sugar, and kidney problems.

Saxenda is unique in that some people also become depressed or have suicidal thoughts while taking it.

If you experience any of these symptoms, stop the medication immediately and follow up with your healthcare provider.  

Cost and Insurance Coverage

Saxenda generally costs more than Mounjaro, but your actual cost can vary depending on your insurance coverage.

Without insurance, Saxenda’s average monthly cost is about $1349, and Mounjaro is about $1023

Your insurance plan and pharmacy influence the final cost for either medication.

Some insurance plans may help cover part of the cost, but you may need prior authorization for the medication to be covered.

To determine your actual costs, call your insurance provider to find out what your plan covers.

It’s also wise to shop at different pharmacies as some may sell the medication at competitive pricing. 

Top Considerations for Choosing Between Saxenda and Mounjaro 

When choosing between Saxenda and Mounjaro, it’s important to review the pros and cons of each medication with your doctor.

Then you can decide which option is right for you. 

{{local}}

Medical History and Pre-Existing Conditions 

People with certain pre-existing medical conditions should not take Saxenda or Mounjaro.

The manufacturers give warnings for having the following:

  • A personal or family history of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2.
  • Medullary thyroid cancer.
  • Insulin-dependent diabetes.
  • Ketoacidosis.

Both medications also caused thyroid tumors in animals during clinical trials.

Let your doctor know right away if you have swelling or a lump in your next, a hoarse voice, or difficulty swallowing.

Personal Preferences and Lifestyle Factors 

Finally, consider your personal preferences and lifestyle factors.

These medications are both injectable.

Depending on your comfort with injections, you may prefer a once-weekly injection versus a daily injection. 

It’s also important to consider your lifestyle.

Both of these medications work alongside eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. 

Takeaway

Saxenda and Mounjaro are medications people can use to better their health.

They both mimic the GLP-1 hormone that helps control blood sugar levels and suppress appetite.

Mounjaro also has the added benefit of mimicking the GIP hormone to enhance blood sugar management and weight loss. 

Doctors prescribe Saxenda for weight loss and Mounjaro for people with type 2 diabetes.

They both have side effects that may cause digestive discomfort or changes in bowel movements.

People with a history of thyroid cancer, insulin-dependent diabetes, or ketoacidosis should not take either of these medications.  

Deciding which medication is best for you is a decision you need to make with your doctor based on your medical needs, insurance coverage, and lifestyle choices.

How a Dietitian Can Help

A dietitian can assess your nutritional needs, eating habits, and health goals when you’re taking Saxenda and Mounjaro.

They can also offer personalized advice on how to integrate either of these medications into a holistic health plan. 

{{splash}}

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Saxenda the same as Mounjaro?

Saxenda and Mounjaro are both GLP-1 medications.

However, Mounjaro is different in that it is also a GIP medication.

They also differ in what they are used for.

Doctors prescribe Saxenda for weight loss, while Mounjaro is a medication for people with type 2 diabetes to manage their blood sugar.

Can I switch from Mounjaro to Saxenda?

If you are wanting to switch from Mounjaro to Saxenda, you need to discuss this change with your doctor.

While the medications are very similar, they have several differences that may influence whether you should switch.

What is better than Saxenda for weight loss?

Saxenda is a great medication tool for weight loss.

It works alongside following a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.

Mounjaro is also a medication that helps with weight loss.

However, it's not FDA-approved to be prescribed for this use.

Currently, Mounjaro is prescribed to help control blood sugar.

References

View all references
Nourish has strict sourcing policies and prioritizes primary sources, including medical organizations, governmental agencies, academic institutions, and peer-reviewed scientific journals. Learn more about our medical review process and editorial guidelines.

See a Registered Dietitian with Nourish

  • Covered by insurance
  • Virtual sessions
  • Personalized care
Schedule an appointment

Frequently asked questions

No items found.
Text LinkText Link

Find a virtual dietitian in {State}

Find a dietitian near you

Covered by insurance.
Question 1

Are you more thirsty than usual?

Question 1

Are you urinating more than usual?

Question 1

Is your blood sugar level consistently high?

Question 1

Do you experience extreme hunger or fatigue?

Question 1

Do you have blurry vision or numbness and tingling in your hands and feet?

Question 1

Do you experience frequent infections or slow-healing wounds?

Question 1

Do you have a family history of diabetes?

Your Result

Your results are in!

While you don’t seem to be at risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes based on this quiz, please contact your healthcare provider with any concerns. If you want to learn more about diet and lifestyle changes with diabetes, find a registered dietitian covered by insurance with Nourish.

Your Result

Your results are in!

You should seek guidance from your healthcare provider about the possibility of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

If you want to learn more about diet and lifestyle changes with diabetes, find a registered dietitian covered by insurance with Nourish.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Charleston
SC
South Carolina
32.7884363, -79.9399309
Paterson
NJ
New Jersey
40.916611, -74.172188
Palmdale
CA
California
34.576469, -118.116096
Lancaster
CA
California
34.697472, -118.144524
Murfreesboro
TN
Tennessee
35.845619, -86.390266
Santa Rosa
CA
California
38.547134, -122.816383
Eugene
OR
Oregon
44.052151, -123.091187
Shreveport
LA
Louisiana
32.523659, -93.763504
Clarksville
TN
Tennessee
36.527279, -87.360336
Cary
NC
North Carolina
35.7882893, -78.7812081
Salem
OR
Oregon
44.944099, -123.040283
Newport News
VA
Virginia
37.087082, -76.473015
Chattanooga
TN
Tennessee
35.0457219, -85.3094883
Akron
OH
Ohio
41.0842496, -81.6777863
Providence
RI
Rhode Island
41.823990, -71.412834
Tallahassee
FL
Florida
30.438255, -84.280731
Peoria
AZ
Arizona
33.7528919, -112.4902079
Sioux Falls
SD
South Dakota
43.536388, -96.731667
Yonkers
NY
New York
40.930790, -73.898293
Fayetteville
NC
North Carolina
35.052666, -78.878357
Rochester
NY
New York
43.156578, -77.608849
McKinney
TX
Texas
33.214561, -96.614456
Moreno Valley
CA
California
33.920891, -117.261162
Fremont
CA
California
37.548271, -121.988571
Frisco
TX
Texas
33.150673, -96.823608
Spokane
WA
Washington
47.658779, -117.426048
Boise
ID
Idaho
43.6008183, -116.2421086
Port St. Lucie
FL
Florida
27.273270, -80.342148
Irving
TX
Texas
32.814018, -96.948891
Winston-Salem
NC
North Carolina
36.096260, -80.243736
St. Petersburg
FL
Florida
27.773056, -82.639999
Laredo
TX
Texas
27.507130, -99.507500
Jersey City
NJ
New Jersey
,
Buffalo
NY
New York
42.8867166, -78.8783922
St. Louis
MO
Missouri
38.627003, -90.199402
Chandler
AZ
Arizona
33.3062031, -111.841185
Durham
NC
North Carolina
35.994034, -78.898621
Lincoln
NE
Nebraska
40.806862, -96.681679
Pittsburgh
PA
Pennsylvania
40.440624, -79.995888
Greensboro
NC
North Carolina
36.072701, -79.793900
St. Paul
MN
Minnesota
44.954445, -93.091301
Newark
NJ
New Jersey
40.735657, -74.172363
Lexington
KY
Kentucky
38.040585, -84.503716
Stockton
CA
California
37.957703, -121.290779
Honolulu
HI
Hawaii
21.306944, -157.858337
Cleveland
OH
Ohio
41.499321, -81.694359
Arlington
TX
Texas
32.7355816, -97.1071186
Oakland
CA
California
37.804363, -122.271111
Long Beach
CA
California
33.770050, -118.193741
Raleigh
NC
North Carolina
35.779591, -78.638176
Omaha
NE
Nebraska
41.256538, -95.934502
Colorado Springs
CO
Colorado
38.833881, -104.821365
Fresno
CA
California
36.737797, -119.787125
Albuquerque
NM
New Mexico
35.084385, -106.650421
Memphis
TN
Tennessee
35.117500, -89.971107
Washington DC
WA DC
Washington, DC
38.889805, -77.009056
Las Vegas
NV
Nevada
36.169941, -115.139832
Seattle
WA
Washington
47.606209, -122.332069
Charlotte
NC
North Carolina
35.2272086, -80.8430827
Sacramento
CA
California
38.590576, -121.489906
Richmond
VA
Virginia
37.540726, -77.436050
Surprise
AZ
Arizona
33.629002, -112.330170
Mesa
AZ
Arizona
33.415184, -111.831474
Louisville
KY
Kentucky
38.252666, -85.758453
Des Moines
IA
Iowa
41.586834, -93.624962
Lakewood
CO
Colorado
39.704708, -105.081375
Kansas City
KS
Kansas
39.112701, -94.626801
Reno
NV
Nevada
39.529633, -119.813805
Tacoma
WA
Washington
47.258728, -122.465973
Aurora
CO
Colorado
39.7405111, -104.830994
Oxnard
CA
California
34.197659, -119.175949
Amarillo
TX
Texas
35.221996, -101.831299
Henderson
NV
Nevada
36.039524, -114.981720
Vancouver
WA
Washington
45.633331, -122.599998
Gilbert
AZ
Arizona
33.352825, -111.789024
San Bernardino
CA
California
34.115784, -117.302399
Columbus
GA
Georgia
27.800583, -97.396378
Hayward
CA
California
37.668819, -122.080795
Milwaukee
WI
Wisconsin
43.038902, -87.906471
Lubbock
TX
Texas
33.576698, -101.855072
Norfolk
VA
Virginia
36.850769, -76.285873
Tulsa
OK
Oklahoma
36.153980, -95.992775
Garland
TX
Texas
32.914341, -96.636559
Fort Lauderdale
FL
Florida
26.124161, -80.143593
Tucson
AZ
Arizona
32.248814, -110.987419
Salt Lake City
UT
Utah
40.760780, -111.891045
Corona
CA
California
33.875670, -117.568840
Madison
WI
Wisconsin
43.073051, -89.401230
Huntsville
AL
Alabama
34.7014286, -86.6597495
Kansas City
MO
Missouri
39.099728, -94.578568
Irvine
CA
California
33.684566, -117.826508
Chula Vista
CA
California
32.640072, -117.084038
Denton
TX
Texas
33.215530, -97.132446
Aurora
IL
Illinois
41.7571701, -88.3147539
Baton Rouge
LA
Louisiana
30.4494155, -91.1869659
Columbus
OH
Ohio
39.961178, -82.998795
Baltimore
MD
Maryland
39.2908816, -76.610759
Detroit
MI
Michigan
42.331429, -83.045753
Chesapeake
VA
Virginia
36.7183708, -76.2466798
Atlanta
GA
Georgia
33.7489924, -84.3902644
Birmingham
AL
Alabama
33.5206824, -86.8024326
Scottsdale
AZ
Arizona
33.501324, -111.925278
Cincinnati
OH
Ohio
39.103700, -84.513610
North Las Vegas
NV
Nevada
36.201946, -115.120216
Riverside
CA
California
33.980602, -117.375496
Plano
TX
Texas
33.019844, -96.698883
Minneapolis
MN
Minnesota
44.977753, -93.265015
Salinas
CA
California
,
Anaheim
CA
California
33.836594, -117.914299
Springfield
MO
Missouri
37.208958, -93.292297
Fort Wayne
IN
Indiana
41.077469, -85.137489
Phoenix
AZ
Arizona
33.448376, -112.074036
Bakersfield
CA
California
35.3738712, -119.0194639
Garden Grove
CA
California
33.774269, -117.937996
Anchorage
AK
Alaska
61.2163129, -149.894852
Indianapolis
IN
Indiana
39.768402, -86.158066
Nashville
TN
Tennessee
36.162663, -86.781601
Tempe
AZ
Arizona
33.425522, -111.941254
Mobile
AL
Alabama
30.695366, -88.039894
New Orleans
LA
Louisiana
29.951065, -90.071533
Knoxville
TN
Tennessee
35.960636, -83.920738
Grand Rapids
MI
Michigan
42.963360, -85.668083
Fontana
CA
California
34.102890, -117.435760
Elk Grove
CA
California
38.418129, -121.393257
Cape Coral
FL
Florida
26.5625742, -81.9438802
Grand Prairie
TX
Texas
32.745499, -97.003532
Fort Collins
CO
Colorado
40.588970, -105.082458
Killeen
TX
Texas
31.117119, -97.727798
Modesto
CA
California
37.639095, -120.996880
Oklahoma City
OK
Oklahoma
35.468491, -97.521263
Santa Ana
CA
California
33.745571, -117.867836
Ontario
CA
California
34.063343, -117.650887
Brownsville
TX
Texas
25.9015688, -97.4984005
Montgomery
AL
Alabama
32.379223, -86.307739
Hialeah
FL
Florida
25.857595, -80.278107
Springfield
MA
Massachusetts
42.102051, -72.585762
Toledo
OH
Ohio
41.652805, -83.537865
Pembroke Pines
FL
Florida
26.007765, -80.296257
Overland Park
KS
Kansas
38.974819, -94.683601
Little Rock
AR
Arkansas
34.746483, -92.289597
Glendale
CA
California
34.142509, -118.255074
Roseville
CA
California
38.752125, -121.288010
Wichita
KS
Kansas
37.687176, -97.330055
Huntington Beach
CA
California
33.659485, -117.998802
Augusta
GA
Georgia
33.4709714, -81.9748429
Worcester
MA
Massachusetts
42.271389, -71.798889
Virginia Beach
VA
Virginia
36.852924, -75.977982
Oceanside
CA
California
33.1958696, -117.3794834
Santa Clarita
CA
California
34.456043, -118.571335
Philadelphia
PA
Pennsylvania
39.952583, -75.165222
Corpus Christi
TX
Texas
27.800583, -97.396378
Portland
OR
Oregon
45.512230, -122.658722
Denver
CO
Colorado
39.739235, -104.990250
Boston
MA
Massachusetts
42.3554334, -71.060511
Atlanta
GA
Georgia
33.7489924, -84.3902644
Chicago
IL
Illinois
41.8755616, -87.6244212
Orlando
FL
Florida
28.538336, -81.379234
Jacksonville
FL
Florida
30.332184, -81.655647
Tampa
FL
Florida
27.950575, -82.457176
Long Island
NY
New York
40.757801, -73.940033
Queens
NY
New York
40.728226, -73.794853
Bronx
NY
New York
40.8466508, -73.8785937
Staten Island
NY
New York
40.643501, -74.076202
Brooklyn
NY
New York
40.6526006, -73.9497211
New York
NY
New York
40.712776, -74.005974
San Jose
CA
California
37.342205, -121.851990
San Francisco
CA
California
37.774929, -122.419418
San Diego
CA
California
32.834686, -117.130775
Los Angeles
CA
California
34.052235, -118.243683
El Paso
TX
Texas
31.761877, -106.485023
San Antonio
TX
Texas
29.387428, -98.496574
Dallas
TX
Texas
32.776665, -96.796989
Fort Worth
TX
Texas
32.755489, -97.330765
Houston
TX
Texas
29.760427, -95.369804
Austin
TX
Texas
30.2711286, -97.7436995

Book an appointment with a {category} dietitian

Covered by insurance.

Book an appointment with an online dietitian

Covered by insurance.

Find a

dietitian covered by insurance

No items found.
Mental Health
Intuitive Eating
Hyperthyroidism