- Mounjaro is a newer medication designed to help those with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels and decrease their appetite.
- A person may want to stop taking Mounjaro for various reasons, including side effects, the cost of the medication, or, they’ve achieved their health goal and no longer need the medication.
- The process of stopping Mounjaro should be done under the direction of a doctor to reduce any possible effects like rises in blood sugar and rapid weight gain.
Mounjaro, also known by its main ingredient name, tirzepatide, is a prescription injection medication doctors use to help people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels.
Mounjaro works best alongside exercise and healthy eating.
Although it has not received FDA approval as a weight loss medication, tirzepatide works significantly well at helping people shed excess weight.
Because of this, some doctors prescribe Mounjaro off-label as a weight loss medication.
There are several reasons why you may be considering stopping your Mounjaro medication.
However, it’s important to talk this over with your doctor so they can safely guide you through the process.
This article looks at how Mounjaro affects your body, the reasons why people may want to stop taking it, the possible side effects of discontinuing it, and more.
How Mounjaro Affects Your Body
Mounjaro is the first of its kind medication the FDA approved in 2022 for treating type 2 diabetes.
The medication is administered as a once-weekly injection.
Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) are two hormones in your body that help regulate your blood sugar level and digestion.
Mounjaro acts as both of these hormones by stimulating GLP-1 and GIP receptors.
The medication is different from other GLP-1 medications in that the risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is less.
The dual actions of Mounjaro help increase insulin levels when you eat, decrease glucagon release from the liver, and slow down the rate at which food leaves the stomach.
Together, these actions help you manage your blood sugar and feel less hungry throughout the day, which may help you lose weight.
Reasons People Stop Taking Mounjaro
Mounjaro can be highly effective for blood sugar control and weight loss.
However, various factors may lead a person to want to discontinue it. Some of these reasons may include:
Like all medications, Mounjaro can cause side effects that may be mild or severe, which may dissuade you from taking Mounjaro. The most common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, decreased appetite, vomiting, constipation, indigestion, and stomach pain.
One pen of Mounjaro can cost approximately $1,023. If you have insurance, you may receive partial coverage, but if you don’t have insurance or if your plan doesn’t cover Mounjaro, you may be restricted from taking it due to the financial burden.
If you have certain health concerns, such as problems with your gallbladder, kidneys, or pancreas, your doctor may advise you to discontinue taking Mounjaro due to possible adverse effects.
Achieved weight loss goal
If you’ve been taking Mounjaro to lose weight, you may wish to stop taking the medication once you reach your goal weight.
You may have decided you’d rather not take Mounjaro to manage your weight, and you’d like to opt for lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise as your long-term strategy.
Possible Side Effects of Stopping Mounjaro
Once you’ve decided with your doctor to stop taking Mounjaro, there are some possible side effects to be aware of.
These can vary from person to person and may include:
Mounjaro is very successful at suppressing your appetite. Therefore, when you stop taking it, you may feel hungry more often.
Mounjaro can cause changes to your stools, such as constipation or diarrhea. Stopping the medication may temporarily cause changes to your stool as your body adjusts.
People who take Mounjaro typically experience weight loss. When you stop taking Mounjaro, you may notice that your lost weight returns.
Increase blood sugar levels
Mounjaro functions by increasing insulin secretion and decreasing glucagon release from the liver.
When you stop taking it, you may notice that your blood sugar level rises.
Check your blood sugar regularly and talk with your doctor about steps to take when your blood sugar rises above a healthy range.
No more side effects
Mounjaro can cause some uncomfortable side effects that you may notice go away over time when you discontinue taking Mounjaro.
Will I Gain Weight After Stopping Mounjaro?
Although Mounjaro was developed for type 2 diabetes management, most people lose weight when they start taking the medication.
During clinical trials, participants lost up to 20% of their starting weight over 40 weeks.
Because of the weight loss effects, discontinuing Mounjaro may cause you to regain your lost weight.
However, because the medication is newer, there is currently no research on how quickly or how much weight you may regain.
Several factors, such as your lifestyle choices and how you manage the transition of stopping Mounjaro, may also affect weight changes.
People who stopped taking semaglutide, a medication similar to Mounjaro, regained two-thirds of their previous weight loss after one year of discontinuing semaglutide injections.
Semaglutide is a GLP-1 agonist that works similarly to Mounjaro.
How To Stop Taking Mounjaro Safely
If you wish to stop taking Mounjaro, it’s important first to discuss this with your doctor.
Stopping a medication suddenly can sometimes cause harmful reactions, and your doctor can develop a timeline to safely wean you off the drug.
If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor may give you guidance on monitoring your blood sugar levels and what to do if your blood sugar starts to rise too high.
You may need to take a different medication to help maintain your blood sugar level in a certain range.
It’s a good idea to pay attention to the foods you eat as you transition off Mounjaro.
Select foods such as lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
The foods help support your overall health and will help you keep your blood sugar in a healthy range.
Carbohydrates raise your blood sugar levels. However, the type of carbohydrate, and what you eat with it determines how quickly your blood sugar may rise.
Eating carbohydrates with foods that have protein, fat, or fiber slows down how quickly your blood sugar rises.
Try to get regular exercise throughout the week. Regular exercise can help you manage your blood sugar and prevent excess weight gain.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends getting about 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.
What To Expect In the First Few Weeks After Stopping Mounjaro
During the first few weeks of stopping Mounjaro, your body will complete an adjustment period.
Here are some things you may expect during this transition:
- Increased appetite.
- Gradual weight gain.
- Increased blood sugar.
Your doctor may request regular check-ins to monitor how you adjust to not taking Mounjaro.
Tips for Maintaining Weight Loss Without Medication
Mounjaro can be helpful for meeting your weight loss goals. However, long-term weight loss success depends on maintaining healthy lifestyle habits.
Here are some tips for helping you maintain your weight loss without Mounjaro.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Monitor portion size.
- Stay hydrated.
- Get regular exercise.
- Set realistic goals.
- Seek professional support.
Discontinuing Mounjaro, a medication that helps with blood sugar management and weight loss, can be a complex decision.
People may have different reasons for wanting to stop Mounjaro, such as side effects, achieving health goals, or the cost of the medication.
Stopping Mounjaro may have several effects, such as increased appetite, increase in blood sugar, and weight gain.
A person needs to discuss stopping Mounjaro with their doctor before discontinuing the medication.
Their doctor may have guidelines on how to taper off the medication and how to stay safe while stopping Mounjaro.
Managing Weight Loss with an RD
A Nourish registered dietitian can be a valuable resource if you have questions about managing your weight or taking weight loss medications like Mounjaro.
Registered dietitians can provide you with personalized guidance, meal plans, and strategies to help you achieve and maintain your weight loss goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
See a Registered Dietitian with Nourish
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