Mounjaro is a popular medication to help manage blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes. If you have been prescribed Mounjaro, it is important to understand what it is and how to properly use the Mounjaro injection. We've put together a guide on how to properly use it to treat diabetes.
Injectable diabetes medications have recently gained attention for their use in the treatment of diabetes as well as off-label uses for weight loss. The Mounjaro injection is a relatively new drug that contains tirzepatide and is FDA-approved to treat adults with type 2 diabetes. Some people may find the use of Mounjaro more convenient than other oral medications due to its once-weekly dosing.
Although Mounjaro is an effective treatment for managing blood sugar levels, it needs to be used properly for the best results. Continue reading to learn more about the Mounjaro injection and how it works.
What is Mounjaro?
Mounjaro is a brand-name medication prescribed to help improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes. It may also be prescribed off-label for weight loss. Mounjaro is classified as a dual GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonist, which means it targets both glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptors and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptors.
Because of its dual actions, Mounjaro can be effective as a standalone therapy or in combination with other diabetes medications, such as metformin, sulfonylureas or SGLT2 inhibitors. Mounjaro is typically prescribed in addition to an appropriate diet and exercise plan.
How Mounjaro Injection Works
The Mounjaro injection may work in various ways to manage blood sugar levels. One of the main ways Mounjaro works is by delaying gastric emptying and suppressing appetite. As a result, decreased food intake may lead to fewer spikes in glucose throughout the day.
In addition to appetite suppression, Mounjaro may also influence the function of the pancreas. The pancreas helps regulate blood sugar levels by producing insulin, a hormone that can help control glucose. Mounjaro can help stimulate insulin release from the pancreas to manage blood glucose levels.
Mounjaro also affects GLP-1 and GIP, which are incretin hormones that help regulate insulin secretion and digestion. By increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing glucagon levels (the hormone that raises blood sugar levels), Mounjaro may help better control diabetes symptoms.
How to Use Mounjaro
If you’re prescribed Mounjaro, you’ll want to make sure you’re using it correctly. Your healthcare provider will likely instruct you on how to use the injection. However, the medication package should also have instructions.
Before using the Mounjaro pen, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly. Choose your injection site, which can be your abdomen, thigh or upper arm. You’ll want to rotate the injection sites to minimize the risk of skin irritation.
Check the pen's expiration date and verify that the drug's dosage is correct. If you notice any signs of damage or discoloration, do not use the pen.
Administering the Injection
When you are ready to administer Mounjaro, you can follow these steps:
- Clean the injection site with an alcohol swab and let it air dry.
- Remove the pen cap, attach a new needle and remove the needle cover.
- Hold the pen with one hand, and pinch the skin around the injection site with your other hand.
- Insert the needle at a 90-degree angle into the pinched skin, making sure it is fully inserted.
- Press and hold the injection button on the pen for up to 10 seconds until you hear two clicks, indicating that the injection is complete.
After administering the injection, safely dispose of the used needle in a sharps container. Remember to use Mounjaro only once a week and follow your healthcare provider's recommendations regarding the appropriate dosage.
Side Effects and Safety Precautions
Mounjaro injection is associated with several side effects that users should be aware of before starting the treatment. Some of the side effects are mild and may go away on their own, while others can be more serious and require medical attention.
The most common side effects of Mounjaro include:
- Stomach pain
- Decreased appetite
- Upset stomach
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is also a potential concern for users of Mounjaro, as the injection can cause blood sugar levels to drop. Monitoring blood sugar levels and following a balanced diet can be important ways to help lower the risk of hypoglycemia.
Allergic reactions are also possible while using Mounjaro. If you experience symptoms such as swelling, trouble swallowing or shortness of breath, seek medical help.
How Much Does Mounjaro Cost?
The cost of Mounjaro can vary depending on several factors. These factors may include your specific treatment plan, insurance coverage and the pharmacy you use. Without insurance, Mounjaro is a brand-name drug that can be expensive, and there is currently no generic version.
There are ways to save on the cost of Mounjaro, whether you’re insured or uninsured. The Inside Rx prescription discount card could help you save up to 80% on brand and generic prescription medications at nearly 60,000 participating pharmacies. Simply download and present the Inside Rx savings card to the pharmacist when picking up your prescription. Some people find that Inside Rx saves them more than they would with insurance.