“I have lost 40 pounds on Mounjaro. Can I stop it now?”
Mounjaro and Ozempic are a once weekly injection medication for weight loss. Mounjaro and Ozempic mimic the metabolic effects of sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass by stimulating GLP-1 (Glucagon-Like peptide one) receptors in the brain, pancreas, and other parts of the body. This results in decreased appetite and hunger, increased satiety, decreased blood glucose level, and weight loss.
GLP-1 is normally secreted by specialized cells in the intestines in response to food intake. GLP-1 secretion in response to a meal is blunted in patients with obesity and diabetes. GLP-1 agonist supplementation in the form of Mounjaro and Ozempic does not cure this problem. Therefore, overweight patients on Mounjaro or Ozempic need to continue this medication for the rest of their life to maintain weight loss. Patients who stop Moujaro or Ozempic when they achieve desired weight loss experience increased hunger and appetite leading to increased food intake and weight regain.
Unlike Mounjaro and Ozempic, metabolic surgery like Sleeve gastrectomy alters your body’s natural GLP-1, PYY, Ghrelin and many other hormones in response to food intake. This hormonal change is central to sleeve gastrectomy weight loss mechanism of action. Reducing stomach size by itself does not result in sustainable weight loss. This is the case with endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, ESG. This endoscopic procedure is metabolically inert. Weight loss is limited and so is the resolution of obesity related co-morbidities like type 2 diabetes.
In summary, you need to continue Mounjaro or Ozempic weekly injections for life to maintain weight loss. Long-term side effects of these medications are still unknown. If you are interested in stopping Mounjaro and restoring your body’s natural GLP-1 secretion, then you may want to consider metabolic surgery like sleeve gastrectomy.