Mounjaro now licenced for weight loss in the UK

The UK medicines agency has just licenced Mounjaro for  weight loss treatments. Described as the “King Kong” of weight loss drugs, Mounjaro is the most effective medication available giving average weight loss of  over 25% in 18 months. 

The MHRA's decision

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has granted a licence for Mounjaro for weight loss in adults aged 18. Until now it had only been licenced for people with type 2 diabetes. Although the manufacturer, Eli Lilly, has not given a launch date, it is likely to come within the next few months, hopefully in early 2024.

CheqUp will be offering Mounjaro as soon as it becomes available - please watch our website for updates.

Mounjaro (with the active drug tirzepatide) has been described as the “King Kong”  of weight loss drugs as the most recent SURMOUNT clinical trials indicate average weight loss of over 25% in 18 months of taking the drug. This significantly exceeds the weight loss recorded for Wegovy - 15% in 68 weeks.

Mounjaro vs Wegovy Graph

Who can use Mounjaro?

Mounjaro is authorised for adult patients who fall into two categories:

  1. 1. Those with a BMI of 30kg/m² or more (considered obese).
  2. 2. Individuals with a BMI between 27-30kg/m² (overweight) who also have weight-related health issues such as prediabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart problems.

This ground-breaking medicine is designed to be used in combination with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity of the kind offered by CheqUp. It is not recommended to take this class of drug without professional  support given the side-effects, problems through the dose increase stage, and the difficulties which many people find in using the injection pens.

How does Mounjaro work?

Unlike Wegovy, a similar weight loss drug,  which is classed as GLP-1 medication, Mounjaro adds a second factor, GIP, to give a double benefit.  This combined GLP-1 and GIP receptor agonist works by regulating the body's appetite and metabolism, leading to reduced calorie intake and increased energy expenditure. Its dual action on two key hormones - GLP-1 and GIP - provides a dual-dimension to weight loss, making it a promising option for those struggling with obesity.

Moreover, Mounjaro's potential benefits extend beyond weight loss. Clinical trials have also demonstrated improvements in metabolic parameters such as blood sugar control and lipid profiles.

Dosage and administration

Mounjaro is available as a pre-filled injection pen with varying doses of tirzepatide (2.5mg, 5mg, 7.5mg, 10mg, 12.5mg, and 15mg), which is administered under the skin in the stomach area, thigh, or upper arm.

The treatment typically starts with a 2.5mg dose once a week for four weeks and can be increased to 5mg once a week. If deemed necessary by your CheqUp doctor, the dose may be further increased in at least 4-week intervals, up to the maximum dose of 15mg once weekly.

Avoid pregnancy

For obese or overweight female patients using oral contraceptives, it’s advised to consider using a barrier method of contraception (e.g., a condom) or switching to a non-oral contraceptive method for 4 weeks after starting Mounjaro and for 4 weeks after each dose increase, as Mounjaro may affect the efficacy of oral contraceptives in these individuals. 

The MHRA’s swift assessment

The MHRA recognised the importance of expanding treatment options for obesity in the UK and prioritised a rapid assessment of this new indication for Mounjaro. The decision was informed by advice from the independent Commission on Human Medicines. As with all pharmaceutical products, the safety of Mounjaro will be closely monitored. 

Published: 09 Nov  2023