Embarking on a weight loss journey is a significant commitment. A Harvard study reveals that only one in five individuals is successful in long-term weight loss, most regaining lost weight within five years.

In this competitive landscape, Saxenda and Mounjaro emerge as two promising medications. Both are injectable prescriptions, but they work in different ways to aid weight loss.

In this article, we will compare Saxenda and Mounjaro, examining their effectiveness, side effects, and user experiences to determine which might be better for your weight loss goals.

Key Takeaways

  • Saxenda and Mounjaro aid weight loss by influencing appetite and metabolism, but they work differently. Saxenda focuses on GLP-1 receptors to make users feel fuller longer, while Mounjaro improves insulin use and reduces hunger.
  • Clinical trials show that Saxenda can help people lose 8-10% of their body weight when combined with a healthy diet and exercise. Mounjaro has demonstrated even more significant weight loss in clinical studies, often surpassing the results of Saxenda.
  • Both medications have common side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, and headaches. Serious side effects for Saxenda include thyroid tumors and gallbladder issues, while Mounjaro can cause pancreatitis and low blood sugar, particularly when combined with other diabetes medications.
  • Saxenda requires a specific dosing schedule, starting at a low dose and gradually increasing, with daily injections. Mounjaro also follows a structured weekly dosing schedule with adjustments based on patient response, offering flexibility in administration.
  • Saxenda is suitable for adults with a BMI of 30 or more or 27 or more and weight-related conditions like hypertension or type 2 diabetes. Mounjaro is used for weight management and blood sugar control. Both medications require a prescription and consideration of the patient’s overall health goals and medical history. 

Mechanism of Action

Weight loss.

Saxenda helps you feel full and less hungry, while Mounjaro improves insulin use and reduces appetite. More specifically, Saxenda targets GLP-1 receptors, which are crucial in controlling hunger and metabolism.

By activating these receptors, Saxenda helps you feel fuller for longer after eating smaller amounts of food. This action supports chronic weight management by encouraging lower calorie intake alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise, as recommended for obesity treatment.

Mounjaro also activates GLP-1 receptors, helping to control hunger and improve energy use. People using Mounjaro often eat less and become more efficient at burning calories. Clinical trials show that Mounjaro can lead to more significant weight loss than Saxenda.

Clinical Efficacy

Weight loss.

In clinical trials, Saxenda has been shown to help people lose about 8-10% of their body weight. Patients used it with a healthy diet and exercise, which indicates that Saxenda is effective for weight loss.

Mounjaro shows promise with its impressive results. Clinical trial findings suggest that tripeptide, the active ingredient in Mounjaro, leads to significant weight loss.

In these studies, patients experienced more weight reduction than those using Saxenda. Specifically, individuals taking Mounjaro reported an average weight loss of 8-10% of their body weight.

Safety Profiles

Looking into the safety profiles, Saxenda and Mounjaro show different side effects. Keep reading to learn more.

Common Side Effects

Saxenda and Mounjaro help people lose weight. It works by mimicking a hormone that regulates appetite. Here are the common side effects:

  • Nausea happens as the body adjusts to Saxenda.
  • Diarrhea can occur, disrupting daily activities.
  • Constipation might make patients feel uncomfortable.
  • Users often report headaches.
  • Feeling tired or having low energy is expected.
  • Dizziness can happen, especially when standing up quickly.
  • Stomach pain may bother some patients.
  • Vomiting could be a reaction as well.

Serious Side Effects of Saxenda

Weight loss.

Saxenda may cause some patients to have serious side effects. These include thyroid tumors, including cancer. People using Saxenda must watch for symptoms like a lump in the neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath.

Gallbladder problems can also happen. If you get pain in your right upper belly area, this could be a sign. Kidney failure is another severe risk; feeling tired, not wanting to eat, and changes in urine color are warning signs.

Serious Side Effects of Mounjaro

Mounjaro may cause some patients to have serious side effects. These include inflammation of the pancreas, changes in vision, and kidney problems. Some users also reported gallbladder issues. It is pivotal for doctors to monitor patients closely for these signs.

Low blood sugar can happen, too, especially with diabetes treatment. This risk increases if a patient takes other medicines, like insulin or sulfonylurea, with Mounjaro. Always watch for symptoms of low blood sugar, such as dizziness, sweating, and feeling shaky.

Practical Considerations

Saxenda is a prescription medication for chronic weight management. It requires a specific dosing schedule to be effective.

  • Start with a low dose of 0.6 mg daily for the first week.
  • Increase the dose by 0.6 mg weekly until the recommended daily dose of 3 mg.
  • Inject Saxenda under the skin (subcutaneously) in the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm.
  • Administer the injection at any time of day, with or without food.
  • If a dose is missed, take it as soon as possible if it’s within 12 hours of the scheduled time.
  • Do not double the dose to make up for a missed one; skip it if it’s more than 12 hours late.
  • Continue using Saxenda even if you start losing weight, as stopping can lead to weight gain.
  • Follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly while on Saxenda to maximize weight loss benefits.
  • Consult your healthcare provider regularly to adjust doses based on your response and any side effects.
  • Patients must keep track of their dosing schedule to ensure the effectiveness and safety of treatment with Saxenda for obesity management.

Dosing Schedules for Mounjaro

Mounjaro offers a structured dosing schedule that adapts to the patient’s needs and progress. This flexibility helps customize treatment for optimal weight loss and blood sugar management.

  • Patients start with a low dose to allow their body to adjust, typically 2.5 mg once a week.
  • After four weeks, the dosage increases to 5 mg once weekly, monitoring how well the body responds.
  • Depending on individual response and tolerability, the dose may increase to 7.5 mg after another four weeks.
  • The next step, if needed, involves upping the dose to 10 mg weekly after another four weeks.
  • Some patients require further adjustment, leading to a possible increase to 12.5 mg once a week.
  • In cases where maximum effect is desired or needed, the dosage can go up to 15 mg per week.

Administration Methods

Saxenda is given as an injection under the skin, a method known for its direct delivery into the body. Unlike pills that must go through the digestive system, injections like Saxenda ensure that the total dose of medication reaches where it’s needed efficiently.

Meanwhile, Mounjaro uses a mechanism that activates GLP-1 receptors to help with weight loss and blood sugar reduction. For those considering this treatment, it’s given as an injection. The process is straightforward—patients use a prefilled pen to inject the medication once a week at any time of day, with or without meals.

Patient Selection Criteria

Both treatments work best when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Patients often ask about Mounjaro’s or Saxenda’s before and after results. This process ensures that a patient makes the right choice between both treatments. Moreover, there are specific criteria for patient selection, such as the following:

  • Saxenda: This treatment is ideal for patients who meet the BMI criteria and have not achieved significant weight loss through diet and exercise. It is also suitable for individuals with hypertension, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol exacerbated by obesity. However, it is not recommended for those with a history of medullary thyroid carcinoma, multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or known hypersensitivity to liraglutide or its components.
  • Mounjaro: This treatment is mainly for adults with type 2 diabetes needing better glycemic control despite diet and exercise. It also benefits those with a BMI indicating overweight or obesity and those with cardiovascular risk factors. However, it is not recommended for patients with severe gastrointestinal disease, pancreatitis, or hypersensitivity to tirzepatide.


Saxenda and Mounjaro offer weight loss paths, each with its benefits. Saxenda provides a solid option with fewer side effects. On the other hand, Mounjaro stands out for those seeking more significant weight reduction and better blood sugar control.

Your choice depends on your needs, health goals, and how your body responds. Speaking with a healthcare provider can help you determine the best match for you.


1. Which one helps more with weight loss, Saxenda or Mounjaro?

Both Saxenda and Mounjaro can lead to significant weight loss when combined with diet and exercise, but Mounjaro has been proven more effective.

2. Should I worry about any side effects with Saxenda and Mounjaro?

Yes, both can have side effects like nausea and stomach pain, but it varies from person to person.

3. Do I need a prescription for Saxenda or Mounjaro?

Yes, you’ll need a doctor’s prescription for both of them.

4. Can anyone use Saxenda or Mounjaro for weight loss?

Not everyone; your doctor will decide if they’re right for you based on your health condition.

5. How do I choose between Saxenda and Mounjaro?

Talk to your doctor. Based on your health goals and medical history, they’ll help determine which one might work better for you.

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Drugs.com. (n.d.). Mounjaro vs. Saxenda: What’s the difference? Drugs.com. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from https://www.drugs.com/compare/mounjaro-vs-saxenda

Gussone, F. (n.d.). Saxenda vs. Mounjaro: What to know. Ro. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from https://ro.co/weight-loss/saxenda-vs-mounjaro/