Mounjaro Dosing Guide: How Much Should You Take?

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For many adults with type 2 diabetes, Mounjaro is an excellent option to help manage blood sugar levels and improve A1c. 

There are different doses available. Yours will depend on your health history, health goals, lifestyle, and weight. 

Figuring out how much Mounjaro to take can take time, and it should always be a decision made jointly with your doctor. 

This article will explain everything you need to know about Mounjaro dosing. 

Key Points:

  • The typical starting dose of Mounjaro is 2.5 milligrams (mg) once per week, chosen to minimize potential side effects like nausea and vomiting. The body usually adapts to the medication within a few weeks.
  • There is no standard “normal” dose for Mounjaro, as it varies based on individual factors such as health history, weight, and treatment response. Doses can be increased from 5 mg weekly after the first month, up to a maximum of 15 mg, depending on your doctor’s evaluation.
  • Dosage adjustments are made carefully, typically not before four weeks of treatment, to monitor blood sugar management and side effects. Any increase in dose should be under strict medical supervision, with new prescriptions required for each change.
  • Mounjaro has shown effectiveness in weight reduction and has been approved in a weight-loss version known as Zepbound. The dosage for weight loss should be guided by a doctor. 
  • If discontinuing the medicine, it’s important to do so under medical guidance to manage potential side effects and avoid sudden changes in blood sugar levels or weight gain.
Six different doses of Mounjaro side by side

Table of Contents

What dose do you typically start with?

If you’re new to Mounjaro (tirzepatide), your doctor will want to start you on a low dose. 

This is because Mounjaro may cause adverse side effects, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, low blood sugar, and decreased appetite.

These symptoms usually go away after a few weeks of starting the drug, but taking a lower dose when you begin treatment can help prevent them altogether. 

According to the manufacturer, a typical starting dose is 2.5 mg, taken once per week. This amount doesn’t affect blood sugar levels, but it does help your body get used to the medicine. The drug is taken as an injection just under the skin.

If you’re seeing improvements in blood sugar levels and insulin resistance without adverse side effects, your doctor may increase your dose after the first four weeks. 

What is a normal Mounjaro dose? 

There is no “normal” dose of Mounjaro because everyone is different. 

But there are specific increments that people take Mounjaro in. They are as follows:

  • New to treatment: 2.5 mg once per week for the first four weeks
  • Ongoing treatment: 5+ mg once per week starting on week five 

If your blood sugar levels are still not under control with 5 mg once weekly, your doctor may increase your dose.

How and when can you increase your dose? 

You most likely will not be able to increase your initial dose until after you’ve been on the medication for at least four weeks. 

At week five, your doctor may advise you to double your dose to 5 mg for four additional weeks. 

You should closely monitor your blood sugar levels and note any adverse side effects when increasing your dose, as this is when you’re most likely to experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Get a more detailed overview in: Mounjaro Side Effects: What You Need to Know.

If you’re tolerating 5 mg well and not seeing improvements in blood sugar management, your doctor may advise an additional increase. 

If you require a larger dose, your doctor may increase your medication to either 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 12.5 mg, or 15 mg taken once a week as your maintenance dose. 

Note that each increase will require a new prescription because each larger dose comes in a bigger dosing pen. 

Doses should not be increased by more than 2.5 mg every four weeks.

Learn more about how to take the medicine in: Mounjaro Injection: Where and How to Inject.

What is the right dose for me? 

You and your doctor will determine your dose. 

It may vary based on your health history, health goals, lifestyle, height, weight, level of insulin resistance, diet, and daily activity level. 

Higher doses will yield more results such as lower blood sugar levels, weight loss, and improved A1c levels (a measure of glucose control over the previous 2 to 3 months). 

However, the higher the dose, the more likely you are to experience adverse side effects. 

Keep this in mind as you scale up your doses, and only ever do so under the guidance of your doctor. 

Never take more Mounjaro than you’ve been prescribed. 

What is the right dose for weight loss? 

Mounjaro is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a weight-loss medicine. 

However, the FDA has approved a sister drug called Zepbound for weight loss based on clinical research supporting this outcome. (Zepbound is the same medicine as Mounjaro at the same strength, but with a different name for use as a weight-loss treatment.)

Zepbound is approved for use in overweight or obese adults with at least one weight-related condition.

The FDA’s approval of the medicine was based primarily on the results from two trials

Read more in: Can Mounjaro Help You Lose Weight?

What happens if I stop taking Mounjaro?

Do not stop taking any diabetes medications without the guidance of your doctor. 

After stopping Mounjaro, many people will regain lost weight and may experience higher blood sugar levels from increased insulin resistance and hunger. 

If you wish to stop taking Mounjaro, your doctor will likely taper your dose to lessen the side effects as the medication leaves your system. 

Talk with your doctor if you are experiencing severe negative side effects, Mounjaro doesn’t fit into your lifestyle, or your health insurance doesn’t cover the medication.

Are there different Mounjaro pens? 

Mounjaro is available in six different dosing pens. They come in the following variations:

  • 2.5-mg pen
  • 5-mg pen
  • 7.5-mg pen
  • 10-mg pen
  • 12.5-mg pen
  • 15-mg pen

Each pen is prefilled with a single dose. The pens come in different colors depending on the dose they contain.

For a 30-day prescription, you will receive four pens in your prescribed dose. 

This makes overdosing on the medication less likely. 

If and when you’ve been prescribed a larger dose, you will need a new prescription each time your dose goes up. 

What is the strongest Mounjaro? 

All of the Mounjaro pens contain the same active ingredient — tirzepatide. The larger dosing pens do not have a more potent drug formulation. 

When people increase their dose of Mounjaro, they simply increase the amount they take per week. 

What do I do if I forget to take my dose? 

Remember to take your Mounjaro on the same day each week, at generally the same time (for example, over breakfast.) There is no best time of day to take the medicine — you can do so at whatever time works best for you.

If you miss a dose of Mounjaro, take it as soon as possible within four days of your missed dose.

If you miss a dose for more than four days, skip that week and resume taking your Mounjaro on your regular schedule the following week. 

Do not take two Mounjaro doses within three days of each other. 

Missing one dose will not significantly affect your blood sugar levels or insulin resistance, and it won’t make you gain weight. 

Can you overdose on Mounjaro? 

Yes. If you overdose on Mounjaro, you may experience severe side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and low blood sugar, which can be fatal (especially if you’re also on insulin).

Monitor for signs and symptoms of extremely low blood sugar that include:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Shallow breathing
  • Shakiness 
  • Grogginess 
  • Fatigue
  • Unconsciousness 

Seek emergency medical attention immediately if you suspect you’ve overdosed on Mounjaro.

How do I store Mounjaro? 

Store your medicine at a temperature between 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit (2 to 8 degrees Celsius). 

Ensure that it gets no hotter than 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius). 

Never freeze your Mounjaro pens. 

The medication can be left unrefrigerated for up to 21 days if the temperature never exceeds 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).

Keep your pen in its original casing to protect it from sunlight. 

Final thoughts

It is important to remember that Mounjaro’s effectiveness and safety are closely tied to the correct dosing, which varies from person to person. 

Starting with a lower dose helps in minimizing side effects, with gradual increases made as needed based on individual response and tolerance. This personalized approach ensures that each person receives the maximum benefit while maintaining safety.

It’s also important to emphasize that Mounjaro is not a one-size-fits-all solution and should be part of a broader health management plan that includes diet, exercise, and regular medical consultations. 

While the prospect of weight loss may be appealing, you should focus on the primary goal of Mounjaro: managing blood sugar levels effectively. 

Any treatment changes, whether dose adjustments or discontinuation, should always be made under the guidance of a healthcare professional to ensure the best outcomes.

Suggested next article: Everything You Need to Know About Mounjaro.

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