An innovative treatment known as tirzepatide, which also goes by the brand Mounjaro, has been making waves for its effectiveness in weight loss, even more so than its counterparts Ozempic and Wegovy, which have been popular since 2021. A woman, 47 years of age, shared with Insider her remarkable journey of shedding over 100 pounds thanks to this new drug.
Tirzepatide operates similarly to semaglutide by influencing how the body manages hunger. Findings from a recent study indicate that those who take it might see an additional weight reduction of up to 5%.
Tara Rothenhoefer, hailing from Florida, participated in one of these research trials. She credits tirzepatide with her significant weight loss, overcoming years of inconsistent dieting results. During the 18-month study, she remarkably reduced her weight from 342 to 210 pounds and continued to slim down after the trial by securing a prescription.
Rothenhoefer is thrilled with the transformation: “Mounjaro completely changed my life.” She highlights the most significant advantage as the quieting of “food noise,” learning that she doesn’t have to finish everything on her plate, a realization she had never experienced before.
Mounjaro works similarly to Ozempic but with an added effect
Tirzepatide belongs to a group of drugs, semaglutide included, that target the GLP-1 hormone to help curb hunger. These medications work by slowing down digestion and increasing the feeling of fullness, which can lead to weight loss as people tend to eat less.
What sets tirzepatide apart from semaglutide is its dual-action approach. It’s known as a dual-agonist because it also affects a second hormone related to insulin called GIP. This extra action might be the reason some studies show tirzepatide could lead to even more weight loss than semaglutide.
Originally, both of these drugs were developed for diabetes management. Semaglutide got the green light for weight loss use in 2021 with the brand name Wegovy—its diabetes treatment version goes by Ozempic, which has also become popular for weight loss due to social media buzz. Tirzepatide hasn’t been officially approved by the FDA for weight loss yet, so it’s not marketed for this purpose. However, doctors may prescribe it off-label when they believe it could benefit their patients’ weight loss efforts.
Rothenhoefer said the medication cut out ‘food noise’ and helped jump-start healthy habits.
When Rothenhoefer joined the study in 2020, she knew there was a one in four chance she’d receive the actual drug instead of a placebo. After her initial dose, she didn’t notice any change at first. However, roughly three days later, she suddenly found that food didn’t entice her as it once did.
In just half a year, Rothenhoefer saw an impressive 80-pound drop in her weight.
“I just wasn’t hungry or preoccupied with thoughts of food,” she shared. “It took me by surprise. The pounds were shedding, and it almost seemed too easy.”
Yet, her journey required dedication. She carefully adhered to a nutritionist’s guidance during the trial, opting for smaller meal sizes, incorporating more protein into her diet, and increasing her activity level. Her mindset changed; she didn’t feel the usual sense of sacrifice that came with dietary changes, nor did she crave sweets like cake, cookies, or donuts. The constant cravings, often referred to as “food noise,” had quieted down.
Although some individuals using tirzepatide and related drugs have reported experiencing side effects such as stomach aches, feeling sick, or diarrhea, Rothenhoefer mentioned she only had a headache and slight digestive discomfort, which disappeared after an initial couple of weeks following her weekly shots.
Rothenhoefer shared that before starting on the medication, she had been battling with weight issues and dieting for many years. She embarked on her first diet plan with Weight Watchers when she was just 13, and since then, she repeatedly gained and lost weight. Her journey included various approaches to shedding pounds, like adopting a low-carb, high-fat keto regimen and using phentermine, a drug designed to suppress hunger.
“It seems like each time you end up heavier than before,” she noted.
Mounjaro’s cost could put it out of reach for many patients
When the study wrapped up in October 2021, Rothenhoefer was tantalizingly close to her target weight of 200 pounds. However, once she stopped taking the medication, she noticed her weight gradually started to increase again. Over the next year, she put on 18 pounds until she managed to get a prescription for tirzepatide online.
Rothenhoefer has now shed an impressive 176 pounds but is facing a new challenge: the cost of tirzepatide. Thanks to a significant discount from the manufacturer, she’s been paying $25 monthly. But this is expected to skyrocket to more than $1,000 each month after the discount ends in June.
Despite the price hike, Rothenhoefer isn’t keen on switching to alternatives like semaglutide. She wonders, “If I’ve already experienced the best, why would I settle for less?”
Experts in obesity medicine have pointed out that patients who discontinue tirzepatide or similar drugs tend to regain the weight they had lost, as previously reported by Insider.
To extend her supply, Rothenhoefer cleverly ordered the largest quantity allowed—a four-week batch every three weeks—so she could save up a little extra.
She’s looking forward to the day when she can rely solely on healthy living to keep her weight stable, even though she anticipates it won’t be easy. “I’d rather not depend on medication forever. I’m usually not one for meds—I hesitate even with Tylenol,” she shared. “I can’t imagine returning to who I was three years ago, but I’m prepared for the daily effort it’ll take from here on out.”
Rothenhoefer also hopes that by sharing her journey, she can inspire others. Her participation in the clinical trial has been crucial in moving tirzepatide closer to potential FDA approval for weight management. “It required people like me to step up and make this option available to more folks. I wouldn’t have discovered its benefits without taking that chance,” she reflected.
CityRyde.com and its team members shall not be held responsible for any adverse effects, consequences, or misunderstandings that may arise from the use of Mounjaro or Ozmpic discussed in this article. Users are encouraged to independently verify product information and seek professional medical advice before making any health-related decisions. By reading and relying on this article, users acknowledge and accept that CityRyde.com and its team members are not liable for any issues that may arise from the use of Mounjaro or similar products.
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