Ozempic, Mounjaro, Wegovy to lose weight: what you need to know

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — New drugs are being touted as magic pills giving hope to people who’ve battled weight issues their entire lives, but there are some serious questions to ask.

Three new injectable drugs developed for type 2 diabetes patients are also helping people lose weight. In some cases, they help people lose a lot of weight.

The drugs are in such demand that they made a combined profit of nearly $10 billion last year. They are expected to do even more this year.

New options

Husband and wife Jarryd and Amber Lasater said they struggled to reach a healthy weight.

“We would lose a little here, a little there. It never really stuck,” Amber Lasater said. “So for me, I was to the point that if I lost 20 pounds, I was going to be happy.”

Ten months ago, their doctor prescribed them the injectable diabetes medicine Mounjaro.

They say that was the turning point for them. Amber has now lost 65 pounds. Jarryd fell almost twice as much during treatment.

“I never weighed that in my adult life,” Jarryd Lasater said.

Katie Davidson struggled with her weight after thyroid surgery. She says she ate healthy, counted calories, cut portions. She remains active, runs after two children and works on the family farm.

“I think there’s a lot more to weight gain and obesity than calories in versus calories out, because it just didn’t add up,” Davidson said.

Then she started taking a medicine called Semaglutide. You’ve heard it advertised as Ozempic.

“I think in the last month I lost 10 pounds,” Davidson said.

Advertisements for the three injectable type 2 diabetes drugs claim they are changing the world of weight loss.

Wegovy was approved for weight loss two years ago. Ozempic and Mounjaro are on track for FDA approval for weight loss this year, but doctors are already prescribing them off-label.

how they work

They all work similarly.

“They all work by making you feel a little more full, so they kind of slow down your digestion, so kind of stop you from overeating,” said Dr. Erin Taylor, University Health.

The feeling of fullness is what patients say they notice the most when taking any of the medications.

“I wasn’t so hungry. It was an appetite suppressant for me more than anything and I didn’t need to eat as much,” Jarryd Lasater said.

University Health Weight Management staff say these drugs aren’t a quick fix for losing a few pounds. Instead, they are a long-term treatment for people with chronic obesity and comorbidities.

Some patients, like Jarryd, lose weight quickly. Others, like Katie, take longer to lose weight.

“You really have to stick with it and be patient because I almost gave up. I was like, ‘This is expensive. This isn’t working. Is this really worth it? and I was like, ‘ “Well, I’ll keep trying and see what happens,” Davidson said.


Medicines are expensive. Doctors say the price depends on your diagnosis and your health insurance.

“They are all expensive. Most of them cost over $1,000 for a month’s supply, if you pay cash. Insurance if it covers it makes it pretty manageable you know copayments are under $100 and coupons can bring it down to $25 or I’ve even seen $0 so yeah a lot of times we will reduce them to $0 for a patient for these drugs,” Taylor said.

Side effects

Doctors also warn of side effects.

“Side effects only include your main gastrointestinal side effects, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation, that’s what you’d expect, but they get better after a bit longer, so allow just your body to get used to it,” Taylor said.

Some side effects like kidney or gallbladder problems are rare, but have also been reported.

“Yeah, it messed up my gallbladder. They say it’s pretty normal for anyone who loses weight fast, it can mess up your gallbladder, so mine decided to go wonky and I had to have it removed,” Amber Lasater said.

Even with the price and side effects, all three say the drugs are worth it. They say they lost weight, but also saw improvements in cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and joint pain. All three say they exercise more and sleep better.

“I’m starting to recognize myself again in the mirror. It was good,” Davidson said.

All three say the weight loss motivated them to form habits to keep the weight off for good.

“I also work out three to four times a week on the treadmill. We’ve both changed our diets so hopefully it’s not something that’s going to come back very quickly,” Jarryd Lasater said.

They say that even though they have to stay on a low dose of medication for the long term, they finally feel some hope.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people and I tell people all the time, ‘If you’ve ever struggled with your weight, I want people to get it because it’s life changing,'” Amber Lasater said.

Questions to ask

There are questions to ask your doctor before agreeing to take the medicine.

  • Risks of other health problems you face due to obesity
  • Will the medications interact with medications you are already taking
  • Discuss your personal and family medical history


Supply shortages are also a problem. Pharmacists say this is a problem with many drugs right now, not just these three injectables. Experts, like Dr. Taylor, expect production of the drugs to increase this year to meet demand.

FOX4 also asked if using these drugs for weight loss prevents people with diabetes from getting them.

Medical staff from Health Weight Management University said that if chronically obese patients do not lose weight while taking the drugs, they are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. If this happens, they will need the medicine anyway, so it is all about disease prevention.

Leave a Comment