Mounjaro was originally introduced to improve blood sugar management for people with type 2 diabetes.

However, it is becoming a popular medication for people with type 1 who are experiencing insulin resistance or need help with weight management. 

This article will investigate the use of Mounjaro for type 1 diabetes and answer some common questions you might have about the medication.

Doctor speaking to patient

Key Points:

  • Mounjaro may offer advantages for people with type 1 diabetes, including appetite control, decreased glucagon levels, slowed digestion, and reduced blood sugar spikes.
  • While the medicine shows promise in this regard, its effects on type 1 diabetes have not been rigorously studied. 
  • Prescribing Mounjaro for type 1 diabetes is done alongside traditional insulin therapy.
  • Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. People with type 1 diabetes may face additional risks, such as low blood sugar. Its use requires careful monitoring and awareness of potential health complications.

What is Mounjaro?

Mounjaro is the first medicine in a drug class known as GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonists. It is FDA-approved to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes along with a healthy diet and exercise. 

Want to learn more? Read: Everything You Need to Know About Mounjaro.

Right now, Mounjaro is only FDA-approved to manage blood glucose levels in adults with type 2 diabetes

But off-label use of the medication is becoming more common.

Why might someone with type 1 diabetes want to take Mounjaro?

Many of the effects of Mounjaro might be helpful for a person with type 1 diabetes.

The medication helps people feel full for longer after eating, which can help with weight loss. It also helps to lower glucagon levels, slows digestion, and, in some cases, reduces spikes in blood sugar. 

A person with type 1 diabetes might want to take Mounjaro to help improve insulin resistance as well as to help with weight management.

At least one clinical trial is assessing similar medications paired with automated insulin delivery systems to see whether the combination can help people with type 1 diabetes maintain healthy blood sugar levels more easily and consistently.

Can people with type 1 diabetes be prescribed Mounjaro?

Unlike type 2 diabetes, which involves insulin resistance as a key characteristic, the defining feature of type 1 diabetes is the body’s inability to produce insulin. 

Since one of the main ways that Mounjaro works is by stimulating insulin release from the pancreas, this feature is of limited use in people with type 1 diabetes.

That’s not to say, though, that the medicine isn’t being prescribed to people with type 1 diabetes.

As with Ozempic (semaglutide), Victoza (liraglutide), and other medications that haven’t been explicitly studied in people with type 1 diabetes, doctors have started prescribing Mounjaro to people with type 1 diabetes because many of the effects of the drug are so positive.

However, a medical professional will never prescribe a drug like Mounjaro instead of insulin therapy for a person with type 1 diabetes. If you’re prescribed the medication, it will be in addition to traditional insulin therapy

Mounjaro’s effectiveness in improving blood sugar management, reducing the amount of insulin needed, and aiding with weight loss will need to be tested over time through formal clinical trials to assess the safety, correct dosing, and long-term effects of the medication for people with type 1 diabetes.

The FDA’s approval for Mounjaro clearly states that the clinical trials did not include people with type 1 diabetes and that the drug was not approved for use in this population.

If you want to learn more about Mounjaro, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor about the medication and see whether it would fit into your treatment plan.

What are the side effects of Mounjaro if you have type 1 diabetes?

Mounjaro’s common side effects include gastrointestinal issues like nausea and diarrhea, as well as decreased appetite and low blood sugar, especially in insulin users. 

More severe, but rarer, side effects can include thyroid tumors, pancreatitis, major gastrointestinal problems, vision changes, gallbladder and kidney issues, and serious allergic reactions. 

Due to the possibility of severe health risks, users need to be vigilant about these symptoms and seek medical help if serious side effects occur. This is especially important for people with type 1 diabetes, who have an increased risk of low blood sugar.

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

Is Mounjaro prescribed 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?

Who should not take Mounjaro?

Mounjaro is not suitable for everyone, including people without diabetes, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and those with a history of certain thyroid cancers or allergies to the drug’s ingredients.

What’s the difference between Mounjaro and Ozempic?

In trials, Mounjaro has been shown to be more effective for weight loss and has resulted in a slightly larger improvement in average blood sugar levels than Ozempic. 

Find out more about how these medicines compare in: Ozempic vs. Mounjaro: Which One Should You Choose?

Final thoughts

Mounjaro’s use in managing type 1 diabetes is an area of growing interest but limited formal research. The potential benefits, including improved insulin sensitivity, weight management, and reduced blood sugar fluctuations, are compelling reasons to consider off-label use of the medicine. 

However, it is important to remember that Mounjaro is not a replacement for insulin therapy in type 1 diabetes but rather a supplementary treatment. 

The decision to use this medication for type 1 diabetes should be made carefully and in close consultation with a healthcare professional, considering your medical history and the current lack of extensive clinical trials in people with this condition.

You and your physician must also be mindful of the potential side effects and unique risks that Mounjaro may pose to people with type 1 diabetes. 

Ongoing research and clinical trials will be vital in providing clearer insights into the effectiveness, safety, and optimal usage of Mounjaro for type 1 diabetes management. Until then, it remains a promising yet cautiously approached option.

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