Is Mounjaro safe for kidney transplant patients?

Find out more about whether or not Mounjaro is safe for kidney transplant patients.
Habitual Team
min read
Checked by

Quick summary

Around 3,600 kidney transplants are carried out each year in the UK. [1]

Following a kidney transplant, recipients are encouraged to follow a healthy lifestyle, such as by maintaining a healthy weight, cutting out smoking and alcohol and exercising more frequently. [2] Often, these changes are considered incredibly influential when aiding recovery and ensuring that the transplant is a success in the long term.

Is it normal to gain weight after a Kidney transplant?

Many of those who have undergone a kidney transplant will gain weight post-op, with a recent study finding that "the average weight gain during the first year after renal transplantation is approximately 10%." [3]

There are many potential reasons for this. For example, many recipients are encouraged to follow strict diets pre-transplant. Following the treatment, their diet can return to normal, which, when paired with an increased appetite, could increase the chances of overconsumption. [4]

Furthermore, the anti-rejection medications that are typically prescribed to organ recipients can also lead to weight gain.

Why is weight management important after a kidney transplant?

Weight management is important following a kidney transplant due to the risks associated with being at an unhealthy weight. For example, it could increase your chances of dealing with cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure, or type 2 diabetes, all of which can affect kidney health.

Mounjaro and Kidney Transplant Patients.

What is Mounjaro?

Mounjaro is an injectable form of a drug known as tirzepatide, which mimics the production of the digestive hormones GLP-1 and GIP. While it has been used for many years in diabetes treatment and management, it is now available as a weight loss aid in the UK.

When combined with healthy lifestyle changes, Mounjaro can help individuals lose weight by suppressing their appetite and increasing feelings of fullness. It is also linked to lower blood glucose levels.

While results can vary on a case-by-case basis, people lose an average of 20.9% of their body weight in 72 weeks on Mounjaro. [5] As such, it is easy to understand why many kidney transplant patients are interested in utilising this medication.

Wegovy is here! Start your free assessment

View our weight loss plans

Complete the assessment and purchase your plan

Mounjaro is here! Start your free assessment

Complete the assessment and purchase your plan

Is Mounjaro safe for kidney transplant patients?


Your weight can affect whether or not you are considered eligible for a kidney transplant. As such, it may be recommended that you lose weight while waiting to go on the transplant list.

Pre-transplant, individuals with renal impairment should discuss whether Mounjaro is appropriate for them with their doctor.  Potential side effects which can cause dehydration need to be considered, and those with moderately to severely impaired kidney function may not be suitable. [6]


While more research is needed on the topic, various studies have explored the safety and effectiveness of tirzepatide among individuals who have received a kidney transplant.

For example, a study published in Transplant Direct found that among 17 kidney transplant recipients who were prescribed Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (the class of drug that Mounjaro belongs to), there was [7] :

  • No significant impact on weight loss
  • A significant reduction in the total daily insulin dose
  • A reduction in the risk of hypoglycemia
  • No change to kidney function

During the period of the study (12 months), no patients experienced rejection. This led to the conclusion that the medication could be useful among transplant patients with a pre-existing diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, though it was made clear that more research is required on the topic.

A Further retrospective study published by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology reported that "GLP-1 receptor agonists (RAs) were safe and effective in reducing insulin requirements and promoting weight loss" among transplant recipients just months after the surgery. [8] However, this study was carried out using Ozempic and Trulicity.

What can kidney transplant patients do to lose weight?

While it is normal for transplant recipients to gain weight, especially within the first year of their operation, it's important to note that there are many ways in which they can work to gain control over their weight.

  • Follow a healthy, balanced diet. Following a healthy, balanced diet is one of the easiest ways to maintain a healthy weight. This can also help to prevent a range of other complications, such as the onset of type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • Exercise more often. In the immediate aftermath of a kidney transplant, it's recommended that individuals get as much rest as possible. However, light exercise is required to prevent clotting and other complications. Over time, however, developing a consistent exercise schedule can help with both weight management and weight loss.
  • Speak to their doctor. Speaking to the doctor(s) in charge of your care gives kidney transplant patients a chance to discuss their weight loss plan with a healthcare professional who can provide them with specially tailored advice and support.

Final Thoughts.

While a few studies have been conducted into the use of Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists among transplant recipients, more studies are required before it is possible to determine whether or not this is an effective treatment among transplant patients looking to lose weight.

However, it is important to note that there are many other options to pursue in this regard, from increasing daily exercise levels to eating calorie-controlled meals, such as the soups and shakes provided by Habitual.

If you'd like to find out more about our weight loss meal plans, please do not hesitate to get in touch today.


[1] Statement on organ donation. Kidney Research UK. Retrieved 21 June 2024. Accessible here.

[2] Taking care of yourself at home. NHS Blood and Transplant. Retrieved 21 June 2024.  Accessible here.

[3] Johnson, C. P., Gallagher-Lepak, S., Zhu, Y. R., et al. (1993) Factors influencing weight gain after renal transplantation. Transplantation. 56(4)p:822-827.

[4] Metabolic Syndrome after Kidney Transplantation: Are You at Risk? National Kidney Foundation. Retrieved 20 June 2024. Accessible here.

[5] Aronne, Louis J., Sattar, Naveed., Horn, Deborah B., et al. (2023). Continued Treatment With Tirzepatide for Maintenance of Weight Reduction in Adults With Obesity: The SURMOUNT-4 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 331(1)P:38–48. Accessible here.

[6] About Mounjaro. Retrieved 25 June 2024. Accessible here.

[7] Kulka, A., Hill, J., Merzkani, M., et al. (2021) The Use of GLP1R Agonists for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes in Kidney Transplant Recipients. Transplantation direct 6(2)P:524. Accessible here

[8] Campana, Mario., Kumar, Vineeta., Redden, David., et al. (2023) Abstract #1406346: Efficacy and Safety of Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonist (GLP-1-RA) in Patients with Diabetes who Underwent Kidney Transplantation (KT): A Retrospective Study with a Control Group. American Association of Clinical Endocrinology. 29(5) Accessible here.

Related articles