You may have already heard about or tried the drugs, Ozempic and Wegovy for weight loss. In fact you may have heard about Mounjaro. It is used for diabetes and some practitioners have used it off-label for weight loss. But on November 8, 2023 the Food and Drug Administration gave drugmaker Eli Lilly approval to market its new drug, Zepbound for weight loss.
Zepbound is part of a class of drugs called GLP-1 agonists, which mimic a hormone that helps reduce food intake and appetite. It has the same active ingredient as Eli Lilly’s drug, Mounjaro with the ingredient, tirzepatide, used for diabetes. Additionally Zepbound imitates a second hormone called GIP which may help to curb appetite and improve how the body breaks down sugar and fat.
Similar to its competitor, Wegovy, the drug Zepbound is approved for adults with obesity or who are overweight with at least one weight-related condition. Eli Lilly says that the drug should be available by the end of the year. Zepbound is slated to be a powerhouse for weight loss and many feel that it will be a bestseller in the marketplace.
While the medical community welcomes new drugs for weight loss, there are also barriers for some people who are in need of weight loss drugs. Insurance companies are reluctant to cover weight loss drugs and Zepbound will require full payment without coverage. It is unattainable for a lot of people even if it comes out at a cost lower than other weight loss drugs on the market.
The other issue is side effects. Zepbound’s side effects can include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation and hair loss. Some side effects can be more severe. The FDA says that people with a history of severe gastroparesis or stomach paralysis should not use Zepbound. There are other possible side effects and you should communicate with your doctor any history of medullary thyroid cancer, pancreas inflammation or severe gastrointestinal disease. Always mention the other drugs you are taking for possible drug interactions. You should be under the care of a physician while taking Zepbound or other weight loss drugs.