What is Zepbound
Zepbound (tirzepatide) is a once-weekly injectable medication, approved by the FDA for the chronic weight management of adults with obesity or overweight with weight-related medical problems.. FDA approved the medication on November 8, 2023 that may help adults with obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2), or overweight (BMI ≥ 27 kg/m2).
Zepbound weight loss drug is designed to help adults who are dealing with obesity or excess weight, especially if they also have weight-related health issues. The goal is to help them lose weight and maintain a steady weight loss for better health. Of course as for most weight management drugs, patients are highly encouraged to use this drug with a diet plan that is lower in calories and an add physical activity in daily routine.
How Zepbound Works
Tirzepatide is quite the multitasker! It’s a type 2 diabetes medication that pulls double duty by targeting both the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor and the glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor. These receptors play key roles in regulating blood sugar levels.
GLP-1 and GIP are known as incretin hormones because they are released after eating and help to regulate blood sugar levels.
By activating the GLP-1 receptor, tirzepatide stimulates insulin release in response to elevated blood sugar levels. This helps lower blood sugar levels after meals. On the GIP side of things, tirzepatide enhances the insulin response to meals as well, contributing to better blood sugar control.
- Slows gastric emptying: Tirzepatide binds to GIP receptors on the surface of the stomach. This slows the rate at which food empties from the stomach into the small intestine. This can help people feel fuller longer and eat less.
- Reduces appetite: Tirzepatide signals to the brain that the body is full. This can help people reduce their calorie intake.
But wait, there’s more! Tirzepatide also slows down the release of glucagon, a hormone that usually raises blood sugar. So, it’s like a blood sugar superhero, tackling multiple angles to help keep those levels in check.
Zepbound is expected to be available in U.S. in 6 different strengths. Source
- Zepbound 2.5 mg/0.5 ml Pen Inj
- Zepbound 5 mg/0.5 ml Pen Inj
- Zepbound 7.5 mg/0.5 ml Pen Inj
- Zepbound 10 mg/0.5 ml Pen Inj
- Zepbound 12.5 mg/0.5 ml Pen Inj
- Zepbound 2.5 mg/0.5 ml Pen Inj
Retail commercial price for the drug is expected to be $1,059.87. However, out of pocket price may vary from one pharmacy to another based on their profitability and availability. Here is the expected plan from Lilly for Zepbound prices
- Commercially insured patients with insurance coverage for Zepbound, may be eligible to pay as low as $25 for a 1-month or 3-month prescription.
- Commercially insured patients without insurance coverage for Zepbound may be eligible to pay as low as $563 for a 1-month prescription of Zepbound.
Zepbound Savings Card
Lilly offers Zepbound Savings Card program that can help eligible patients to pay for their Zepbound prescriptions.
- You have been prescribed Zepbound consistent with FDA-approved product labeling
- You are enrolled in a commercial drug insurance plan
- You are not enrolled in any state, federal, or government funded healthcare program, including, without limitation, Medicaid, Medicare, Medicare Part D, Medicare Advantage, Medigap, DoD, VA, TRICARE®/CHAMPUS, or any state prescription drug assistance program.
- You are a resident of the United States or Puerto Rico
- You are 18 years of age or older
To enroll in the Zepbound Savings Card program, patient’s can visit the Zepbound website and create an account. Once you have created an account, you can download the card (when available) and start using it immediately.
To use the Zepbound Savings Card, simply present it to your pharmacist at the time of your prescription drop-off or pickup. The pharmacist will then apply the savings to your purchase.
Zepbound Dosing Schedule
- Zepbound is a once weekly injectable drug, injected under the skin (subcutaneously) of your stomach (abdomen), thigh, or upper arm.
- It can be injected anytime of the day.
- Change (rotate) your injection site with each weekly injection.
- Do not use the same site for each injection.
Zepbound Side Effects
Common Side effects:
Common side effects: Source
The most common side effects of Zepbound include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, stomach (abdominal) pain, indigestion, injection site reactions, feeling tired, allergic reactions, belching, hair loss, and heartburn. These are not all the possible side effects of Zepbound. Talk to your healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers you or doesn’t go away.
Serious Side Effects
- Severe stomach problems. Stomach problems, sometimes severe.
- Kidney problems (kidney failure). Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting may cause a loss of fluids (dehydration), which may cause kidney problems. So just drink more water.
- Gallbladder problems. Gallbladder problems, symptoms may include pain in your upper stomach (abdomen), fever, yellowing of skin or eyes (jaundice), or clay-colored stools.
- Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). You may feel the pain from your abdomen to your back.
- Serious allergic reactions. Serious allergic reaction, including swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat, problems breathing or swallowing, severe rash or itching, fainting or feeling dizzy, or very rapid heartbeat.
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Signs and symptoms may include dizziness or light-headedness, sweating, confusion or drowsiness, headache, blurred vision, slurred speech, shakiness, fast heartbeat, anxiety, irritability, mood changes, hunger, weakness or feeling jittery.
- Changes in vision in patients with type 2 diabetes. Consult your healthcare provider if you have changes in vision during treatment with Zepbound.
- Depression or thoughts of suicide. Pay close attention for changes in your mood, behaviors, feelings or thoughts. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any mental changes that are new, worse, or worry you.
Zepbound vs Mounjaro
|Type of drug||GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist||GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist|
|FDA Approval status||FDA-approved for the treatment of obesity||FDA-approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes|
|Weight loss efficacy||Highly effective, with average weight loss of 20.9% in clinical studies||Highly effective, with average weight loss of 15.3% in clinical studies|
|Other health benefits||May improve blood sugar control and reduce cardiovascular risk factors||May improve blood sugar control and reduce cardiovascular risk factors|
|Common side effects||Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain||Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain|
|Insurance coverage||Coverage may vary, covered may pay as low as $25||Coverage may vary, covered may pay as low as $0-$25 or more depending on insurance plan|
Zepbound vs Wegovy
|FDA Approval||Weight management, Obesity||Obesity|
|Dosage||Once weekly||Once weekly|
|Side effects||Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain||Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain|
|Weight loss||20.9% average weight loss in clinical trials||16.9% average weight loss in clinical trials|
|Price||Insured covered- As low as $25|
Insured and not covered – $563
Uninsured – $1,059.87 or more
|Insured covered- As low as $0|
Insured and not covered – around $850
Uninsured – around $1,300
|Insurance coverage||May vary||May vary|
|Other health conditions||Not approved for other health conditions||Approved for weight management|
Note: Zepbound and Wegovy are both very effective for weight loss. They are both expensive, and insurance coverage may vary.
Questions and Answers
Does Tricare Cover Zepbound
Simple answer is No, not at this moment. If you are enrolled in any government, state or federal funded healthcare program like Tricare, then Zepbound is not covered under your insurance plan.