What Is Zepbound, The New Ozempic Different And Weight Loss Drug?


Whereas Zepbound, the brand new drug from Eli Lilly, doesn’t have the identify recognition of Ozempic, it nonetheless represents a altering panorama in weight reduction administration, one pharmaceutical corporations are working to money in on. Even with the recognition of latest weight reduction medicine like Ozempic, customers say excessive prices and main shortages trigger roadblocks to receiving care. However pharmaceutical manufacturers say they’ve the reply: much more medicine. 

On Nov. 8, the Meals and Drug Administration authorized Zepbound, making the injectable drug out there as a remedy for weight reduction. Also referred to as tirzepatide, the drug was already out there because the brand-name Mounjaro, however solely had FDA approval for diabetes remedy. Beneath its new identify, Zepbound is a direct competitor of Wegovy, the burden loss drug created by Novo Nordisk. 

Just like different fashionable weight reduction medicine, together with Ozempic, Rybelsus, and Wegovy, Zepbound mimics the GLP-1 hormone, a hormone within the abdomen that regulates sugar ranges and urge for food. Nevertheless, not like semaglutide, Zepbound is a twin agonist — which means it additionally mimics the physique’s GIP hormone (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide), one other naturally occurring intestinal hormone that helps with insulin manufacturing. Zepbound is injected underneath the pores and skin as soon as every week, with dosages slowly elevated over 20 weeks till sufferers attain their goal dose. In line with the FDA, the utmost dosage of Zepbound is 15 mg per week. 

Whereas Zepbound is making its debut in an already crowded market, it has a slight benefit when it comes to use. In line with the FDA, trial members noticed a mean weight lack of 18 %. (Wegovy trial sufferers misplaced a mean 15 % of their physique weight, CNBC reviews.) However Zepbound nonetheless contains many widespread unwanted side effects from GLP-1 drugs, like “nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, abdomen ache, burping, hair loss and gastroesophageal reflux illness,” in line with the FDA

Zepbound’s approval comes at a time of fast progress for continual weight reduction medicine. When Ozemipc was first authorized in 2017, the drug was meant solely for diabetics. However after customers additionally reported sooner weight reduction, the drug and others prefer it rapidly turned a fascinating choice on-line for weight administration. By 2020, Ozempic had a repute on-line as a “miracle drug.” Dad or mum firm Novo Nordisk rapidly launched Wegovy, a drug with the identical energetic components as Ozempic, however authorized by the FDA particularly for weight reduction. 


However the brand new approval wasn’t sufficient to curb the rising demand for the medicine. As of Sept. 2023, Ozempic and Wegovy are each underneath a nationwide scarcity. The dearth of treatment hasn’t simply pushed want for the medicine — it has pushed extraordinarily determined sufferers to hunt out unlawful or compounded variations. In November, Novo Nordisk introduced it had filed not less than 12 authorized complaints towards corporations they claimed offered medicine with FDA-banned chemical substances, deceptive branding, and probably injurious parts. However the warnings haven’t stopped sufferers from looking for out telehealth corporations or compounding — resulting in elevated work from pharmaceutical corporations to handle the nationwide scarcity. The FDA authorized Zepbound underneath the group’s Quick Observe program, which expedites the assessment and approval of medication to deal with critical circumstances or a big “unmet” medical want. Whereas Zepbound’s arrival might relieve some stress from sufferers nonetheless ready for Ozempic scripts, its equally excessive price ticket (upwards of $1,000 every month) means keen purchasers may nonetheless take extra harmful routes to acquire their treatment. 

“Weight problems and chubby are critical circumstances that may be related to a few of the main causes of dying equivalent to coronary heart illness, stroke and diabetes,” FDA Diabetes Division Director Dr. John Sharretts mentioned in a assertion. “In gentle of accelerating charges of each weight problems and chubby in america, right this moment’s approval addresses an unmet medical want.”


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