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Zepbound (tirzepatide) is an injectable drug for weight loss in those with obesity or those with overweight and a weight-related condition. It is available by prescription in person and online.
Similar drugs such as Wegovy (semaglutide) gained popularity as weight loss drugs despite having Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Zepbound mimics the GIP and GLP-1 hormones that a person’s stomach releases when they eat. These hormones can slow down digestion and decrease a person’s appetite, eventually
Learn more about how weight loss medications work.
Zepbound is for people who have:
Scientists have studied Zepbound’s active ingredient, tirzepatide, and found it effective for weight loss.
For instance, the authors of a
In a 72-week trial involving more than 2,500 people with obesity or overweight and related conditions, researchers found that tirzepatide in doses of 5, 10, and 15 milligrams (mg) resulted in significant and sustained weight loss. The study, which had support from the drug’s manufacturer, found that tirzepatide resulted in a mean total body fat mass reduction of 33.9%.
Citing this trial, Lilly reports an average weight loss of:
- 34 pounds (lb) at the 5-mg dose
- 44 lb at 10 mg
- 48 lb at 15 mg
The placebo group lost an average of 7 lb.
People must have a valid prescription from a doctor to get Zepbound. A doctor will assess a person’s current health, weight loss goals, and eligibility for the drug. They may prescribe it only if they think it is safe and medically necessary. A doctor may also discuss alternatives to Zepbound.
Once a person has a prescription for the drug, they can pick it up at their preferred pharmacy.
Zepbound may also be available through some telehealth companies or weight loss programs.
Getting Zepbound online can be more convenient than visiting a doctor in person. However, a person must still get a prescription to get Zepbound online, and they should not buy Zepbound from companies that do not require them to have a health consultation with a qualified medical professional before offering a prescription.
- Cost: around $1,000 per month without insurance
- Accepts insurance: yes
Ro is a telehealth company. To get Zepbound from Ro, a person must join the company’s Body Program. This program offers prescription weight loss drugs, coaching and ongoing support, and an insurance concierge to help people get the best price possible for their medication.
It costs $99 to sign up and then $145 per month for ongoing care. This subscription cost does not include the cost of Zepbound, and Ro states that the drug’s cost will vary depending on a person’s insurance coverage. If a person pays out of pocket, Zepbound can cost around $1,000 per month.
After signing up, a person must complete an online health survey and have an appointment with one of Ro’s affiliated healthcare professionals. If the healthcare professional feels that the program is suitable for the person, they will arrange a metabolic lab test at a local test center.
After this test, the person can get a Zepbound prescription if the healthcare professional thinks it is appropriate. Ro states that this whole process can take a week.
- Cost: around $1,060 without insurance, or around $25 with the Zepbound Savings Card
- Accepts insurance: yes
PlushCare is another telehealth company that offers Zepbound.
To get Zepbound, a person must book an online appointment with a PlushCare doctor to discuss their health, weight loss goals, and reasons for choosing Zepbound. The doctor may order lab tests and arrange a second appointment to discuss the results. Then, the doctor will write a prescription for Zepbound if they think it is appropriate.
A person can then pick up their medication at a local pharmacy.
Those interested in using PlushCare must sign up for a subscription. Although the first month is free, the costs are as follows:
- With insurance: $14.99 per month, copay for appointments
- Without insurance: $16.99 per month, $129 for appointments
These prices do not include the cost of Zepbound, and PlushCare states that the drug can cost $1,060 per month without insurance and that the price may vary by pharmacy.
People can also use the company’s Prescription Discount Card, which may save customers 7–20% on GLP-1 medication.
The following table compares the two online pharmacy providers listed above.
|• Without insurance: around $1,000 per month
• With insurance: depends on coverage
|• $99 to start Body Program
• $145 per month for ongoing care
|• Without insurance: around $1,060 per month
• With insurance: depends on coverage
|• $16.99 per month
• copay or $129 for consultations
Costs for Zepbound will vary depending on a person’s health insurance and eligibility for certain savings schemes. Zepbound’s list price is $1,059.87 for a 1-month supply, but Lilly states that this does not reflect the price most people will pay for the drug.
We summarize the approximate costs in the table below.
|Commercial insurance with Zepbound coverage
|$25 for a 1- or 3-month supply with a Zepbound Savings Card
|Commercial insurance without Zepbound coverage
|$550 for a 1-month supply
To be eligible for the Zepbound Savings Card, people must:
- have a valid prescription for Zepbound with FDA-approved product labeling
- have coverage from a commercial drug insurance plan
- not have enrollment in any state, federal, or government-funded healthcare program, including Medicare and Medicaid
- be a resident of the United States or Puerto Rico
- be at least 18 years old
There are six Zepbound doses available:
- 2.5 mg
- 5 mg
- 7.5 mg
- 10 mg
- 12.5 mg
- 15 mg
A person typically takes one dose per week.
A doctor will recommend which dose a person should start with. Generally, a person will start on the lowest dose of 2.5 mg and gradually increase it if necessary.
According to the manufacturer, common side effects of Zepbound include:
- allergic reaction
- hair loss
- injection site reactions
- nausea and vomiting
- stomach pain
In some cases, Zepbound may cause serious side effects, including:
Below, we answer some frequently asked questions about Zepbound.
According to Zepbound’s manufacturer, Lilly, the drug is now available in pharmacies with a valid prescription from a doctor.
The drug may not yet be available at all online pharmacies since the FDA approved it in November 2023.
Tirzepatide mimics the hormones GLP-1 and GIP, which a person’s stomach produces whenever they eat. These hormones reduce appetite, which can result in weight loss.
People must also follow a calorie-restricted diet and an exercise plan while using tirzepatide.
As of 2024, tirzepatide is available from pharmacies. However, the FDA reports that there may be shortages of certain branded tirzepatide products, such as Mounjaro.
Pharmacies may not always stock tirzepatide and may have to place a special order to fulfill a tirzepatide prescription. People can check ahead of time to see whether their pharmacy has the drug in stock.
People must have a prescription from a doctor to get tirzepatide.
Tirzepatide is FDA-approved for weight loss as the brand-name drug Zepbound.
It is also FDA-approved for type 2 diabetes management as the brand-name drug Mounjaro. Doctors can prescribe Mounjaro off-label for weight loss, but the drug does not have FDA approval for this use.
Zepbound is a new injectable weight loss drug for people who have obesity or have overweight and weight-related health conditions. It has FDA approval for weight loss, unlike its similar counterpart Mounjaro, which has approval only for type 2 diabetes management.
Research has shown that Zepbound’s active ingredient, tirzepatide, is very effective for weight loss.
People must have a prescription to get Zepbound. Without insurance, it can cost around $1,000 per month.