The most common advice for patients struggling with excess weight is to eat healthy and exercise regularly. However, for many patients who are overweight or have obesity, this isn't enough to shed pounds and maintain a healthy weight. With obesity as a primary health concern, many patients are supplementing their weight loss journeys with Zepbound. For alternative approaches to managing weight loss, regulating digestion, and curbing excessive appetite, Zepbound may be a treatment option to discuss with your doctor. Here's what you need to know about what Zepbound is, how it works, and how it can help treat obesity.

What Is Zepbound?

Zepbound is developed and manufactured by Eli Lilly as a prescription injection for certain adults with obesity, or who are overweight, to lose excess pounds and maintain a healthier weight. It was approved by the FDA in November 2023 as a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. In combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise, Zepbound is becoming a popular solution for those who are looking for more effective approaches to treating obesity and losing excess weight.


Zepbound is FDA-approved and is available as a subcutaneous injectable medicine for certain adults who are facing challenges with obesity, weight loss, or healthy weight management. Since its recent FDA approval, Zepbound has become more popular and widely available through mail-order and retail pharmacy prescriptions.

How Does Zepbound Work?

The GIP and GLP-1 receptors are hormones that the body releases in the digestive system after eating to signal fullness. The tirzepatide in Zepbound mimics these naturally occurring hormones to reduce blood sugar and curb excessive appetite, which can lead to more effective weight loss over time. By regulating digestion and slowing down the hunger response, patients can establish a healthy way to lose weight and keep it off long-term. Zepbound comes as a solution inside a single-use injection pen. There are six different strengths of tirzepatide available:

  • 2.5 mg per 0.5 mL.
  • 5 mg per 0.5 mL.
  • 7.5 mg per 0.5 mL.
  • 10 mg per 0.5 mL.
  • 12.5 mg per 0.5 mL.
  • 15 mg per 0.5 mL.

The exact dosage you receive is based on the advice of your doctor, however, many patients typically start with a 2.5 mg dose, which is injected once weekly for four weeks. After this cycle, your doctor may increase the dosage to 5 mg weekly. This can continue, with your doctor adjusting your weekly dose every four weeks until the medicine provides the desired results. In addition to regular exercise and a healthy diet, Zepbound has been shown to have significant outcomes for people wanting to lose weight and maintain this healthier weight long-term.

What Are the Side Effects of Zepbound?

Zepbound was found to have several common side effects. The most common side effects patients experienced were gastrointestinal, including gas, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and indigestion. These side effects are typically mild and go away after several days. Other common side effects to watch for while on Zepbound include:

  • Vomiting.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Fatigue.
  • Reaction at the injection site.
  • Allergic reactions.
  • Hair loss.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Increased heart rate.

If you feel Zepbound may be right for you, talk to your health care provider about any medications you're currently taking. Zepbound can interfere with medicines that treat diabetes, such as insulin and sulfonylureas, and increase your risk for low blood sugar. While rare, Zepbound may cause more serious side effects, including severe stomach issues, kidney and gallbladder problems, pancreatitis, or more serious allergic reactions. Talk to your doctor if you have any side effects that don't go away within several days of your Zepbound dosage, whether they show up as mild or serious symptoms.

Challenges of Treating Obesity and How Zepbound Can Help

Obesity is a growing concern for many adults in the United States. The National Institute of Health (NIH) found that 42% of Americans — more than two in five adults — have obesity, and as many as one in three adults are overweight. While it's vital to support your lifestyle with a healthy diet and regular exercise, for many people facing the challenges of obesity, this is simply not enough. However, the development and growing availability of drugs like Zepbound are making it easier and more accessible for patients to create a structured way to shed weight and keep it off.

As a GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist, tirzepatide consists of a single molecule that activates your body's GIP and GLP-1 receptors. In Lilly's most recent SURMOUNT-1 and SURMOUNT-2 clinical studies, Zepbound showed increases in the brain's production of these hormones, helping curb appetite, regulate fat utilization, and slow digestion. The overall results of these clinical studies are significant and point to Zepbound as an effective solution for weight management for patients with obesity. Even at a 5 mg dosage, patients saw a 15% reduction in weight, with participants losing an average of 48 pounds after the 17-week trials.

Is Zepbound Right for You?

The FDA recently approved Zepbound as a viable medicine for treating obesity. The ability to help patients regulate appetite, curb food intake, and jump-start fat utilization, gives this medicine a promising future in health care. If you're wondering if Zepbound is right for you, consult with your health care provider. Your doctor can provide more personalized advice and additional resources about Zepbound and tirzepatide for weight management to help you make informed decisions and take the next step with a weight loss program.